Divergent vs Convergent Types of Thinking

As you look around on the web, you would encounter thousands of ideas, some of them replicated, others fresh and innovative, but too difficult for a practical application. Generating those innovative ideas is a phenomenon and the main focus of a divergent kind of thinking that one applies for the purposes of productivity. That kind of thinking is somewhat neglected in teaching languages and teaching in general, although some of more aware teachers and creative thinkers themselves could use it with great benefit. Obviously that will not be fit for any kind of a learner that you come into contact with, but schools specialize more in producing legions of young minds, shaped according to one or two formulas, instead of stretching them at every point possible. You cannot make a divergent thinker out of every student, but the younger a student, the easier it becomes to stimulate a child’s mind.

Heavy Reliance on the Left Hemi

OK, it is not actually true anymore, with the latest research pointing to various regions of the brain’s neurons firing together to make a meaningful connection and produce a meaningful insight. How can creativity be taught? It could be weaved into a curriculum for every subject possible. When teaching you are carefully attempting to stir students’ curiosity as you should be, first and foremost, not a logician only but also a magician producing yourself ideas that should in turn elevate your students’ level of readiness. Somehow, with time, when teaching adolescents that magic is gone and hardly ever taught at the next levels, which is a pity. It is not only about creating guessing games, or the notorious idea of finding a 1000 applications of a safety pin, but those could do for starters, and gradually you can move on to the realm of really abstract thinking, which should be the educational aim. In fact any subject teacher should find ways to incorporate the basics of creativity into their program, provided that they are up to the task themselves. It is a given that the weirder the examples and solutions to some task, the better it gets remembered, which in case of the language or other subjects, that would be the minimum required. Real life applications on a serious scale might be reserved for the brightest minds that need constant some nourishing food for thought aplenty. But creativity and logic combines help bring up people with more open minds that can be harnessed to solving daily problems with flair and observe the reality to draw conclusions and apply ideas to real problems. In the totally abstract realm you might be a creative clothes or engine designer or a person that revolutionizes the way traffic works. However many schools promote logical thinking to the great extent and prize it above all else, delegating divergent thinking to the background, and leaving some prodigious personalities to develop on their own, while they would need at least a serious treatment and support.