Many great methods already exist for ingenious creative problem solving. Now you can use these methods to improve your learning because they can be used to understand situations, both for study and for real life.
It began with creative problem-solving: In 1967, Win Wenger was teaching in a small college and, looking for a way to stimulate his students, got into the then-new literature on creative problem-solving (CPS). It then occurred to him to propose: that if you have a good method, any good method, for solving problems, one of the best problems to work it on is on the problem of how to create better methods for solving problems.
And, of course, one of the best problems to work those better methods on is on the problem of how to create still better such methods.
Thus was born the simple principle of re-investing your best methods into creating yet better methods. There appears to be no end to this process. We in Project Renaissance have been pursuing this principle now for nearly half a century.
There are now more than a hundred effective methods for creatively and ingeniously solving problems of all kinds, for innovating, inventing, and making discoveriesmethods which are now in successful professional use around the planet.
NoteHelp yourself NOW! This shows you how to solve your own challenges, be they economic, work-related, personal or interpersonal. FREE no strings, no ID required. These are like kitchen recipes: easy step-by-specific-step practical instructions on how to use them are waiting for your ready use.
What makes all this relevant to our
topic here is our discovery, a few years later, that every one of those
hundred effective methods for creatively solving problems serves also
as a powerful learning method. And that many of the better
methods for learning, including the original Socratic method, after
whose miraculous seeming effects all of education and educators were
named, can also serve as excellent methods for ingeniously solving
problems and challenges. In either case, problem-solving or
learning-with-understanding, these are methods for figuring things out.
Here in our 30-minute session we will attempt to survey some of the methods and a few of the principles behind them. That, and maybe one or two recommendations and some Q/A, is about all we can shoehorn into these 30 minutes, though we hope we can slip in a tiny demonstration or so along the way. Nearly all our demonstrations involve having people describe in some detail their respective perceptions to each other in order to develop those perceptions and to understand what it is that these are showing them and such describing does eat up minutes even if in the long run a great deal of time is saved in the classroom.
Principle: what you describe TO someone, in detail, WHILE you are examining it, you discover more and more and more about. While describing some of what you are looking at, more aspects of it come into your notice for you to describe also. This we refer to as the Principle of Description. This principle in turn derives from Behavior's Law of Effect, our short version of which is that "you get more of what you reinforce."With Google's help, you are likely to find that a number of very different procedures are described as "accelerated learning." Our own methods revolve around acquiring, or imparting, or discovering, learning-with-understanding, more easily, rapidly, and in better depth. Half of our methods provide a synergistic blend of maieutic Socratic Method (a good topic to Google for) and CPSCreative Problem-Solving techniques, another good candidate for Googling. On our own website, one good place to start reading is the Teaching & Learning Techniques section, and especially the article on test results, together with the linked articles it refers to.
Several obvious and overlooked principles are behind our Project
Renaissance methods, but one of the most major is this: nearly all
learning, and especially all human learning, is by association. Every
learner has a different life history and background from which to make
associations, and especially the most meaningful associations, with
current learning materials and contents. It is better for students to
make their own associations with current learning, than for teachers
and texts (with their own predisposed differences) to try to be
everything to everyone instead. Teachers should provide some content
but then mainly facilitate students to make their own associations.
Students should in any case engage in such procedures and techniques as
will cause them to draw upon more of their own resources in making
their own most meaningful associations with what they are trying to
Using that systematic steering system to have students "buzz" in small groups of 2, 3 or 4,
in efforts to answer your Socratic questions, and any reasonably
competent instructor can easily give as intensive and totally involving
a Socratic experience to everyone in even a lecture section of 500 at a
time, as was formerly reserved only to an elite few.
Principle: Feedback Upon One's Own ActionsNote: If anyone is still stuck on the losing side of the 100 years of the "nature vs. nurture" argument regarding the buildability of IQ and intelligence, try this little experiment: Google for "brain plasticity" or "neural plasticity" to see where science has massively landed on that topic for the past dozen years.
For our own refinement of this principle of feedback upon one's own actions, see Feed-the-Loop rapid flow-with-feedback model.
We provide here an annotated catalog of Project Renaissance methods of accelerated learning. And here is a short-cut, smaller specialized catalog of such methods, especially for college and graduate students, especially in topics and subjects where understanding is more important than rote memorization.
Tip of your tongue/Tip of Your Mind principle: "Oh, I know such-and-such, it's right on the tip of my mind...." That familiar experience reflects the fact that most of your best thought, perception and understanding is just outside of where you have your attention focused. In a holographic world where everything relates to and affects everything else to a greater or lesser degree, some here can begin to appreciate the useful strategy behind Project Renaissance's Principle of Description as cited above.Part of what's made it harder than it has to be to bring sought-for understandings and perceptions within our focus of attention, is the false-to-reality subject-predicate relationship in our grammar, which the English language has in common with its sister IndoEurasian languages. That leads us to see and think in terms of single, one-way cause-and-effect relationships so that it takes an informed effort to see beyond that.
Nearly all of your perceptions, knowledge, experience and understanding are beyond where you have your conscious attention focused. Our language is what focuses our consciousness and attentionit makes a wonderful magnifying glass, but it surely tunnels our vision. We need to use both our verbal-conscious focus and our Beyond-Conscious. These are like two feet of the mind. We CAN hobble on one foot only and ignore the other, but you get rather less accomplished for rather more effort that way.
Visualization, especially spontaneous mental imagery not consciously directed, is perhaps the most sensitive way to get insights from the Beyond-Conscious mind into our conscious verbal focus where we can do useful things with them. Hence our emphasis on your ongoing streams of thought and mental imagery, streams ongoing in every living human being. Hence we have published an entire curriculum of instructions on the practice of the phenomenon of ImageStreaming, comprising more than a dozen inter-linked articles:
Another topic you may wish to explore is in this issue of the Project Renaissance newsletter, The Stream. Scroll down there to Win Wenger's informative article.
Another major phenomenon, with applications to problem solving, is the use of Calm-Breathing Patterns, which can be used to remove stress and clarify your existence. Discover for yourself some of what can be done with the fact that "You breathe the way you feel, and you feel the way you breathe." Remove exam anxiety and be at your crystal-clear best when you most need to be. You can see more in the Winsights column.
Go first there to article #106 and try that out; then to article #107. Then #28 and #29. Then #98. Then possibly also Numbers 69 and 82. Lastly, with these patterns learned, turn to article #79 and discover some ways to truly be at your best when taking that GRE or other formal standardized exam upon which so much may ride.
Tested Results: From second grade through university graduate school,
students taught by such methods have made dramatic gains. One
Andrews Country Day School in Buffalo, New Yorkhas all
its teachers using our maieutic Socratic Method. That school has been
testing the results with the “Cohorts” or “value-added” standardized
TerraNova test as published by McGraw-Hill. The earliest results,
including a partial year, showed several hundred students there on
average gaining 4.4 years per
year in academic proficiency, as these results show.
Currently the students there are gaining better than 5 years per year,
and nearly all the graduates have been winning scholarships.
Wanted: participants here to
Also wanted: a two-hour demonstration session, which we would conduct for free if in easy driving distance.. For as few as 50 people or as many as 300 people, hopefully some of them faculty and responsible administrators.. The live experience is so very much more than just being taught about something! (Another way to gain live group experience would be at the three-day Beyond-Einstein/ Socratic Training each May in Maryland.
Another way still is to form your own experimental exploratory group
ranging through various of the methods and effects whose instructions
are found freely throughout this website.
You may freely copy this brief in whole but not in part,
including its copyright for use with others whom you care about.
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