Friday, March 16, 2007

Lateral Thinking

Recently I just came across lateral thinking, although it was proposed some decades ago. I found my way of thinking is quite close to it. However, my experience is that not many are used to it. Most of us are more used to problem solving.

In a way, solving a problem is some how the minimal achievement. Much much more could be done with or without the problem being solve, and especially so when in situations where not even an existing problem could be recognized.

If relating to performance, it is like considering doing one's best as the minimal achievement, while performing more than required being the norm.

E.g. most students are happy when the their answers to a maths problem is the same as the given answer. This actually is just the minimal achievement. One may solve the problem in more than a way. One may reason out why solving it in another way is wrong. One may discover any redundant information given in the problem. One may transform the problem into a more difficult and challenge oneself. In so doing, the student is truly fulfilling the purpose of a student, which is to learn, not just with a false "worker" mentality by just "producing the solutions/answers" to their "bosses" aka teachers.

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