However, the creation of vertical thinking was meant to serve as a tool to incite critical thinking in individuals from a young age. Though not as widely renown as Six Thinking Hats , the works of de Bono in this case can again be seen as a tool to assist teachers in an academic setting. De Bono saw it as vital for the individuals categorized under the developing age to acknowledge the concept of critical thinking.
The works of de Bono were further broadened by Paul Sloane who developed the Situation puzzle. The situation puzzles are a series of puzzles where every question has a number of possible answers, as well as one being the most correct.
Children playing the game are rewarded not only for correctly selecting the most correct answer, but also for identifying other answers that were a possibility. Through this method both lateral and vertical thinking abilities of the individual are developed simultaneously as well as allowing teachers to assess which type of "thinker" the child bests fits.
Due to this, the practical application of the concepts derived from de Bono has an overwhelming progressive influence in the academic setting. Introduction of these concepts to a child are said to be most useful from the ages 4 onward. When considering existing adolescent trends with regards to cognitive development, it is around the age of 4 that individuals begin to realize that thoughts may not always be true. Thus, the ability to think sequentially in this case being classified as vertical thinking is a concept that will begin to resonate with the child. Due to the fact that individuals generally affiliate themselves with a single method of thinking, being either vertical or later, Paul Sloane suggests the introduction of such situation puzzles at a young age.
This is said to help stimulate the type of thinking the child would otherwise not be comfortable with. Benefits for children of developing these thinking skills include, but are not limited to: . In the aforementioned book written by de Bono Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step , the concept of lateral thinking is expressed as the polar opposite to the vertical thinking. Vertical thinking is distinguished as something that is linear, while on the other hand lateral thinking can be seen as non-linear.
The reason for this is the simple fact that vertical thinking utilizes a sequential method in solving problem, where only one solution is generally realized. On the other hand, due to the non-linear nature of lateral thinking multiple solutions to the problems are fashioned in a more imaginative manner.
3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent & Convergent Thought -
When an individual decides to employ vertical thinking in solving a problem, the objective is to create a solution the demonstrates the "depth of knowledge" whereas the use of lateral thinking creates a solution where the "breadth of knowledge" is exhibited. The depth of knowledge in an elucidation predominantly reflects how well the individual can construct a logical justification for their solution with regards to detail.
In contrast, breadth of knowledge would express how well the individual can come up with a variety of solutions for the same problem. Disregarding aspects of logic and creativity of solutions, the disparity in objectives can be seen as a case of "quality against quantity". Compared to lateral thinking where the number of solutions generated is only limited by the individual's ingenuity, the solutions formed through vertical thinking is a finite process. By basing the outcome on existing knowledge rather than expending the depths of your creativity in forming a solution, there are generally only a few possible answers within logical limitations.
Hence, the number of solutions are viewed as finite and in most cases are only limited to one. It is mentioned that due to the human cognitive process, the alignment towards a single method of thinking is simply not possible. Even when individuals adopt a sequential method of solving a problem, between the initiation and conclusion of the question there has to exist some form of creativity.
Furthermore, in response to how de Bono suggests the incitement of critical thinking in youth, Paul and Elder argue that critical thinking is not established, but rather an innate ability that every individual possesses. De Bono discussed that vertical thinking is a selective process while lateral thinking can be seen as generative. Through vertical thinking, where the most optimum answer is generated, the individual would simply move from A to B without any further exploration. Lateral thinking on the other hand can be see more as that of a spider's web.
As the individual begins to travel from the core of the web, the paths diverge into many more possibilities. Though the usage of vertical thinking is often favored over lateral thinking in most academic fields such as those of science and mathematics, there are noticeable shortcomings when considering this method of thinking. Vertical thinking is often preferred when considering academical backgrounds as the thought process provides a credible plotting.
This often adds to the perceived legitimacy as well as allow for easier verification of validity.
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- 3 Modes Of Thinking: Lateral, Divergent & Convergent Thought -!
Furthermore, when considering the linear approach, the solutions generated from such methods of thinking are often neutral, which is again preferred when bearing in mind an academic background. Moreover, the risks of this method of thinking is much lower than that of lateral thinking. Backed by an existing knowledge base, solutions generated using this method are more well informed. Due to the perfectionism generally involved when creating a solution, there is often a lack of originality in the answers.
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Referring to this point, most innovative ideas were not created through vertical thinking as ideas generated this can be seen as mundane as it is only based on existing knowledge. To quote Henry Ford, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. There are tests available that assess the characteristics that are associated with both the vertical thinking style.
Some include:. This personality assessment, also known as MBTI , evaluates personality types and functions. The analytic thinking mode can be compared to vertical thinking, whereas holistic thinking can be compared to lateral thinking. Vertical thinking linear thinking focused on items that are associated with using analytic thinking, external data, and factual information.
It is likely that two separate educational methods are necessary to impact these very different desired outcomes. I believe Ennis' definition comes closest to the mark of a useful generic definition for critical thinking. I offer yet another definition only to more closely align the concept to the evaluation level as defined by Bloom et al. It is important to have a definition of critical thinking so that it can be compared and contrasted with other forms of thinking i. For example, non-critical thinking can take the form of habitual thinking thinking based on past practices without considering current data ; brainstorming saying whatever comes to mind without evaluation ; creative thinking putting facts, concepts and principles together in new and original ways ; prejudicial thinking gathering evidence to support a particular position without questioning the position itself ; or emotive thinking responding to the emotion of a message rather than the content.
Each of these types of thinking may have advantages and disadvantages relative to a particular context. There are situations when each might be more appropriate while the other types would be less appropriate. This model proposes that there are affective , conative , and behavioral aspects of critical thinking that must be considered in addition to the cognitive processes involved.
This supports the definitions of Mertes , Scriven and Paul , and Ennis that include some component of beliefs and behavior. First, a stimulus presents an argument or proposition that must be evaluated.
There is an affective disposition to use critical thinking that must activate the critical thinking processes if it is to take place. As a result of critical thinking a previously held belief is confirmed or a new belief is established. This will be established as a component of declarative memory in its semantic form although there may be episodic information associated with it.
There may also be images or visualizations formed or remembered as part of the critical thinking process. There is then an affective disposition to plan and take action in order for the critical thinking to act as a guide to behavior. The conative components of goal-setting and self-regulation must be activated in order to develop and implement a plan of action.
As action is taken it results in feedback from the environment and a corresponding increase in procedural knowledge. This new learning is then available as either necessary corrective action is taken to guide action toward the desired goal based on beliefs or a new situation presents itself that requires additional critical thinking. A complete critical thinking program will successfully deal with each of the components in the model. As stated previously, the most appropriate teaching methods are possibly different for each component. For example, if one is most interested in impacting declarative knowledge facts, concepts, principles, etc.
Likewise, if one were trying to impact the memory of images or visualizations, then modeling, active visualizations, or working with pictures might be more appropriate.
Science and Critical Thinking
Attitudes are probably impacted most directly by socialization and the teaching method of cooperative learning. Learning the process of critical thinking might be best facilitated by a combination of didactic instruction and experience in specific content areas. Impacting conation might best be done through goal-setting exercises and action learning. Finally, overt behavior and learning to use feedback might best be accomplished using positive and negative reinforcement. The following are some of the most important factors to be considered in the discussion of critical thinking: Critical thinking is important attribute for success in the 21st century.
We need to carefully define the concept of "critical" thinking and delineate it from similar concepts such as "creative" thinking or "good" thinking. We need to identify expected behaviors and subtasks associated with critical thinking and develop operational definitions. We need to complete task analyses, define intermediate goals, and develop evaluation methods.
We need to identify "best" methods of instruction for each aspect of the critical thinking process. Critical thinking is a complex activity and we should not expect that one method of instruction will prove sufficient for developing each of its component parts. We have learned that while it is possible to teach critical thinking and its components as separate skills, they are developed and used best when learned in connection with a specific domain of knowledge e.
We should not expect that a "critical thinking course" will develop our students' competencies in this area.