This article was published in the Viva Magazine by Ksenija Tratnik.
The biggest gift that we can give to our children is an ability for independent thinking. To think with your own head. We spoke with Nastja Mulej, a licensed trainer for de Bono thinking tools, about teaching children to think with more focus, objectively, holistic and creatively. To become more independent, resourceful and successful in managing their life.
Quality of our learning depends on quality of our thinking. A single thinking habit or a tool might strongly influence a future of any child, says dr. Edward de Bono, physician, psychologist and one of leading global authority of creative thinking. His student Nastja Mulej has taught his thinking tools for several years. She emphasises that thinking masters are not the ones who win verbal fights nor those who has a database full of information or those who are excellent in rhetoric. Masters of thinking are constructive, they know how to choose the right options and decisions, know how to plan and create new possibilities.
Incentives and barriers of creativity
We kill creativity by believing in strengthening children’ intelligence only. By intelligence we mean data memorising and logical reasoning. We cannot help children by putting them behind social norms and keeping them from standing out for every cost. We have to see a child in front of us and not some kind of a representative of particular developmental phase in terms what he should do or know at certain age. “I also get nervous when people speak about ‘good’ girls or ‘good’ boys which for me is simply submissive leading,” evaluates Nastja.
You facilitate creativity (or simply keep a natural creativity) if you beside words correct and wrong simply add to your conversation with children a word interesting. “Of course it is correct to say there are 1.239 km between Vienna and Paris, but it is interesting to see children answers about the kilometres in case they use bike, helicopter, on foot, scooter or if they drive backward. A child will love to create if you will respect the process of creating and not just the results. And do not give them time limits. Enable them to create in open free atmosphere in which they will not feel the fear or stress” Nastja observe that children feel motivated if we do not organize competitions in which only the first win. Listen children’ suggestion with enthusiasm and interest and do not interrupt them in speaking.
Creativity techniques for children
Nastja train the teachers how to use de Bono thinking tools in their pedagogical practice: tools for focusing attention, parallel thinking and collaborating, and deliberate generation of a large quantity of new fresh ideas. “I wish that our teachers lead thinking clubs and prepare them for future in which they might teach Thinking as an equivalent subject to other subjects in school.” Thinking tools are also for parents. Ideally, we learn thinking tools for three years in row, 1-2 hours a week, one tool every week.
Edward de Bono is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He is equally renowned for his development of the Six Thinking Hats® technique and the Direct Attention Thinking Tools™ (D.A.T.T.™) framework. Edward de Bono is the originator of the concept – and formal tools – of Lateral Thinking, which is now a part of language enjoying an entry in the Oxford Dictionary.
Children go through de Bono thinking tools in the following didactical order:
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