What’s the Take-Away?

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Throughout this course, I can see that I have definitely expanded  my knowledge on the aspect of thinking. I came into this course believing that thinking was a natural and free-flowing process, an automatic response. Diving deep down into thinking concepts, practices, dispositions, and reflection on the assignments, I see that thinking is a much more intricate process than I had originally perceived and I have been able to explore the core questions from this course to develop a more intricate explanation of thinking in general:

What is clarity in thinking? Clarity in thinking to me boils down to asking more questions and providing examples. Looking back on my post about clarity, I see that the main concept I learned was to question my explanations to better explain a concept to someone else who might not think the same way that I do, because, let’s face it, that rarely happens where someone thinks EXACTLY the way you do.

Why do we make our thinking visible? Making thinking visible allows you to broaden your horizons and apply thinking aesthetically, in a sense. By observing and making our thinking visible, we associate thinking with environments and people, giving life to our thinking process.

What is a thinking disposition? How do we develop thinking dispositions? A thinking disposition is the way we tend to solve problems and approach problems; our habitual thinking. These dispositions come from our personal experiences and attributes. For example, a person that came from a rough childhood would have a different thinking disposition (or pattern) than an individual who came from a more wealthy childhood. These two people have had extremely different experiences, which alters their views on the way they think about things.

How do we make our thinking visible and clear? What are some visible thinking strategies we can employ to improve the clarity of our thinking? Visible thinking allows you to develop a deeper understanding of the content and to shift your attitude from the traditional way one tends to think about thinking. This allows thinking to become more abstract. These visible strategies are encompassed in what is referred to as “thinking routines”. There are many thinking routines that can be applied to the help improve the clarify of our thinking but the one that stood out to me the most was the “I use to think… but now I think…” routine This routine really allows you to track your progression and development of your thinking. It helps you clarify where you came from in the beginning of your thinking process and how you arrived to the way you think about something now.

How do we talk about thinking in such a way as to make it visible and significant? In order to make thinking visible and significant we talk about it in a descriptive manner. This allows us to paint an image of the thinking process. When we composed our Gallery Makes, I really had to reflect on what happiness looked like to me in order to paint the picture of how I depicted that emotion. I displayed images of family, laughter, friendship, nature, and freedom. I realized that happiness to me was a description of adjectives and the pictures I chose expressed the way I thought about and applied the concept visually.

How do we move from clear thinking into powerful learning for positive action and community engagement? I believe in order to do this we have to apply combination of thinking concepts, dispositions, and routines. By incorporating multiple practices of clear thinking, we are now better equipped to powerfully learn and apply multiple facets to derive at a better understanding. We have become “diversified thinkers”.

What steps have you taken to explore most/all of these questions in our time together? Why? I have chosen to be open-minded, willing to adopt thinking practices that we not typical of my nature. The assignments that applied to all of these core questions really made the process of answering these questions more feasible.

What is one Diigo reading that stretched your thinking? The article, “The Power of Curiosity”, by Todd Kashdan, really peaked my interest. In this article Kasdan talks about how “curiosity — a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight.” He states that there are five ways that we can benefit from the power of curiosity: health, intelligence, social relationships, happiness, and meaning. When you really think about he concept of curiosity, these notions of enhancing these areas of your life make sense. If you have an inquisitive mind, you will be more open to experiences that you may not have allowed yourself to partake in if you were less inquisitive and more closed-off. It’s interesting to see the benefits that he explains in this article, but it also makes me think about the saying, “curiosity killed the cat”. Double-edged sword? https://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-curiosity/

What would you like to do after this course to further your understanding of our course topics? I think that after have partaking in this very unique course, it has expanded my mindfulness of my thinking and has pushed me to be more active in progressing in my thinking practices. I find myself navigating Twitter exceedingly better and searching hashtags that involve thinking. I believe i will continue this practice.

What are some questions you still have as a result of this course? The concept of thinking dispositions still leaves me a bit hazy. I tend to confuse thinking dispositions with thinking perspectives, they seem to intertwine for me.

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