Monday, October 10, 2016

“Thinkingaire” Book Tuning 1: How to Break Through the Bottleneck of Traditional Education and cultivate more “Digital Thinkingaires”

Education is the means to end, not the end itself. Learning or education shouldn’t become another status quo or silo, or the end.

Education is one of the best things and great privileges for modern global citizens because it provides significant opportunities for people to build disciplines and learn some fundamental knowledge base for opening their eyes and expanding their views. However, traditional education also has its limitations. Though it can instill the certain level of knowledge to students, often it can’t teach them how to think. Even worse, sometimes, the traditional education instills preconceived concept or even bias which becomes part of problems for the society moving forward with an adaptation of the digital speed. So how to break through these bottlenecks of traditional education and cultivate the new generation of digital “Thinkingaires” (refers to the talented digital leaders and professionals who continue to create new ideas, to practice thought leadership, and to bring the world both content richness and context intelligence.)


The first argument is whether the critical thinking can be educated in a better way: Which role does education really play in teaching critical thinking? Does individual truly have free choice to think critically? And does critical thinking get encouraged or rewarded at school or workplace, or the opposite happens? How to evaluate a real critical thinker in an objective way? What could be the better way to groom critical thinkers? How can trainers recognize the strengths and talents of those they are assisting in order to communicate concepts and disciplined approaches as clearly and lastingly as possible. Although there’s critical thinking evaluation at advanced education level, some argue that an individual who is taught to think critically is ‘programmed’ and their critical thinking is in fact determined by methodologies which are ’chosen’ by educators or someone else. Education can teach you some methodologies or mechanisms to help you think, but only individuals themselves can integrate the variety of thought processes and figure out how to capture insight and think critically, independently, and profoundly. Critical thinking cannot be defined as genetically inherited only or, can absolutely be taught; it's a way of thought process similar to the perceptions: all from the human brain, both nature and nurtured. It is a crucial thinking capability for decision-making or problem-solving.  


Education can instill certain knowledge, but creativity is both nature and nurtured: Creativity is an innate process to generate novel ideas. Creativity is one of the most wanted professional qualities in the digital age, but creativity can not be taught completely. Sometimes the outdated education methodologies even stifle the creativity of receivers and add a static little box to limit their thinking. One of the things is essential for education in creativity to really thrive is that people understand that creativity is a way of being, it must be practiced, it's very personal, it requires internal motivation and self-awareness. Without clarity, 'creativity' will only be known to mankind as a serendipity, a fad or superficial set of steps in. The focus to tap the creative power is on how creativity is viewed, citing two views -one being innate and the other a result of teaching. Creativity is like a muscle, you must exercise it daily or it atrophies. From education and talent management perspective, it’s important to cultivate an environment to spur creativity. Creativity can be nurtured by encouraging and rewarding "creative thinking," in which people learn to solve all kind of problems, generate ideas, implement life changes. Creativity is not something you can learn as a topic, it is something you acquire and use, not just for learning, but for life itself, and, of course, to be creative you have to rely on freedom of thinking, failing, trying, experimenting, saying, learning, doing, etc.


Education can present you human history or scientific theories, but it can’t always help receivers become insightful: Education provides the broader window to see the world with knowledge lenses, but shouldn't become a constraint to limit one's imagination, or too static to catch up with the internet speed. Generally speaking, quality education is not defined by the reputation of institutes or the approaches they take, but defined by the very "products" - the well-educated individuals who can challenge their mentors, criticize the theories, and think beyond the education box, limited knowledge, and continue to take opportunities in life adventure by taking advantage of education as means to end. Being knowledgeable is just not enough at the digital era in which commoditized knowledge is only a click away. Learners have to gain foresight and capture insight for the things mattering to them and being learning agile all the times.


The emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate. Education is the means to end, not the end itself. Learning or education shouldn’t become another status quo or silo, or the end. Informal learning is on the rise with the increase of social collaboration tools. The very quality of modern education is to assess how well it shapes the right sets of mind (growth, progression, creativity, open and learning, etc). The quality of education would be associated with an "Education" that fosters critical thinking, excellent problem-solving skills, ability to turn new ideas into innovative products, ability to apply specific knowledge as tangible applications in some field or another., etc. In short, to cultivate the next generation of Digital Thinkingaire,” who can think broadly, think critically, think creatively, think holistically and think profoundly, to accelerate the advancement of the human society.



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