This article was last modified on March 12th, 2020.
In our ever-changing world, we are in desperate need of original, creative thinkers who can invent solutions to problems that we don’t even know we have yet. These creative types need to be nurtured throughout their education to help them reach their full potential. It is up to parents and teachers to partner together to build an environment where children can be challenged and supported as they learn.
But how exactly do we create an environment that encourages original thought? We must first understand these types of students and build our school system to support them.
These students often learn best in less structured environments than a typical student. Original thinkers crave opportunities to problem solve or work in small groups. Independent study is also an effective way to allow students to explore what is most interesting to them.
One of the most effective methods of teaching these types of students is peer-to-peer teaching, where small groups present a topic and teach their fellow classmates. This forces students to learn a topic well enough to speak comfortably about it rather than just absorb information that is presented to them.
Original thinkers can make some of the best students, but they aren’t without their own set of weaknesses. These students are often procrastinators and can often lose track of the task at hand when given too much freedom. It is important to give students the opportunity to fully explore their thought processes while still keeping them on track to reach their ultimate goal.
You may also find that original thinkers tend to fight back against authority figures, which can be frustrating for parents and teachers. The best thing to do in this situation is to allow the student to present an alternative solution to the problem. This method helps develop critical thinking skills and may result in an improved end result.
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