CoRT Thinking Teachers Guide

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CoRT Thinking Teachers Guide

Table of contents :
CoRT1.TeachersGuide......Page 1
CoRT2.TeachersGuide......Page 86
CoRT3.TeachersGuide_......Page 168
CoRT4.TeachersGuide......Page 266
CoRT5.TeachersGuide......Page 348
CoRT6.TeachersGuide......Page 490

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 1

TEACHERS GUIDE FOR CORT 1 TITLE BREADTH

THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CoRT 1 OVERVIEW

LESSON FORMAT

LESSON SEQUENCE

THE TEN LESSONS

1.

PMI : THE TREATMENT OF IDEAS

2. CAF : THE FACTORS INVOLVED 3. RULES 4. C&S : CONSEQUENCES AND SEQUENCE 5. AGO : AIMS GOALS & OBJECTIVES 6. PLANNING 7.

FIP : FIRST IMPORTANT PRIORITIES

8. APC : ALTERNATIVES, POSSIBILITIES & CHOICES 9. DECISIONS 10. OPV : OTHER PEOPLES VIEWS

THE TEST MATERIAL

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CORT 1 OVERVIEW Each of the ten lessons in CoRT 1 is designed to encourage students to broaden their thinking. In the thinking of both children and adults, the dominant fault is the tendency to take too narrow a view. An example of this would be to take up an instant judgment position on an issue. The lessons in CoRT 1 define attention areas into which thinking can be directed: •

Looking for plus and minus points



Considering all factors



Consequences



Aims and objectives



Assessing priorities



Taking other people’s views into account

By making the deliberate effort during the lessons to direct their thinking towards these areas, students can develop the habit of broadening their thinking. Research has shown that the use of these lessons can have a considerable effect in increasing the number of aspects of a situation that are considered. The term “LESSONS” throughout this web site, refers to the individual subsections of the main CoRT headings. For example CoRT 1, Lesson 6, deals with Planning. Contained within each lesson there are two separate sets of materials, one for the student, and the other for the teacher.

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LESSON FORMAT All the CORT ONE lessons are dealt with under the following headings; •

INTRODUCTION



PRACTICE SESSIONS



PROCESS



PRINCIPLES



PROJECT ITEMS



DIFFICULTIES

CORT 1 - BREADTH The standard lesson format is given below. Some variations will he discussed in connection with the use of the lessons by students of different age and ability. Some alternative formats are also given at the end of this section and other variations are given in the section itself. Teachers are encouraged to develop their own variations. Read “Teachers Variations”.

INTRODUCTION Both the teacher’s notes and the student’s notes contain an explanatory introduction which explains very briefly the aspect of thinking that is the subject of the lesson. There is no need for the teacher to read this out unless the students have difficulty in reading. Teachers will give a brief explanation centered on the examples that are given in the student’s notes and sometimes in the teacher’s notes as well. Teachers can add further examples or alter the ones given as wished. This explanation must he brief because time is short and in any case a much fuller discussion takes place in the process section of the lessons. The students can be left to read the introduction in their own notes for themselves whenever they like during the lesson. page 3 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

PRACTICE SESSIONS The practice items: Each lesson usually contains five practice items. These items provide a direct opportunity for the students to practice the thinking operation which is the basis of the lesson. Normally the teacher would use items 1, 2, and 3 in order but items 4-7 are provided specifically for any teacher who feels that they may be more suited to their own class. In that case these alternative items can be used instead of any of the others. Teachers may also alter the order of the items. If their wish they can borrow items from the project section, invent some of their own and use some suggested by the students themselves. The practice items are presented verbally to the class by the teachers who elaborate and enrich the item as they do so. It is up to the teachers to give the item the setting and specificity which they feel would he most suitable for their class. For instance a general item can he put in terms specific to a particular neighbourhood. The students then begin working on the item. They work in groups as has been discussed earlier. It is suggested that one member of the group take notes regarding the group’s conclusions. This person may also serve as spokesperson that will eventually represent the group’s conclusions before the class. Completion time for each item varies from 1-5 minutes and is visually indicated in the teacher’s notes. This tends to be on the short side and in exceptional cases more time may be allowed. However there is little time allotted for each lesson and the emphasis should be on speed. When more time is allowed for the lesson the time spent on each practice item may be increased but boredom should never be permitted to prevail.

Student output: The output from the groups is usually verbal. If teachers find that the groups are having difficulty in expressing their ideas verbally output in writing may also be used. With many of the practice items each group is working on the same problem. In this ease one of the groups is designated to give its output to the whole class. This group is referred to in these notes as the designated group. The designated group gives a full output. page 4

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Any other group or individual can then add additional points left out by the designated group by attracting the teacher’s attention. This continues until no further points are forthcoming. If a point offered is not really a new point but only a minor variation of one already given, the teacher should say so and point out the similarity. Comments may also be allowed if there is time but arguments waste too much time. The teacher may also ask questions of a group as a whole, or of individuals within a group. No one knows which group is going to be designated to give its output until after the practice item has been considered. Normally, the teacher should try to maintain a sort of random rotation so that each group would be designated sooner or later. But if one group is particularly lazy and never seems to contribute anything that group can be called upon more frequently. Similarly if a particular group is being sarcastic the teacher can ignore that group for a while. Designated groups could also be chosen by putting slips bearing a group name into a container and then drawing one at random. In some of the practice items the groups work on different problems or different aspects of the same problem. In that case the teacher tells each group which problem or part of the problem it is to work on. The others can add further ideas as usual. If there are many groups there may be more than one group working on the same part. In other cases, the teacher may go around the groups one by one asking for a single point from each group until no more new points are forthcoming. Sometimes the groups are asked to produce as many ideas as they can in a fixed period of time. At the end of this time the group which claims the largest number of ideas is allowed to be the designated group. In general the teacher can treat groups as if they were individuals in the matter of asking for outputs.

The suggestions given: These suggestions are intended to supplement the teacher’s own ideas on a problem so that more ideas will be available if necessary. They are not intended as right answers. If the group’s output does not include these suggestions, teachers may point them out. Occasionally, some of the practice items have suggested answers which the groups are supposed to include among their other suggestions. The point here is not that these are right answers, but that any full consideration of the subject can be reasonably expected to include these answers. This particular use of the suggestions would he indicated in the notes. page 5 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Number of Items: The number of practice items tackled is determined by the total time available for the lesson and also by the time taken for the groups to report their output. Ideally, each lesson should try to cover three practice items but sometimes this may have to be reduced to two. For Elementary Schooling it is probably better to cover one example while introducing a TOOL concept. Please watch our training video No 6, filmed at Ashbrook First during a PMI lesson. The teacher must however try to prevent the lesson from becoming a long discussion and argument about the content of one of the practice items. The emphasis must always be kept focused on the thinking operation that is the subject of the lesson. This is why it is necessary to have a variety of practice items even if there is not enough time to consider each one thoroughly a brisk pace is essential.

PROCESS The process discussion section provides an opportunity for the teacher to discuss with the class as a whole the thinking process that is the subject of the lesson. The students remain in their groups but can operate as individuals. There is no group discussion in this section. All discussion is between the teacher and students or between student and student in front of the whole class. The teacher can ask questions of individuals and take comments from them without going through the group structure. For each lesson, the teacher’s notes contain suggestions as to the sort of questions that might be used in the process discussion section. These same questions are also given in the student’s notes. There is no need to stick to them and certainly no need to go through them one by one. There are questions about the nature of the process, the need for it, the difficulty in using it, what happens if it is used, whether it is natural or needs to be used deliberately and so on. The discussion should, however, be operated as a normal discussion and if some interesting points come up they can be pursued.

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The pace of the process discussion should be crisp and brisk, and the discussion as a whole should take 5 or 10 minutes at the most. In an alternative way of running the lesson, the principle section and the process section can be run together so that the discussion can also take in the principles as something to be discussed. Teachers can try this as a variation and see if it works better.

PRINCIPLES Each set of lesson notes contains five principles listed for each of the lessons. The principles are not meant to be dogmatic points. They are intended to draw the lesson together and to say specific things about that aspect of thinking that is the main subject of the lesson. They are also intended as a focal point for the organisation of the students’ thoughts on the subject. There is nothing absolute about the particular principles chosen. The groups look at the list of principles and then do one or more of the following things:

1.

Pick out the principle they feel to be most important.

2. Comment upon or criticise any particular one of the principles. 3. To add a new principle of their own. The older groups can be asked to do all or any one of these things. With younger groups, it is enough if they pick out the principle they judge to be the most important. Teachers ask each group in turn, and if there is any difference of opinion this can be discussed or commented upon by the group concerned. For instance one group may want to explain to all the other groups why it has chosen a different principle. Time allowed for this section is 3-5 minutes. The important point is not what the groups choose, but that in order to choose they have to look at each of the principles and develop some thoughts about them. This is the essential purpose of the principles section. Since the students are meant to keep their notes, the principles section also acts as a summary of the whole lesson for future reference.

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PROJECT ITEMS In a single lesson of 35 minutes, it is very unlikely that there will be any time at all for this project section. In that case it can be ignored. Those schools which are used to giving project work for students to work on outside the classroom can use the project items in this way. Alternatively, the project items can become the subject for essays or discussion sessions. Where the lesson is long enough, the teacher or the groups themselves decide which project item is to be worked on. It is best if the groups all work on the same item because a general discussion is then possible afterwards. The groups spend up to 15 minutes working on the item. The teacher moves around from group to group watching the group thinking and even taking part. At the end of this time, each group gives its output to the class and discussion can also take place. Alternatively, there can be a written output in note form from the groups. Project items can also be transferred to the practice section and used as practice items if the teacher wishes. A number of variations can be made in the standard lesson format and some of these are outlined below. Teachers can also use their own variation provided the basic points of the lesson are not lost.

Practice Sessions: Some teachers prefer to give only one practice item after the introduction. After this they move directly to the process discussion and principles. They then return to do one or more of the practice items as time allows. This is a good variation but care must be taken that the process discussion does not take up the whole of the lesson. Practising the thinking operation is more important than talking about it. However, the students may practice the operation before and after discussing it and allow time for completion of the final practice items. With younger children and especially with remedial groups, there is no need for a separate process and principles section. The lesson consists of practice items which are worked upon either by groups or, if the whole class is very small, by a single class group. The process discussion and principles are woven into the discussion that follows the output from the groups. This variation relies very much on the teacher’s control of the class and certainty that the process is actually discussed.

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Principles and Process Discussion: In classes that are not very articulate, it may help to put the principles section before the process section or at least treat them together. In this way the process discussion can centre on the principles as well as the suggested questions. Another way to operate these sections is to have some discussion, then to look at the principles, and then to continue the discussion. One advantage of this method is that the lesson ends with the discussion rather than the selection of principles. This means that the discussion can be lengthened or compressed according to how much time is left.

Follow-up Lesson: Ideally, each thinking lesson should occupy a double period. Sometimes it is possible to use two single periods a week. In this case, the ordinary lesson is done in the first session but one of the practice items can be omitted. In the second session a brief summary is given of what was done in the first session and then the groups set to work on a project item. They can work either as groups or as individuals doing the item as an essay. One or two items are used depending on the nature of the item. During group work, the teacher moves around from group to group and can take part in the group discussion. With essay work, the written material can be collected at the end of the session and commented on as with an ordinary essay. Comments should of course refer to the thinking content rather than the style. A period is set aside at the end of lesson, whether the output is group or individual, for discussion of the conclusions reached. In this discussion the teacher must try and bring out the process involved since this will usually be well hidden within the content.

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Timing: The timing for two possible variations of the lesson could be as follows: •

Introduction 3 minutes



Practice item 6 Minutes (including output)



Practice item 6 Minutes (including output)



Practice item 6 Minutes (including output)



Process discussion 8 minutes

• Principles 4 minutes Total 33 minutes •

Introduction 3 minutes



Practice item 6 minutes (including output)



Process discussion and principles 10 minutes



Practice item 7 minutes (including output)

• Practice item 7 minutes (including output) Total 33 minutes

DIFFICULTIES Some of the difficulties that might arise with the lessons are outlined below. Teachers will of course have their own personal way of dealing with these difficulties, and with many teachers the difficulties may never arise. It is useful, however, to be able to anticipate them.

Sameness: Sometimes, at about the fourth or fifth lesson, students may start to complain that the lessons are too much alike. This tends to happen when the teacher has not focused attention on the process but has run each lesson as a general discussion on the content of the practice items. Clearly the content is rather similar since the range of problems is the same, so unless the focus is on the process the lessons may well become too much alike.

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The students may also expect the lessons to be all fun and games. When they find that this is not so they may be disappointed. It is only when they realise what the special purpose of the lessons is and start to enjoy them in their own right. There may thus be an awkward period around the fourth and fifth lesson but when this is passed there is no more trouble. Teachers are free to introduce as much variation as they wish. They may alter the format of the lessons or they may introduce variation into the ways the practice items are handled. This can be done in a number of ways some of which are suggested below and others that teachers may invent for themselves. Devices like role-playing, play-acting and getting the groups to criticise each other’s output are only three of the possible variations. With all these variations the teacher must he conscious of two dangers and must avoid them. 1.

The first danger is that the lessons become general topic discussions. This may work very well at the time but the development and transference of thinking skill as such may be very poor.

2. The second danger is that there is so much playing around with the structure that the lessons become very disorganised and gimmicky. In both cases the main purpose of the lessons is almost sure to be lost. Whatever variation is used the focus of the lesson must be on the thinking process that is the basis of the lesson. As soon as a particular variation like play-acting becomes an end in itself it might be very enjoyable but the transfer value may be nil.

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So what? Sometimes, the students accept the lessons but cannot see the purpose behind them. Where this seems to be the case the teacher intersperse the lessons with test material so that the students can match their thinking in action. The teacher should also read the Perspective Section and explain the purpose of the lessons. But the main remedy is in the treatment of the ideas put forward. If the teachers seem to be accepting everything that is offered then the students wonder how it can be worth anything. Teachers should be careful to avoid the impression that anything goes. They should differentiate between different responses praising some and criticising others. They should maintain a tight control of the pace of the lessons, otherwise it can easily flop into the ‘so what?’ mood. The main point is that teachers should maintain the initiative both in the pace of the lessons and also in the way they treat the suggestions made. The students do need to be given a strong sense of achievement - not necessarily on a competitive basis but so that they feel they have actually achieved something. This sense of achievement is given by the way the teacher discriminates between different ideas. This is not easy and the basic rule is that if a person is really trying then condemning the idea will not help. Instead of condemnation the teacher should try to develop the idea until it does make sense. But if a person is not trying and thinks the idea is wonderful, the teacher should judge it objectively.

Under extended: At first sight many of the practice items may seem rather easy. The items themselves are of course neither easy nor difficult. If they are tackled in a superficial way they will be easy but if they are tackled in depth they will be difficult. (The author has spent a lot of time teaching thinking to very sophisticated audiences and has never found that simple problems bored them.) The level of difficulty depends on the way the teacher presents the problem and especially with the sort of solution accepted. So, for students who feel that they are under extended the teacher must demand a very high standard of response and must not be afraid of rejecting superficial approaches. page 12

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With many of the high-achieving groups there are complaints that individuals cannot show their excellence because it is submerged in the group output. This is not actually true since after the designated group has given its output individuals in the other groups can add their own points. Nevertheless, it is useful from time to time to use the test material and also to get the individuals to operate on their own with an essay type output. It is essential that teachers retain the initiative and keep a brisk pace. Teachers should avoid being pinned down by individual controversies. The teacher has to make the rules of the game very clear to the students because this is what they expect. The students will want to know what achievement consists of in a lesson. Achievement is being able to carry out a particular thinking process deliberately, fluently and with precision.

Facetiousness: Facetiousness is not peculiar to the thinking lessons but may be encouraged by the group format. It may also be encouraged if the teacher tries to put a “game” atmosphere into the lesson or gives the impression that any idea will do. •

A facetious group can be split up.



Facetious individual’s need not be asked for their ideas.



If facetiousness is a problem then the emphasis on important ideas as opposed to trivial or silly ones can he brought into the lessons at an early stage.

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LESSON SEQUENCE The examples used and given initially are remote issues, which can have the effect of perhaps removing student prejudice and emotion, if a more topical emotive example was used to begin with. The following is an example based on the material in both the student, and teacher notes used during CORT 1 lesson 1. P. M. I. It is suggested that the student notes are handed out after the teacher’s example, and before the practice items are attempted. Both the Introduction and the example should take about five minutes. 1. Do not mention the subject of the lesson (Thinking), but start with a story or an exercise which illustrates the aspect of thinking that is the subject of the lesson in your own words. e.g. (Every idea that is generated has possibly some good points, perhaps some bad points and may also contain some interesting points for further consideration). 2 Introduce the TOOL or subject of the lesson (in this example P M I) and explain simply what it does. You can use the introduction in the student’s notes for this purpose.

PMI: P = Plus. The good things about an idea - why you like it M = Minus. The bad things about an idea - why you don’t like it I = Interest. What it is that you find interesting about an idea. Instead of just saying that you like an idea, or don’t like an idea, you can use a PMI. When you use a PMI you give the good points first, The bad points next and eventually the points than are neither good nor bad but are interesting. You can use a PMI as a way of treating ideas, suggestions and proposals. 3. Carry out an open class example by setting a task and asking for individual responses. Repeat the letters of the tool or the subject as often as you can.

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EXAMPLE Idea: All the seats should be taken out of buses.

P: •

More people can get into each bus.



It would be easier to get in and out.



Buses would be cheaper to make and to repair.

M: •

Passengers would fall over if the bus stopped suddenly.



Old people and disabled people would not be able to use buses.



It would be difficult to carry shopping bags or babies.

I: •

Interesting idea that could lead to two types of buses, one with and one without seats.



It is an interesting idea that the same bus would do more work.



Interesting idea that comfort may not be so important in a bus.

Hand out student notes if required. 4. Do a Practice items. Allow about five minutes per practice item including Feedback and Output. (Two minutes for the students to formulate their content, and three minutes to note the output). Divide the class into groups of 4, 5 or 6.

Set a practice item from the student’s notes.

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Example; Practice Item (1). By law all cars should be painted bright yellow. The following Suggestions are contained in the teacher notes.

P: •

Yellow cars would be easier to see at night or in fog so there would be fewer accidents.



Car showrooms would be able to let you have the car immediately instead of your having to wait for the colour you want.



Cars would be more likely to be treated as a means of transport that as status symbols.

M: •

It would be rather boring.



Paint manufacturers and advertisers would have a hard time.



It would be difficult for the police to chase a particular car or trace stolen ones.

I: •

Should the car colour be of use to the owner or to everyone else?



Do people drive different coloured cars differently?

Here each group does a full PMI. One group is then designated to give its Plus points and the other groups or individuals can add further points. Another group is then designated to give its Minus points and finally a further group is designated to give its Interesting points. 5. Get feedback from the groups, for example by getting one suggestion from each of the groups. 6. Allow about five minutes for each practice item and feedback/output) Repeat the thinking with another item. Practice Item (2).People should wear badges showing whether they are in a good mood or a bad mood that day. Teachers Notes: Here each group again does a full PMI but this time the objective is to try to guess the two Plus points, the two Minus points, and the two Interesting page 16

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points which the teacher holds. Time allowed is 3-5 minutes at the end of which each group can offer one suggestion at a time for either P, M, or I points when a group guesses one of the target points given below the teacher indicates this. When no more points are forthcoming the teacher gives out the remaining target points. Target Points:

P: You could steer clear of people in a bad mood. People might make more of an effort not to be in a bad mood if it was going to show.

M: People would not be honest about wearing the right badge. People in a bad mood who needed cheering up would be avoided instead.

I: With some people you can tell their mood from their faces anyway. Do people prefer to hide their moods or to show them? Practice Item (3). All students should spend 3 months every year earning money. 7. The Process involved. This takes an open discussion format, where output is individual rather than in groups. About eight minutes should be allowed. •

When is a PMI most useful?



Does one always look at the good and bad points of an idea?



Does a PMI waste time?



Is it easy to do a PMI ?

8. The Principles Involved. Use the principles given in the student’s notes to have a discussion around the tool or subject of the lesson. Time allowed is about five minutes. A. The PMI is important because without it you may reject a valuable idea that seems bad at first sight. B. Without a PMI you are very unlikely to see the disadvantages of an idea that you like very much. C. The PMI can show that ideas are not just good or bad but can also be interesting if they lead to other ideas. page 17 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

D. Without a PMI most judgements are based not on the value of the idea itself but on your emotions at that time. E. With a PMI you decide whether or not you like the idea after you have explored it instead of before. If this discussion is weak, plug in a final practice item. 9. Project Items. If it is customary to give homework, use one of the project items for this purpose. Refer to the Project Item Section. Example Item. All cars should be banned from city centers so that people can walk about freely.

Typical Lesson Time Breakdown on typical lesson time is as follows; •

Introduction and example; allow about 5 Minutes



Practice item and output; about 5 Minutes each (three items 15 Min.)



Discussion on the process; 8 Minutes



Discussion on the principles; 5 Minutes

Total time 33 Minutes

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Breadth Module 1 focuses the attention of the students on the issue at hand. The tools in module one help the student broaden their perspective on the subject in a deliberate manner.

1: PMI Deliberate examination of an idea for good, bad or interesting points, instead of immediate acceptance or rejection.

2: CAF Looking as widely as possible at all the factors involved in a situation, instead of only the immediate ones.

3: RULES The basic purpose and principles involved, drawing together the first two lessons.

4: C&S Consideration of the immediate, short, medium and long term consequences.

5: AGO Picking out and defining objectives. Being clear about one’s own aims and understanding those of others.

6: PLANNING The basic features and processes involved, drawing together the previous two lessons.

7: FIP Choosing from a number of different possibilities and alternatives. Putting priorities in order.

8: APC Generating new alternatives and choices, instead of feeling confined to the obvious ones.

9: DECISIONS The different operations involved, drawing together most of the previous lessons.

10: OPV Moving out of one’s own viewpoint to consider the points of view of all others involved in any situation. page 19 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

The Lessons 1: PMI Deliberate examination of an idea for good, bad or interesting points, instead of immediate acceptance or rejection.

2: C A F Looking as widely as possible at all the factors involved in a situation, instead of only the immediate ones.

3: RULES: The basic purpose and principles involved, drawing together the first two lessons.

4: C&S Consideration of the immediate, short, medium and long term consequences.

5: AGO Picking out and defining objectives. Being clear about one’s own aims and understanding those of others.

6: PLANNING: The basic features and processes involved, drawing together the previous two lessons.

7: FIP: Choosing from a number of different possibilities and alternatives and then putting priorities in order.

8: APC Generating new alternatives and choices, instead of feeling confined to the obvious ones.

9: DECISIONS The different operations involved, drawing together most of the previous lessons.

10: OPV Moving out of one’s own viewpoint to consider the points of view of all others involved in any situation.

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Lesson 1 PMI Deliberate examination of an idea for good, bad or interesting points, instead of immediate acceptance or rejection.

INTRODUCTION: PMI - THE TREATMENT OF IDEAS The PMI is a crytstallisation of the open-minded attitude into a tool that can be used deliberately. This is a very basic lesson which is introduced right at the beginning so that the PMI process itself can be used as a tool in the course of subsequent lessons. Instead of just deciding whether or not you like an idea, this thinking operation has you make an effort to find •

T he good points (P=Plus),



T he bad points (M=Minus) and



T he interesting points (I=interesting) about an idea.

The interesting points are those which are neither good nor bad but are worth noticing. The PMI is a way of treating ideas, suggestions and proposals. The natural reaction to an idea is to like or dislike it, to approve or disapprove. If you like an idea, it is very unnatural to look for the negative or minus aspects If you dislike an idea it is very unnatural to look for the positive or plus aspects. It is equally unnatural to pick out the merely interesting aspects of an idea. Using the PMI as a deliberate operation gives students a means of by-passing the natural emotional reaction to an idea. Their objectives change from an emotional reaction to a much more skilful formal operation. Once the PMI has been practiced as a tool it can be asked for in subsequent lessons: “ Do a PMI on that idea .” The PMI is never intended to prevent decision or commitment but to ensure that this happens after both sides of the matter have been considered and not before. In simple terms the PMI operation enlarges the view of a situation; without it, emotional reaction to an idea narrows the way we look at it. page 21 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

The Treatment of Ideas

P = Plus: The good things about an idea - why you like it M = Minus: The bad things about an idea - why you don’t like it I = Interest : What you find interesting about an idea Instead of just saying that you like an idea, or don’t like an idea, you can use a PMI. When you use a PMI you give the good points first, then the bad points and then the points than are neither good nor bad but are interesting. You can use a PMI as a way of treating ideas, suggestions and proposals. Example: Idea: All the seats should be taken out of buses.

P: •

More people can get into each bus.



It would be easier to get in and out.



Buses would be cheaper to make and to repair.

M: •

Passengers would fall over if the bus stopped suddenly.



Old people and disabled people would not be able to use buses.



It would be difficult to carry shopping bags or babies.

I: •

Interesting idea that could lead to two types of buses, one with, and one without seats.



Interesting idea that the same bus would do more work



Interesting idea that comfort may not be so important in a bus.

Further example: Windows should be made of transparent plastic instead of glass.

P: •

They would not break as easily.



Would not be as dangerous when broken

M: •

Plastic would be more expensive than glass.



Plastic would get scratched very easily.

I: • page 22

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Perhaps we take it for granted that glass is best since we are used to it.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: Normally practice items 1, 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But a teacher may choose to substitute items 4-6 for any of these. The students work in groups as usual.

Practice Item 1. By law all cars should be painted bright yellow. Here each group does a full PMI for 3-5 minutes. One group is then designated to give its Plus points and the other groups or individuals can add further points. Another group is then designated to give its Minus points and finally a further group is designated to give its Interesting points. Suggestions: P: Yellow cars would be easier to see at night or in fog so there would be fewer accidents. Car showrooms would be able to let you have the car immediately instead of your having to wait for the colour you want. Cars would be more likely to be treated as a means of transport that as status symbols. M: It would be rather boring. Paint manufacturers and advertisers would have a hard time. It would be difficult for the police to chase a particular car or trace stolen ones. I: Should the car colour be of use to the owner or to everyone else? Do people drive different coloured cars differently?

Practice Item 2. People should wear badges showing whether they are in a good mood or a bad mood that day. Here each group again does a full PMI but this time the objective is to try to guess the two Plus points, the two Minus points and the two Interesting points which the teacher holds.

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Time allowed is 3-5 minutes at the end of which each group can offer one suggestion at a time for either of the P, M , or I points when a group guesses one of the target points given below the teacher indicates this. When no more points are forthcoming the teacher gives out the remaining target points. Target Points:

P: You could steer clear of people in a bad mood. People might make more of an effort not to be in a bad mood if it was going to show.

M: People would not be honest about wearing the right badge. People in a bad mood who needed cheering up would be avoided instead.

I: With some people you can tell their mood from their faces anyway. Do people prefer to hide their moods or to show them?

Practice Item 3. All students should spend 3 months every year earning money. Here individual groups do either P point’s M points or I points as instructed by the teacher. Time allowed is 3 minutes. One group is then designated to give the P points another to give the M points and another to give the I points In each case the other groups can add further points as they wish.

Practice Items 4 - 6. 4. Every adult should spend one week a year in the police force. 5. In many countries there is a jury system in which ordinary people assess whether an accused person is guilty or not. Some other countries do not have juries but have three judges who do all the assessment themselves. Do a PMI on this three judge system. 6. Do a PMI on the system which allows a lawyer to sue on behalf of a client and then take a percentage of the damages awarded by the courts. If the lawyer does not win the case, then he charges no fee.

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PROCESS: Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. This discussion should last about five minutes before the class moves on to the next section. •

When is a PMI most useful?



Does one always look at the good and bad points of an idea?



Does a PMI waste time?



Is it easy to do a PMI? PRINCIPLE:

The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. 1.

The PMI is important because without it you may reject a valuable idea that seems bad at first sight.

2. Without a PMI you are very unlikely to see the disadvantages of an idea that you like very much. 3. 4. The PMI can show that ideas are not just good or bad but can also be interesting if they lead to other ideas. 5. 6. Without a PMI most judgments are based not on the value of the idea itself but on your emotions at that time. 7. 8. With a PMI you decide whether or not you like the idea after you have explored it instead of before.

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PROJECT ITEMS: In single-period lessons there will not be time for this section. The project items can he used as essay topics or given to students to work on in their own time in schools where this is customary. In longer lessons the groups can work on a project item chosen by them or the teachers as described in the standard lesson format section.

Project item 1 All cars should be banned from city centres so that people can walk about freely.

Project item 2 Every young person should adopt an old person to care for.

Project item 3 People should be allowed to work 10 hours a day for 4 days and have the rest of the week free, instead of working 8 hours a day for 5 days.

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Lesson2 CAF Looking as widely as possible at all the factors involved in a situation, instead of only the immediate ones.

INTRODUCTION. THE FACTORS INVOLVED

CAF is a crystallisation of the process of trying to consider all the factors in a situation. This thinking operation is essentially related to action, decision, planning, judgment, and coming to a conclusion. People naturally assume that they have considered all the factors, but usually their consideration is limited to the obvious ones. Turning CAF into a deliberate operation switches attention from the importance of the factors to looking around for all the factors. Clearly it is difficult to consider all the factors, so in the teaching situation consideration can be limited to the ten most important factors (or any other number), or the lesson can be taught in terms of: •

The factors affecting oneself



The factors affecting other people



The factors affecting society in general.



This gives the lesson structure.

The emphasis of the lesson is on the factors that have been left out in a decision, or a plan, etc. In doing a CAF , students try to ensure that all important factors are listed in looking at each other’s thinking, students try to spot which factors have been neglected. The CAF may be applied to one’s own thinking as well as to the thinking of others: “What factors have I left out here?”

CAF differs from PMI in that PMI is a reaction to an idea whereas CAF is an exploration of a situation before coming up with an idea.

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The two do sometimes overlap because some of the factors that have to be considered obviously have a plus or minus aspect. The intention with a CAF is to be as complete as possible and to consider all factors rather than looking at them in terms of favourable or unfavourable factors. See student’s notes for an example of what happened when a big city’s traffic planners failed to do a CAF and left out a very important factor.

CAF = Consider All Factors When you have to choose or make a decision or just think about something, there are always many factors that you have to consider. If you leave out some of these factors, your choice may seem right at the time but will later turn out to be wrong. When you are looking at other people’s thinking, you can try and see what factors they have left out. EXAMPLE Some years ago in a big city there was a law that all new buildings had to have large parking lots in the basement so that people working in the building would have somewhere to park. After a while this law was changed because it was found to be a mistake. Why? They had forgotten to consider the factor that providing parking lots would encourage everyone to drive in to work in their cars and so the traffic congestion on the road was worse than ever. (NOTE: Logically it could be argued that CAF should come before PMI, since CAF includes PMI as it includes C&S, OPV, etc. But the PMI is the easier lesson to teach, so it comes first.) The CAF lesson is a difficult one to teach because it is difficult to try and consider all factors. The emphasis must therefore be on what has been left out. For instance, each group tries to find factors that have not been put forward by the “designated group.”

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: Normally practice items 1 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But for any one of these the teacher may choose to substitute items 4 -7. The students should work in groups.

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Practice item 1. A couple goes to buy a used car for their family. They consider all the following factors: •

That the person selling it actually owns it



The price of the car



The type of car and the colour



The engine power and the speed of the car



That all the mechanical parts are working perfectly.



That it is big enough for the family. Might they have forgotten something?

The groups spend 3 minutes trying to find factors which the couple buying the car has left out. The teacher then asks one group to give its findings and the other groups can then add other factors. Suggestions: •

Their children may not like the car.



Although they can afford to buy the car they may not be able to afford to run it if the fuel consumption is very high.



The car may not fit their garage (if they have one).

Practice item 2 Do a full CAF on the factors involved in choosing a career. Here the groups consider all the factors involved in choosing a career. They should spend 5-7 minutes on this. At the end of this time the teacher designates one group to give its output and then the other groups and individuals can add further points. If possible and if there is time, the points can all be listed on the blackboard and each group can pick out the four points it considers to be the most important. Practice item 3 An inventor has invented a breakfast pill which is very tiny but contains all the food and vitamins you need. After you have eaten the pill you do not feel hungry for five hours. •

Should this pill be allowed?



What are the factors involved? page 29 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

This is a quick item. The teacher gives the starting signal and in the next two minutes each group must pick out as many factors as it can. The groups who say they have picked out the highest number then give their output to which the others can add. This is a race to pick out the most factors in the shortest time. Suggestions: • Can one be sure that the breakfast pill contains all the food ingredients even the ones we do not know about? • What would happen to all the farmers, food manufacturers and shops? • There would be no dishes to wash. • You could have your breakfast while going to work. • Breakfast would not be very enjoyable and people need enjoyment. • Would people’s stomachs shrink? • If the pill was useful for breakfast wouldn’t it be useful for every meal? Would this be safe? Practice item 4-7 4. What are the factors involved in choosing your hairstyle? 5. If you were interviewing someone to be a teacher, what factors would you consider? 6. The textile workers in a country demand protection from foreign imports which are coming into the country at a lower price and taking over the market. What factors should a government consider in this matter? 7. There is a plan to turn a golf course on the edge of a growing town into a new shopping centre. This is backed by business and the consumers but opposed by the environmentalists. What factors should be considered in the final decision?

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Is it easy to leave out important factors?



When is it most important to consider all the factors?



What is the difference between PMI and CAF?



What happens when other people leave out certain factors?



Do you need to consider all factors or only the most important ones?

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PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. 1.

Doing a CAF is useful before choosing, deciding or planning.

2. It is better to consider all the factors first and then pick out the ones that matter most. 3. 4. You may have to ask someone else to tell you whether you have left out some important factors. 5. 6. If you have left out an important factor your answer may seem right but will later turn out to be wrong. 7. 8. If you do a CAF on someone else’s thinking you may be able to tell the person what has been left out.

PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. What factors should you consider in designing a chair? 2. A young couple is undecided whether to get married at once or wait. What factors should they be considering? 3. In deciding how to spend your holidays, what factors would you consider?

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Lesson 3 Rules The basic purpose and principles involved, drawing together the first two lessons.

INTRODUCTION

The main purpose of this lesson is to provide an opportunity for practicing the two previous lessons PMI and CAF. Rules provide a neat and well-defined thinking situation. An existing or proposed rule is an opportunity for practicing PMI. The factors involved in making a rule provide an opportunity for practicing CAF. Although the main purpose of the lesson is to provide this practice opportunity, some attention must also be paid to rules in their own right as part of the thinking situation. In thinking about anything there are usually various rules that have to be followed or cannot be broken among the factors to be considered Another reason for introducing rules here is to counteract the notion that there are no rules in the thinking lessons and that anything goes. The intention is not to have a philosophical discussion about rules but to use Rules as something to think about. As long as the emphasis of the lesson is on thinking about rules some discussion can be centered on Rules themselves especially in the process discussion section. EXAMPLE •

Some rules are made to prevent confusion: for example, the rule that car must drive on one side of the road.



Some rules are made to be enjoyed: for example, the rules of football make the game of football.



Some rules are made by organisations for their own members: for example, the rule that soldiers must wear uniform when on duty.

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Some rules are made to prevent a few people from taking advantage of everyone else: for example, the rule that you must not steal.



In general, the purpose of a rule is to make like easier and better for the majority of people.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1 2 and 3 are used one after the other. A teacher may however choose to use practice items 4-7 instead of any one of these. The students work in groups, as usual. Practice item 1. You are a member of a committee which is trying to set up some rules for parents to obey when dealing with their children. Can you think of four main rules? The groups spend 3 minutes trying to find factors which the couple buying the car has left out. The teacher then asks one group to give its findings and the other groups can then add other factors. Suggestions: •

Parents should listen more.



Parents should try to see things from a young person’s point of view.



Parents should not quarrel in front of their children.



Parents should let children make some decisions for themselves.



Parents should tell children from time to time what they do not like about them

Practice item 2 Do a PMI on the rules produced for parents in the preceding item. A single rule is picked out from the preceding result and fed back to the groups to do a PMI on. Time allowed is 3 minutes. At the end of this time one group is designated to give its output and the other groups can add further points.

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Practice item 3 In most countries, cars are driven on the right-hand side of the road. In Britain, however, they are driven on the left-hand side. There is a suggestion that Britain should change from the left-hand side to the right-hand side to be like other countries. What are the factors involved? Do a CAF on this situation. With this practice item emphasise the difference between PMI and CAF . The groups are asked to make a CAF list of the factors involved - not to indicate whether or not it is a good idea. Time allowed is 3 minutes. The group with the longest CAF list gives its output, to which the others can add. The list can be written on a blackboard or a screen. Suggestions: •

Changing traffic signs around.



Re-educating people.



Accidents, because people would forget on which side to drive.



Perhaps increased sales of foreign cars.



Bus stops would have to be moved.

Practice item 4-7 4. A group of people sails away to an island to start a new life. They abolish money, property and all the old rules. They soon find that nobody wants to do the hard work needed to grow food and build houses. Do a CAF on this situation and then invent some rules. 5. A new rule is suggested for marriages. Instead of being married for ever, the participants can be married for five or ten years as they wish. Do a PMI on this idea. 6. There is concern that young people may buy and watch video tapes that are too full of violence and are not suitable for them. What rules would you devise to protect this happening? 7. In a sailing race there are all sorts of boats. Some are big and fast. Some are small and slower. You want everyone to have a chance of winning. What rules would you set up?

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PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Which rules are good and which are bad?



Who makes rules?



What are rules for?



When are rules useful?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. A rule should be widely known and understood and also possible to obey. B. A rule is not a bad rule just because some people do not like it. C. A rule should work for the benefit of most of those who have to obey it. D. Those that have to obey a rule should be able to see its purpose. E. From time to time rules should be examined to see if they still make sense.

PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. If you were running a school which rules would you insist on? 2. If you were organising a competition for finding the champion sausage eater, what rules would you make for this competition? 3. Should there be any rules for industrial strikes? page 35 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Lesson 4 C&S Consideration of the immediate, short, medium and long term consequences.

C&S: Consequence and Sequel

INTRODUCTION

FOCUS ON THE CONSEQUENCES

C&S is a crystallisation of the process of looking ahead to see the consequences of some action, plan, decision, rule, invention etc. For some people, thinking ahead may always be part of doing a CAF, but it is worth emphasizing this process more directly since consequences do not exist until you make an effort to foresee them, whereas factors are always present at the moment. CAF is primarily concerned with factors that are operating at the moment and on which a decision is based, whereas C&S deals with what may happen after the decision has been made. There are immediate consequences as well as short-term (1-5 years), medium-term (5-25 years) and long-term consequences (over 25 years).

C&S is concerned with action of some sort, either the action that one intends to take oneself or the action that others are taking. The intention is to enlarge the view beyond the immediate effect of that action. An action may seem worthwhile if the immediate effect is good but if one makes a deliberate effort to look at longer term consequences, the action may not be worthwhile at all. Conversely, an action that has good long-term consequences may not seem very enticing at the moment. If CAF is thinking about a situation at the moment, then C&S is thinking ahead. Obviously, consequences also can turn up as part of a PMI, but the important point about a deliberate C&S is that attention is focused directly on the future.

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C&S = Consequence and Sequel The invention of the petrol engine made possible automobiles, aeroplanes, the oil industry and a great deal of pollution. If all the consequences could have been foreseen at the time, electric or steam engines might have been used in cars. A new invention, a plan, a rule or a decision all have consequences that go on for a long time. In thinking about an action, the consequences should always be considered: •

Immediate consequences



Short-term consequences (1 - 5 years)



Medium - term consequences (5 - 25 year)



Long-term consequences (over 25 years)

EXAMPLE A man introduced rabbits to Australia to provide hunting for his friends. The immediate consequences were good because his friends had plenty to shoot at. The short-term consequences were also good because the rabbit provided an alternative source of meat. The medium-term consequences were bad because the rabbit multiplied so much that it became a pest. The long-term consequences were very bad because the rabbit spread all over Australia and did a great deal of damage to crops.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1, 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But for any one of these the teacher may choose to substitute items 4 to 7. The students should work in groups. Practice item 1. A new electronic robot is invented to replace all human labour in factories. The invention is announced. Do a C&S on this. Each group is asked to do a different time scale C&S. One group does immediate consequences, another short-term, another medium-term and another deal with the long-term consequences.

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Where there are more than four groups the process is repeated. Time allowed is 3 minutes. One group for each time scale is designated to give its output and the others can add further points as usual. Suggestions: •

Immediate consequences include massive unemployment and misery, global public unrest, opposition to the idea, strikes, etc.



Short-term consequences include shift into service industries, retraining and possible changes in the method of distributing income.



Medium-term consequences might include the idea of two people for every job (taking turns), hobbies, crafts and boredom.



Long-term consequences might include people only working for two months a year rather like a reverse vacation.

Practice item 2 A new law is suggested to allow school children to leave school and start earning a living as soon as they want to after the age of 12. Do a C&S on this from the point of view of someone who leaves early, from the point of view of the schools, and from the point of view of society in general. Each group chooses which point of view it is going to explore with a C&S: From the point of view of someone who leaves school early, the schools themselves or society in general. At the end of 3 minutes an output is invited from each of the points of view by means of designated groups. If one point of view has not been chosen it can be briefly discussed. Suggestions: •

The children who do not like school will leave early and may soon make a lot of money.



If they are successful they will not regret it but if unsuccessful they might.



There might be pressure from parents to make children leave school early.

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The schools might benefit since those remaining would really want to be in school rather than being there because they are forced to.



Society would probably suffer because there would be wide differences in education among its members.



Those who left early might not find it easy to move to a different job if the one they were doing became obsolete.

Practice item 3 A new electronic device makes it 100% possible to tell whenever someone is telling a lie. Do an immediate C&S on this. Only 1 minute is allowed for the groups to consider this practice item. At the end of that time the teacher moves from group to group getting one suggestion at a time until no new ideas are forthcoming. Suggestions: •

Courts and legal procedures would be greatly simplified.



Police could round up a lot of suspects and question each one.



People would quickly learn to tell half-truths.



Perhaps it would not make much difference because the machine would only be used if you suspected the person was lying.



On the whole, people would be better behaved.

Practice item 4-7 4. While a boy is away on vacation his best friend goes off with his girl friend. What do you think would happen when the boy got back? 5. There is a quiet residential district. Offices start opening in the area. Then there are more and more offices. What will change? Do an immediate and short-term C&S on this. 6. Some new medical evidence suggested that people who are slightly overweight are healthier than people who are underweight. What consequences do you think this would have? page 39 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

7. The price of houses and apartments rises to the point where young people cannot afford to buy them. What do you think will happen? Do a full C&S on this.

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Do long-term consequences matter?



If it is not easy to see the consequences should you bother with them?



When is it most useful to look at the consequences?



Whose business is it to look at consequences?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. Other people may be able to see the consequences of your action more easily than you can yourself. B. It is important to know whether the consequences are reversible or not. C. The immediate consequences and the long term consequences may be opposite. Immediate consequences may be good and long term consequences bad, or the other way round. D. You should look at the consequences not only as they affect you but as they affect other people as well. E. You should do a full C&S before deciding which consequences you should consider.

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PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1.

The world runs out of oil and gas. What would happen?

2. All school examinations are abolished. Do a C&S on this.

3. What are the consequences of arguing with your parents?

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Lesson 5 AGO Picking out and defining objectives. Being clear about one’s own aims and understanding those of others.

AGO: Aims, Goals, Objectives INTRODUCTION

FOCUS ON PURPOSE

In some situations, it is more appropriate to speak of aims, in other circumstances or goals, and in yet others of objectives. The main point of the lesson is to introduce and emphasize the idea of purpose. No attempt should be made to bring out the philosophical differences between these since this usually confuses students. This notion of purpose broadens the perception of a situation. The AGO is a device to get students to focus directly and deliberately on the intention behind actions. •

What is the actor aiming for?



What is trying to be achieved?



What does the actor want to bring about?



What are the actor’s objectives?



What are the actor’s goals?

Being able to define objectives helps the student’s thinking in such areas as decision, planning, and action of any kind which has a purpose. It is enough for the teacher to say that in some cases the word aim is more appropriate and in other cases goals or objectives. If pressed, teachers can make the distinction as follows:

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Aim is the general direction



Goal is an ultimate destination



Objective is a recognisable point of achievement along the way

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Teachers are strongly advised to concentrate on the general idea of “purpose” and not to make the distinction without a sense of purpose; all actions are either reactions to a situation or matters of habit or imitation. The intention of the lesson is to focus attention directly on purpose as distinct from reaction.

AGO - Aims, Goals, Objectives You can do something out of habit, because everyone else is doing it, or as a reaction to a situation. These are all ‘because’ reasons. But there are times when you do something ‘in order to’ achieve some purpose of objective. It can help your thinking if you know exactly what you are trying to achieve. It can also help you to understand other person’s thinking if you can see their objectives. In certain situations the words ‘aims’ and ‘goals’ are more appropriate than objectives, but the meaning is still the same. EXAMPLE A developer who is building a large new shopping centre has the objective of making a profit for his corporation and for himself as a result. He also has the objective of putting up a shopping centre that will be successful. He must have the objective of pleasing the potential shoppers. He must have the objective of fitting in with the planning authorities. In addition, he has the objective of working so well (on time and within budget) that he will be asked to develop more shopping centers in other places.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1, 2, and 3 are used one after the other. But a teacher may substitute practice items 4-7 as wished. The students work in groups. Practice item 1. A father is very angry with his daughter, so he doubles her allowance. Why do you think he did this? Only 2 minutes arc allowed for this practice item and then the teacher asks the groups in turn to give a possible explanation. When a number of explanations have been given the teacher should distinguish between the “because” explanations and the “in order” explanations page 43 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Suggestions: •

Because the girl had been stealing money.



Because he was sorry he had been angry with her.



In order to show her that he could still love her and be angry at the same time.



In order to have her go to the movies more often and avoid any domestic tension.



In order to give him something to take away when he was angry again.

Practice item 2 What would be your objectives if you won $200,000 on a game show? Time allowed is 3 minutes. One group is designated to give its output and then the other groups can add points or comments. Suggestions: •

The emphasis here should be on trying to condense the different objectives into major categories; for instance:



Having fun,



Helping others,



Saving,



Investing in material in order to sell-on at a profit,



Paying for education,

Practice item 3 Everyone has to eat to live. But people have different objectives with regard to food. Do an AGO for the following people: homemaker, cook, store owner, food manufacturer, farmer, government. Each group is given one of the types to do an AGO for. If there are more than six groups the process is repeated and if there are fewer some types are left out. At the end of 3 minutes one group for each type gives its output and the others can comment or add to it. page 44

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Suggestions: •

Homemaker - to buy enough food within its budget.



Cook- to find the right quality food and variety.



Shopkeepers - to satisfy their customers and to make enough money to live on.



Manufacturer- to sell as much as possible and make as much profit as possible.



Farmers - to get a proper return for their work and a stable market.



Government - to ensure food supplies and keep prices down.

Practice item 4-7 4. Do an AGO for the police and put the objectives in order of priorities. 5. You are the commander of a spacecraft approaching Earth from another planet. What different objectives might you have? Do three alternative AGO’s. 6. You are a dealer selling Ford motor cars. Another dealer in a nearby town lowers his prices so that they are below yours. What are you going to do about it? What are your objectives? 7. What are your objectives when you turn on TV?

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PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Is it always necessary to know your objectives exactly?



When is it most useful to know the objectives?



What happens if you do not have objectives?



How important are other people’s objectives?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student notes. They are asked to pick out the principle they think is most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. If you know exactly what your objectives are, it is easier to achieve them. B. In the same situation different people may have different objectives. C. On the way to a final objective, there may be a chain of smaller objectives, each one following from the previous one. D. Objectives should be near enough, real enough and possible enough for a person to really try to reach them. E. There may be many objectives, but some are more important than others

PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. What is the difference between the AGO of a politician and the AGO of a business executive? Examine the points of difference and the points of similarity. 2. You are setting out to design a completely new type of house. What would your objectives be? 3. What are the objectives of a school principal? page 46

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Lesson 6 Planning The basic features and processes involved, drawing together the previous two lessons.

INTRODUCTION The idea is to use planning as a thinking situation which brings together •

Objectives

(AGO),



Consequences

(C&S),



The factors involved,

(CAF),



The treatment of ideas

(PMI)

It is not suggested that these are the only things involved in planning, but they are certainly among the more important things. Planning is also there in its own right as a definite thinking situation which requires some practice. As in the Rules lesson, the emphasis is not so much on how to make plans but on the thinking operation that may be involved. No formula for making plans is put forward, but since consequences, objectives and factors all play so important a part in planning, attention to these aspects improves the ability to plan. Although the lesson is not intended to be a general discussion of planning as such, enough attention should be paid to the process (especially in conducting the discussion and principles sections) for the student to develop some awareness of what planning involves and why it matters. Planning is thinking ahead to see how you are going to do something. It may be a matter of getting to some place or getting something done. It may be a matter of organising things so that they run smoothly. In a plan you set up a programme of what you are going to do. The more complicated the thing you are going to do, the more necessary it is to have a clear plan. page 47 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

EXAMPLE •

A general plans how he is going to win a battle



A boy plans his holiday.



A football coach plans how he is going to win a match.



A family plans a picnic.



A railway manager plans how to organise the train schedule.



A girl plans her career when she leaves school.

The examples may be elaborated upon.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1, 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But for any one of these the teacher may choose to substitute items 4 to 7 as wished. The students should work in groups. In this lesson the first three practice items are about the same problem. Practice item 1. The centre of a town has become a slum and the town council wants to do something about it. What are the factors involved and what objectives should they have? Do a CAF and an AGO for them. Half the groups do a CAF on the situation and the other half do an AGO. Time allowed is 3 minutes. At the end of this time one group is designated to give the CAF output and another group to give an AGO output. The other groups can add to these as usual. The points may be listed on a board Suggestions:

CAF: •

Can the buildings be improved or are they beyond repair?



What is going to happen to the people living in the area?



What is going to happen to the cost of the work, and who is going to pay for this?

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Disruption of the rest of the town.



Should business be allowed into part of the area?



The amount of land available and the number of people involved.



Could people afford to pay rents in new houses, shops etc?



AGO: •

To improve the well-being of the people living in the area.



To improve the town for everyone.



To stay within the available budget or to raise funds.



To get everyone’s co-operation, etc.

Practice item 2 The centre of a town has become a slum and the town council wants to do something about it. In the above problem what plan should the council make? Put the plan into three stages. All groups try to devise a plan to deal with the situation. To give some structure to the plan so that it is more than just a statement of intention a three-stage form is suggested (phases or steps). Time allowed is 3 minutes. Each group in turn then gives its plan very briefly Suggestions:

Stage 1 : find out what the people want, find out whether improvement or rebuilding is necessary, and consider the costs and alternative plans.

Stage 2: create new buildings in open spaces and in a cautious manner replace buildings without having to move people out.

Stage 3: when everyone is re-housed clean up the area to make it more attractive for the people to live there.

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Practice item 3 Do a short-term and a medium-term C&S on the plan outlined in item 1. (The centre of town has become a slum, and the local council wants to do something about it.) Take one of the suggested plans or create a synthetic one from among the others. Reduce this to some definite proposal and then the groups do a short- and medium-term C&S (from 1-25 years). Time allowed is 3 minutes. At the end of this time a group is designated to give the output. Practice item 4-7 Project items could also be used as alternatives. In this lesson the first three items are about the same problem. 4. Your objective is to make money and you have the choice of three of the things listed here: 5 bicycles, a horse, 2,000 old books, one ton of red paint, a printing machine and a recipe for sausages. Make a plan showing how you would use your choice of the three things. 5. Devise a plan which would make it easier for people to find the jobs they like. 6. You agree to sell candles to raise money for charity and to make some money for yourself. How would you plan to do this? What factors would you have to consider? 7. A thief has been stealing things at a swimming pool. How would you plan to catch this thief?

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PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

What is difficult about planning?



When are plans necessary?



What is the most important thing about planning?



What are the disadvantages of having a plan?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. In planning it is important to know exactly what you want to achieve (AGO). B. Always have an alternative plan ready in case anything goes wrong with the first plan. C. The value of a plan depends upon it consequences (C&S). D. Keep the plan as simple and direct as possible. E. Consider all factors (CAF) very carefully and get as much information as possible before making your plan.

PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. You get permission to turn the school into a discotheque in the evenings. Make a plan to show how you would do it, and also do a PMI on the idea. 2. Large footprints in the snow in the Himalayas are supposed to be due to a mysterious creature called a Yeti. Plan an expedition to find out more about the Yeti and photograph it if possible. 3. How would you prevent people from hijacking aircraft? Can you devise a plan to do this? page 51 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Lesson 7 FIP Choosing from a number of different possibilities and alternatives. Putting priorities in order.

FIP: First Important Priorities

INTRODUCTION FOCUS ON PRIORITIES In most of the other lessons, the effort has been directed towards generating as many ideas as possible: as wide a PMI as possible; as many of the factors as possible for a CAF; as comprehensive a C&S as possible; all the different objectives, etc FIP is a crystallisation of the process of picking out the most important ideas, factors, objectives, consequences, etc. Obviously some of these ideas are more important than others. The purpose of FIP is to restore the balance in a deliberate manner. If you try to pick out only the most important points from the start, you will be able to see only a small part of the picture. But if you start by trying to see as large a picture as possible, then your eventual assessment of importance will be much more valid. This is why the FIP lesson comes late in the series Like the PMI, the FIP operation can be used in subsequent lessons or in other Subject areas whenever some assessment of importance is required. If students turn up with ideas which are valid as ideas but not of great importance, they can he asked to do a FIP on the situation.

FIP is a judgment situation and there are no absolute answers. What one person believes to be most important another person may place far down the list of priorities. The intention of the lesson is to focus attention directly onto this assessment of importance. Once you can do a FIP , then you are free to generate as many ideas as you like. If you cannot do a FIP , then you are only able to consider ideas that have an obvious importance at first sight - and you may well never get to consider any other ideas at all.

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FIP - First Important Priorities •

Some things are more important than others.



Some factors are more important than others.



Some objectives are more important than others.



Some consequences are more important than others.

In thinking about a situation, after you have generated a number of ideas, you have to decide which ones are the more important ones so that you can do something about them. After doing a PMI, CAF, AGO or C&S, you can do an FIP to pick out the most important points. These are the ones you have to give priority to and deal with first. EXAMPLE Someone wants to borrow some money from you. From the different factors, you pick out the following as being priorities. •

Do you have the money?



Can you afford to lend it?



Do you trust the borrower?



When will the borrower pay it back?

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally items 1, 2 anti 3 are used one after the other. But for any of these the teacher may choose to substitute items 4-7 as wished. The students should work in groups. Practice item 1. In doing a CAF on choosing a career, you may come up with the following factors: 1. The pay, 2. The chance of improvement or promotion, 3. The people you would be working with, 4. The work environment, 5. The distance you would have to travel to get to work, 6. The interest or enjoyment of the work. If you had to pick out the three top priorities from these factors, which would you choose?

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Items from the project section may also be used as alternatives. The students work in groups. From the list of six factors each group picks out the top three priorities. These need not be given in the order of importance. The outputs can be given verbally by each group in turn. They can also be written down on a piece of paper so that the teacher can compare them and perhaps draw up a voting list on the board. Time allowed is 3 minutes. Practice item 2 A Father finds that his son has stolen a fishing rod from someone fishing in the canal. In dealing with the boy (aged 10) what would the father’s priorities be? Each group works on this problem for 4 minutes, at the end of which one group is designated to give its output. Other groups and individuals are then invited to say whether they agree with the designated group. This discussion must, however, be kept brief. Suggestions: •

Getting the rod back to the person it belongs to.



Pointing out to the boy why stealing is wrong.



Trying to make sure it does not happen again.



Being very angry.



Punishing the boy.

Practice item 3 Do an AGO on buying clothes and then do a FIP on the objectives you find. Each group does an AGO followed by a FIP. Time allowed is 3 minutes. One group is designated to give all the objectives. Another group then gives its top three priorities. The remaining groups can then disagree with these. Suggestions:

AGO: to look nice, to be individual, and to be in fashion, to keep warm, to spend as little money as possible, and to compete with someone else.

FIP: to look nice, to keep warm, and to spend as little money as possible.

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Practice item 4-7 4. In deciding whether you like someone or not, which factors do you think are the most important? Give the top three priorities. 5. If you were organising a party, what would your priorities be? 6. A nineteen year-old boy want to spend a year travelling around Africa. He asks his parents for some money. What should their priorities be in deciding whether to help him or not? 7. When people vote to elect a politician, what do you think their priorities should be? Do an AGO and list four priorities.

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PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Are priorities natural or should you make a special effort to choose them?



Are the priorities always obvious?



When is it most useful to find priorities?



How do you choose priorities?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. It is important to get as many ideas as possible and then to start picking out priorities. B. Different people may have different priorities in the same situation. C. You should know exactly why you have chosen something as a priority. D. If it is difficult to choose the most important things, then try looking at it from the other direction: drop out the least important and see what you are left with. E. The ideas not chosen as priorities must not be ignored. They too are considered - but after the priorities

PROJECT ITEMS Teachers Notes: The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. In running a school what do you think the priorities should be? 2. What makes a TV programme interesting? Do a CAF and then a FIP. 3. If you were in charge of giving out money for research how would you choose to divide the money? What would you priorities be? page 56

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Lesson 8 APC Generating new alternatives and choices, instead of feeling confined to the obvious ones.

APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices INTRODUCTION FOCUS ON ALTERNATIVES

APC is a crystallisation of the process of deliberately trying to find alternatives. In taking action or making a decision there may seem to be few alternatives, but a deliberate effort to find alternatives can change the whole situation. The APC operation is an attempt to focus attention directly on exploring all the alternatives or choices or possibilities - beyond the obvious ones. In looking at a situation it is unnatural to go beyond an explanation which seems satisfactory and yet there may be other possibilities which may be even more likely if only an effort is made to find them. The most likely alternative is not necessarily the most obvious. This deliberate search for alternatives applies not only to action but also to explanations. When an obvious explanation presents itself it is very unnatural to look beyond it to try and find other possible explanations. That is why it is useful to have a device which can take one beyond natural inclinations The APC is an antidote to emotional reaction. Whenever a student seems to be looking at something in a rigid way he/she can be asked to do an APC. If the student can do this then the result is either a change in view or an adherence to the original view now, however, due to preference. APC can be applied to other subjects. As in the CAF lesson the emphasis in teaching is on what has been left out. That is to say the groups try to find different alternatives and choices for the same situation to demonstrate that even when you are sure that there cannot be any other possibilities you may still find some if you make a deliberate effort to look for them. page 57 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

As with the CAF lesson it is all too easy to suppose that one naturally looks at all possible alternatives anyway - but it is not true. To go beyond the obvious and the satisfactory possibilities one needs a deliberate device like the APC.

APC = Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices When you have to make a decision or take action, you may at first think that you do not have all the choices at your disposal. But if you look for them, you may find that there are more alternatives than you thought. Similarly in looking at a situation there are always obvious explanations. But if you look for them, you may find that there are possible explanations that you had not thought of. EXAMPLE A car is found in a ditch and the driver is dead. What could have happened?

APC: •

The driver had a heart attack or fainted.



The car had a puncture, blow-out or mechanical failure.



The driver was drunk.



The driver misjudged the curve of the road.



The driver was attacked by a wasp and lost concentration.



The driver fell asleep.



The driver was murdered and then placed in the crashed car.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But for any one of these a teacher may choose to substitute practice items 4-7. Project items could also be used. The Students work in groups as usual.

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Practice item 1 A man goes into a bar and asks for a drink of water. The woman behind the bar gives him a drink of water and then suddenly screams. What possible explanations are there? Here, the groups are not allowed any actual thinking time. Instead, groups or individuals suggest possible explanations until someone hits on the suggestion given below. The other explanations can be listed. If no one guesses the explanation, the teacher can reveal this. Suggestions of possible explanation: •

The man was hiccupping which is why he asked for a glass of water.



The girl knew that hiccups were often cured by a sudden fright so she screamed to frighten the man.

Practice item 2 You discover that your best friend is a thief. What alternatives do you have? Groups work for 3 minutes on this. At the end of this time the teacher asks a group for the first alternative and then another group for another alternative until no more are forthcoming. Suggestions: •

Tell him you know he is a thief.



Report him.



Threaten to report him.



Drop him as a friend after telling him why.



Drop him without telling him why.



Say how much you hate stealing without saying that you know him to be a thief.



Get someone else who is not a friend to talk to him.



Leave a note in his desk, etc.

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Practice item 3 The Post Office is losing a lot of money. If you were running it what alternatives would you have? Time allowed is 5 minutes. At the end of this time one group is designated to give its alternatives. Other groups and individuals are then invited to add to these one at a time. Suggestions: •

Charge more for postage.



Employ fewer people and have a slower delivery service.



Introduce more automation.



Make people collect their own letters from a central place.



Charge more for certain types of mail such as business mail.



Offer full financial services such as loans etc.

Practice item 4-7 4. The brightest girl in the class starts making mistakes in her work on purpose. What possible explanations are there? 5. Fewer people want to be scientists. What possible explanations are there for this and what possible action can be taken? 6. Do an APC on all the different ways in which you could listen to music. 7. You want to get to sleep but a neighbour is playing very loud music. Do an APC on your alternatives:

A. What can you do right at the time? B. What can you do to prevent it happening again?

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PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

What is the point of looking for more alternatives?



How do you tell which is the most likely or best alternative?



When do you stop looking for other possibilities?



When is it most useful to find new choices?

PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. 1. If you cannot think of any alternatives yourself, you should ask someone else. 2. You go on looking for alternatives until you find one that you really like. 3. There is almost always and alternative, even if there does not appear to be one at first. 4. You cannot know that the obvious explanation is best until you have looked at some others. 5. To look for alternatives when you are not satisfied is easy but to look for them when you are satisfied requires a deliberate effort.

PROJECT ITEMS The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. If a factory owner knows that if he pays the wages his workers demand and probably deserve, he will lose money and will have to close the factory and then there will be unemployment in the area. What choices does he have? 2. A boy wants to get married but has to stay at home to look after his ageing father. What alternatives does he have? 3. When dealing with pollution, what alternative courses of action are there?

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Lesson 9 Decisions The different operations involved, drawing together most of the previous lessons.

INTRODUCTION This lesson provides an opportunity to bring together the last two lessons in particular, FIP and APC, and also the other lessons in a more general way. In making decisions you must have to consider all the factors (CAF), be clear about aims and objectives (AGO), assess priorities (FIP), look at consequences (C&S) and discover the alternative courses that might be open (APC) You can also do a PMI on the decision once it has been made. The various aspects of thinking covered in the preceding lessons help to increase knowledge of the situation to the point where the decision either makes itself or is at least easier to make because the alternatives are more numerous and the consequences better defined In particular, the FIP process is important here. For instance, an AGO may turn up a number of different objectives for the decision, and then a deliberate FIP selects the most important. A C&S can then be done on the proposed decision and possibly a PMI as well. The lesson can he used to show the interplay of these different aspects of thinking. As with previous lessons, no attempt is made to dictate values or rules for making decisions. The aim is to enlarge the view so that in reacting to the situation, the student has a broader view of it. Once the decision situation is clarified, then a person responds to it in the usual manner using personal values.

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EXAMPLE Some decisions are easy and some are difficult. There are decisions to be made all the time: •

Which clothes to wear?



Which music to buy?



Whether to go out or not?



How to amuse yourself?



Which career to choose?



Whether to stay in a job or not?



Whether to go abroad?

• Whether to spend money on something or to save it? Sometimes the decision is a choice between alternatives. Sometimes the decision is forced on you (e.g. When you come to a fork in the road and have to decide which road to take). In making decisions it is useful to be clear about factors involved (CAF) , the objectives (AGO), the priorities (FIP), the consequences (C&S) , and of course the alternatives (APC).

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: Normally practice items 1, 2 and 3 are used one after the other. You may, however, choose to use practice items 4-7 or any of the project items instead. The students work in groups as usual. Practice item 1. A police officer notices a strange light in a warehouse at night. He is on his own and he has to make a quick decision as to what he is going to do? The students work in groups as usual. Each group works on the possible alternatives (APC) . At the end of 3 minutes one group is designated to give the alternatives and the other groups can add to these. Then each group in turn is asked what decision they would make. Suggestions: •

Stay where he is and radio for help.

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Try and get closer to see how many people are involved and if there is only one person, make an arrest.



Radio for help, and then go on in.



Wait outside and then follow the person or people who came out.



Find the getaway car and disable it.

Practice item 2 A young man living at home with his widowed mother cannot find work in his own town but gets offered a job in another town quite far away. His mother says that she is too old to move and make new friends. He has to decide whether to take the job and leave his mother or refuse the job and stay at home. One group is asked to do priorities (FIP) ; another group is asked to do consequences for both decisions (C&S) ; another group does objectives (AGO) ; and another looks for alternatives (APC). Each group also makes a decision. At the end of 3 minutes one group is designated for each of the above procedures and every group is asked for its decision. Suggestions:

FIP: •

Money for both himself and his mother to live on.



The likelihood of getting a job in his own town.

C&S: •

If he does go away his mother may adjust to living on her own, especially if he is sending her money.



If he stays at home he is going to be so frustrated that he will take it out on his mother.

AGO:

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The happiness of his mother and himself.



Providing the circumstances for that happiness.



To get a permanent job.

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APC: •

His mother comes with him for a short while to see how she likes it.



He commutes or comes home on weekends.



He sets a deadline of 3 months to see if he can find work locally.



He gives it a try for 3 months to see how his mother gets on.

Practice item 3 A girl has two boyfriends, one of them is quiet and hardworking, the other is better looking and more fun but rather unreliable. Both want to marry her. She has to decide? Time allowed is 3 minutes. In this case half the class is told that the girl has decided to marry the quiet fellow and the other half that she has decided to marry the fun fellow. Each group has to try to imagine the reasons behind the decision they are given. One group is then designated to support each decision. Suggestions:

Quiet boyfriend •

Fun boyfriends are alright for fun, but they may want to go on having fun and leave you.



Reliability is more important for a long-term partner.



She found out that the fun boyfriend had another girl friend.

Fun boyfriend •

Life is not worth living if you are bored, but if you are having a good time you can put up with anything.



The fun boyfriend might settle down and be reliable.



Her parents oppose him.



She could always try it for a while.



You only live once.

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Practice item 4-7 4. Parents with a physically challenged child have to decide whether to send her to a special school or to an ordinary school. 5. A politician has strong personal views about capital punishment. She is against such punishment. But she knows that the majority of her voters are in favour of capital punishment. When she has to give her opinion in the Senate on this matter, what should she do? 6. You are offered $100 dollars now or $200 dollars in a year’s time. How would you decide between the two? Explain the reasons behind your decisions. Do a C&S on both choices. 7. A friend of yours has quarrelled with the leader of the group you hang out with. This friend has dropped out of the group and wants you to drop out too. You have to decide whether to stay with the group or not. How do you decide?

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Why are some decisions easier than others?



What are the most important things to think about in making a decision?



How can you tell that the decision you have made is the right one?



Is it better to think about decisions or just to make them and see what happens?

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PRINCIPLE The groups look at the list of principles given in the student’s notes. They are asked to pick out the principles they think most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. You should always tell yourself the real reason behind any decision you make. B. It is important to know whether a decision can be reversed or not after it has been made. C. Not making a decision is really making a decision to do nothing. D. Decisions are very difficult to make if you are not prepared to give up something in order to gain something. E. When making a decision, you should consider all the factors (CAF), look at the consequences (C&S), be very clear about objectives (AGO), assess the priorities (FIP), and find all the possible alternatives (APC). When you have done this, a decision may be much easier.

PROJECT ITEMS When only a single period is allowed for the lesson there will not be time for this section. The project items can be used as essay subjects or given to the students for them to work on in their own time. In longer lessons the group can work on a project item chosen by them or the teacher as described in the Standard lesson format section. 1. The head of a big business is kidnapped, and the kidnappers demand a large sum of money for his release. The police know that if the money is given, then other people will be kidnapped for money. If the money is not given, the man will be killed. How should the decision be made? 2. A state housing officer knows that if he does a lot to find homes for the homeless in his area then homeless people in other areas will hear of this and move into his area and the problem will never be solved. How can he decide? 3. How do people decide to spend their money? page 67 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Lesson 10 OPV Moving out of one’s own viewpoint to consider the points of view of all others involved in any situation.

OPV: Other People’s Views INTRODUCTION THE OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED.

OPV is a crystallisation of the process of looking at other people’s viewpoints so that the process can be used consciously and deliberately In the preceding nine lessons the enlargement of the situation - the broadening of perception - has always been from the point of view of the thinker. But many thinking situations involve other people as well. The point of view of these other people is also an essential part of the enlargement of the situation which is the basic theme of these first ten lessons. Thus another person may have different objectives, different priorities, different alternatives, etc. In fact, when another person does a PMI, CAF, C&S, AGO, FIP, or APC he or she may come up with different ideas because he or she is in a different position. Being able to look at and understand another person’s point of view may be a very important part indeed of the thinking process, and so a deliberate effort may have to be made to see another point of view. This deliberate effort is the OPV. It may apply to another person’s point of view or to other people’s points of view in general. Like many of the previous operations OPV as a tool can be applied in different subject areas. It may he applied by itself, or it might he applied in conjunction with another operation. “Do an OPV-AGO for the other person.” Once students can escape from their own points of view they can take other people into consideration. They may even come up with useful new ways of looking at a situation. The OPV is an antidote to selfishness. Instead of a general vague feeling that other people’s points of view matter there is a deliberate attempt to see another person’s point of view. page 68

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In teaching the emphasis must be on how the view of another person in the same situation may he entirely different. It is the possible difference between points of view that matters here. If it is assumed that any sensible person would have the same point of view in a given situation then no efforts at all will he made to see other points of view.

OPV = Other People’s Views Many thinking situations involve other people. What these other people think is just as much part of the situation as the factors, the consequences, the objectives etc. These other people may have a very different viewpoint. Although they are in the same situation, they may look at things very differently. It is a very important part of thinking to be able to be able to tell how other people are thinking Trying to see it from another person’s point of view is what doing an OPV is all about. EXAMPLE A salesperson is trying to sell you a used sports car. The salesperson’s point of view is to show you the great condition of the bodywork, how powerful the engine is, the new tires, how it suits you, what a good buy it is. Your point of view is to see •

Whether it has been in a crash,



How much spare tires cost



How worn the parts are,



How much fuel it uses,



How it compares to other cars you have seen.

PRACTICE ITEMS Normally practice items 1 2 and 3 are used one after the other. But for any one of these a teacher may choose to substitute practice items 4-7 or any of the project items (SEE BELOW).

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Practice Item 1 A father forbids his daughter of 13 to smoke. What is his point of view and what is hers? The students work in groups. Each group works on both points of view for 3 minutes. At the end of this time one group is designated to give the father’s point of view and another group is designated to give the girl’s. Other groups and individuals can then add to these as usual. Suggestions:

Girl •

She only wants to try it out, all her friends smoke and she does not want to appear afraid.



She wants to be able to make decisions for herself; sooner or later she will be able to smoke if she wants to.



She cannot see any harm in it.

Father •

It is bad for health.



It wastes money.



She would smell awful.



It shows that he is not bringing her up properly.



She is too young to think for herself as an adult.

Practice Item 2 An inventor discovers a new way of making cloth. This invention means that only one person out of twenty would be employed in making cloth. Do an OPV for the inventor, the factory owner the workers and the general public. One group is selected for each of the categories (or more than one group if necessary).They work on the item for three minutes. Then a group is designated to give each of the outputs Suggestions:

Inventor;

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The joy of invention and seeing it work.



Wants to get it into use as quickly as possible.



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The factory owner; •

Bigger profits.



Less trouble with labour.



Can produce much more and compete with countries where labour is cheaper.

The workers; •

Losing a job for the sake of someone else’s profits.



No other jobs in the area.



Would need training for other jobs.



Do not mind invention as long as their jobs are secure.

The general public; •

If cloth were cheaper clothing would be cheaper to buy so they are in favour if the invention lowers prices.

Practice Item 3 A next-door neighbour opens her home as a refuge for sick people who have no one to care for them. Some neighbours object very strongly and some do not mind. What are the points of view of the refuge owner, the people using the refuge, those who object and those who do not mind? After 1 minute’s preparation each group is asked to play the role of one of the categories. They may be allowed to choose these roles but the unchosen roles get distributed. One group only for each role Then the role groups in turn give their assumed point of view. The other groups can comment but an argument or general discussion is not intended. Suggestions:

The refuge owner •

It is her house and she wants to do something to help people.



The least contribution those around can make is to keep quiet.

The people using the refuge •

At a time of need and desperation it is a very welcome place to go.



Those who are fortunate should not object. page 71 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Those who object •

There are proper places for refugees which should not be placed in a quiet residential district.



There might be disease brought in.



The children might be upset.



The welfare system makes proper provision for such people.



Such people should have worked harder when they could.

Those who do not mind •

It is the owner’s business what she does with her house.



It is good to help the unfortunate.



There is no real disruption.



Children should learn about another side of life.

Practice Items 4-7. 4. There is a train strike and people find it difficult to get to work. How many different points of view are involved in this situation? 5. A boy refuses to obey his teacher in class. The teacher reports the boy to the principal who suspends him. The boy’s parents object to this. What are the view points of the boy, the teacher, the principal, the parents, his classmates? 6. Do an OPV on someone who has just realised he is on the wrong aeroplane, going to the wrong city. 7. There is a minor traffic accident. The drivers start shouting at each other and eventually start fighting. Do an OPV for each driver.

PROCESS: Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups. •

Is it easy to see other viewpoints?



Whose point of view is right if two points of view differ?



If other people cannot see your point of view should you bother about theirs?

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Why is it necessary to see someone else s viewpoint?



Should your action be based on your own viewpoint or someone else’s as well?

PRINCIPLE: The groups look at the list of principles given in the student notes. They are asked to pick out the principle they think is most important. The groups can also be asked to criticise any one of the principles or to make up a principle of their own. A. You ought to be able to see the other point of view whether you agree with it or not. B. Every point of view may be right for the person holding it but not right enough to be imposed on others. C. Different people have different positions, background, knowledge, interests, values, wants etc., So it is not surprising that in the same situation viewpoints may differ greatly. D. Try to see whether the other person can see your viewpoint. E. Be able to articulate the differences and similarities between viewpoints.

PROJECT ITEMS. The project items can be used as essay topics or given to the students to work on in their own time. 1. A lawyer is defending, in court, a man whom he believes to be guilty of stealing some money. What are the view points of the lawyer, the judge, the accused man and the jury? 2. There is a plan to pull down some old houses and build modern apartments with wider roads in between them. What are the viewpoints of the planners, the architects, and the adults and children who live in the houses? 3. Many people talk about pollution, but clearing up the environment costs money. What are the viewpoints of the ordinary citizens, an environmental group, industrialists, and the government?

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THE TEST MATERIAL 1.

PURPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL

2. WHEN TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 4. ESSAY TYPE 5. CRITICISM TYPE 6. ASSESSMENT 7.

EXPERIMENT

8. RESEARCH 1.

THE TEST MATERIAL SERVES THREE MAIN PURPOSES:

a. Individual: During the thinking lessons, the students work in groups and do not get much chance to work as individuals. The test material gives them this chance. It also gives them enough time to work over a problem more fully than is possible during the lessons. b. Achievement: Some students are apt to believe that thinking is natural and that their own thinking is perfect. The test material provides an opportunity to see whether this is indeed the case. The material is a means of tightening up the lessons. Conversely, the test material provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate achievement and to practice the thinking skills they have learned during the lessons. c. Effectiveness: The test material provides a means for teachers to assess the effectiveness of their own teaching.

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2. WHEN TO USE TEST MATERIAL There are two main uses of the test material: a. Interspersed: With high-achieving students, older students, and students used to tightly structured subjects, the test material can be interspersed with the lessons.This is especially necessary when the lessons appear to lack purpose in the view of the students. Use of the test material after every third or fourth lesson would be appropriate.

b. Experimental: This is to test the effect of the lessons on the students. In this case, material usually would be used at the beginning of the course and again at the end. It could also be used at the beginning and then after a particular lesson.

3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL Time and place: In schools where it is customary to give students material to work on in their own time, the test material can be used in this way. Otherwise, one of the thinking lesson periods may be given over to the test material. It is not advisable to try to tackle a full thinking lesson and also test material in the same period (unless it is a double period). The test material can also be used as essay material and therefore can serve a dual purpose. In this case, it would be administered in the usual way essays are administered. Time allowed for the test material would vary from 15 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the nature of the item chosen. Output: The student’s test output is always written otherwise it would be no different from the thinking lessons themselves. For this reason the material is not suitable for younger children or remedial groups. The written output can take two forms:

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Essay: Students write down their thinking in essay form. Obviously students work as individuals.

Notes: Individuals or groups can put down their output in written note form.

Material : Test material can come from various sources. •

The project items in the lessons can be used for the essay type of test.



Teachers may wish to make up their own problems.



A further selection of problems is given below.

I

4.

ESSAY TYPE

Below is a selection of items which can be used for the essay type test material. These are in addition to the unused project items from each lesson which can also be used. 1.

Should students inquire whether they are supposed to use a PMI CAF etc, they can be told to do as they think fit.

2. What do you think of the idea of having weekend prisons for minor offenders? 3. Should students be part of the rule-making process in schools? 4. What do you think of the idea that students should be paid a small wage for going to school?

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5. There is a suggestion that when graduating from high schools, students should spend one year doing social work (e.g. helping old people, hospital work, cleaning up the environment). Do you think this is a good idea? 6. A boy is trying to decide between a career as a teacher or a law officer. How should he make his decision? 7.

A grocery is losing so much money that the store owner may soon have to close the store. Why do you think the store is losing so much money?

8. It has been decided to teach students by internet at home, instead of having them attend schools. Do you think this is a good idea? 9. There is a new type of vacation in which you earn money in the morning and enjoy yourself the rest of the day. What is the purpose behind this idea and what do you think would happen? 10. What would happen if young people, adults and old people had to abide by different laws? 11. Should people be subject to a dress code? 12. If about half the people dislike some law can it still be a good law? 13. How often should rules be changed and who should ask for them to be changed? 14. Gasoline rationing is introduced. Why do you think this might happen and what would happen as a consequence? 15. What do you think of the idea that students should be able to leave school as soon as they can read and write? 16. Because of increasing mechanisation, there comes a time when everyone retires at 40 so that there are enough jobs to go round. What effects will this have? page 77 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

17. A new type of marriage that only lasts for three years is suggested. Is this a good idea? 18. Should a Company making shoes change the style as often as it can? 19. What do you think are the objectives and priorities of people running TV Companies? 20. A man is found to have stolen a large number of left shoes. What do you think he is up to? 21. An architect declares that he prefers to build ugly houses - why? 22. The government decides to raise the minimum age for leaving school to 20. Discuss this idea. 23. The police are given different coloured hats to wear (red, blue, green, etc.). What is the point of this? 24. Someone tells you that someone else is saying nasty things about you. What should you do? 25. If you were in the government and had to raise money by taxation, which things would you choose to tax? 26. Would it be a good idea for political parties to choose all women candidates rather than men? 27. A city council decides to remove all traffic lights in its city. Discuss this idea. 28. If you had to choose, which would you prefer: to be smart, to be hard-working, or to be well-liked? 29. If you wanted to make lots of money, how would you set about doing it? 30. If you were a parent, would you allow your children to smoke, and if not why not? What are the arguments on each side?

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5.

CRITICISM TYPE

In the essay type of material, the students are asked to generate ideals about a situation. In the criticism type, they react to ideas which someone else has generated. Some possible examples are given below. If teachers wish to generate further examples of their own, they should not try deliberately to include mistakes but should set down a piece of thinking and allow the students to point out the mistakes. Topical items can be used here. 1.

“A medical school decides that since the world needs more doctors it would be better to make the medical course shorter and easier. This would mean that some of those who become doctors would not know as much as before, but this risk would have to be taken.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

2. “In order to reduce the cost of living the government increased the tax on cigarettes and alcohol but introduced a subsidy for meat and bread.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 3. “A Company decided that research was too expensive. So instead of their own research they waited for other people to make new discoveries and then either borrowed the ideas or bought the company involved. This way other people took the risk.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 4. “A principal decides that his students are not working hard enough, so he insists that each week the students must take a test. If the students in a class do badly in the test, then the whole week’s work has to be repeated.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

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5. “A boy is confused over which girlfriend he really likes best, so he pretends to be bored with both of them. He reasons that if he does not see either of them he will soon be able tell which one he misses most.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 6. “A girl leaving school has to choose a career, so she writes down on a piece of paper all the things she likes. She then asks her parents to write down what they think she will be good at. She then sees how the two lists compare. Those items that occur on both lists she puts in a hat and draws one out.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 7.

“A doctor finds that he has too many patients to handle. He thinks this is because his patients are always bothering him with matters that are not very serious. So he invents a very bad-tasting medicine which he gives to everyone of his patients no matter what illness they have.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

8. “A company makes a point of employing only people who are smart but not the smartest. The company says that the smartest people are not used to working hard and will not take orders from someone less intelligent than them.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 9. “The leaders of a certain union are just about to make a wage increase demand. They know these will get all they ask for. They also know members of their union do not like strikes. So they ask for a very large wage increase - that way, if it comes to a strike there will be something big to strike about.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

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10. “Because newspapers find that bad news is more interesting than good, it is suggested that there should be a tax on bad news so that only the bad news that was really important would be published. Then people would get less depressed.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

6.

ASSESSMENT

What happens to the test material output? The teacher will want to make some sort of assessment which can be used as a basis for a class discussion. The main basis for such an assessment would be as follows:

Comprehensive: By looking through all the outputs, teachers can get a good idea of the important points. They may also have some of their own which no one had mentioned. The emphasis here is on whether the main points have been touched upon or left out.

Organisation: Although a rigidly structured organisation of ideas is not desired, the ideas should be presented in some sort of order and with clarity

Interest: Sometimes, one student may bring up a point which though not a major point is novel and interesting. This is given credit so long as it is relevant.

Opinion: Teachers may disagree with various points raised. They should voice this disagreement (not to the extent of saying that the other point of view must be wrong, but by saying that they do not agree).

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Thinking process: The deliberate or implied use of a particular thinking process can be commented on. Similarly, failure to use a process can also be commented upon. For instance, if someone fails to pay any attention to consequences, this can be noted. This sort of thing can be done by comparison between individual outputs or on a group basis.

7. EXPERIMENT There are two main ways in which the test material can be used for experimental purposes in order to see what difference the lessons have made to the thinking of the students: control groups and crossover. Control Groups In schools where one class is doing the thinking lessons and a parallel class is not, then it is sometimes possible to give the same test items to the two groups and then compare the output. This can be done in the form of an essay. Naturally, the group which has done the thinking lessons should not be given any special instructions to remember them. Crossover Here the class serves as its own control group. One half of the class tackles test item “A” and the other half test item “B”. Later the two are reversed and the group that tackled item A now tackles item B. In this way the effect of the lessons on tackling both A and B can be seen since there are before and after results for each item. For instance, the first stage of the crossover can be done before any lessons are given and the second stage at the end of the term.

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8 RESEARCH The most important thing about the lessons is that they should be effective in developing thinking skill. There are three main ways in which the teacher can help:

Observation: In the course of running the lessons, the teacher cannot fail to notice certain things: how the students react, which lessons work best and which worst, the types of responses, difficulties, points which arouse most interest, the type of problem liked best or least. Observations may be of a general nature and apply to the atmosphere of the class or the general performance of the students. But observations can also be much more specific and be about individuals. For instance, one teacher noticed how a boy who was on the verge of being sent to a remedial group suddenly brightened up in the thinking lessons and became the leader and spokesperson of a group that contained the brightest students in the class.

Variation: The teacher may decide to alter the way the lessons are run. These alterations may apply to the basic format or individual practice items. If these variations work, it would certainly be most useful to hear about them. There are, however, two dangers. The first is that the teacher tries alteration after alteration just for the sake of this. The whole thing can become very gimmicky and the students thoroughly confused. The second danger is when the variation results in a lesson which might be very interesting in it-self, but is only remotely connected with teaching thinking as a skill. This can easily happen with general discussion lessons, role-playing, debates, etc. The most useful sort of variation is when the teacher notices something that works particularly well during a lesson and then tries to introduce this deliberately as a variation. page 83 © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Output:

Students’ individual comments can be reported back, as they are often very revealing. One school had its students do a PMI on the thinking lessons themselves and this was a very good idea. Written output either in note form or essay forms from tests or from ordinary lessons can also be sent. So can video-recorded discussions. Whether teachers use the test material and format suggestions in this site or devise their own, the results would be of great research interest. Results may not seem to be important to the person sending them, but when put together with results from other Schools they may help complete the picture.No one should be timid about sending material, no matter how inadequate it may

Thank You

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 2

ORGANISATION THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CORT 2 OVERVIEW LESSON FORMAT LESSON SEQUENCE THE TEN LESSONS

1.

RECOGNISE

2. ANALYSE 3. COMPARE 4. SELECTION 5. FIND OTHER WAYS 6. START 7.

ORGANISE

8. FOCUS 9. CONSOLIDATE 10. CONCLUDE

TEST MATERIAL

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CORT 2 OVERVIEW The first five lessons in CoRT 2 deal with five common thinking operations. Each of these is made the subject of deliberate attention, so that students can use them in an organised manner: asking specific questions and looking for specific answers. The next five lessons deal with the overall organisation of thinking so that it can be used in a deliberate and productive manner. The intention is to treat thinking as an organised operation rather than a discursive ramble in which one thing leads to another. Some of the lessons in the second half refer to processes learned in CoRT 1 (BREADTH) but the lessons can still be used even if CoRT 1 has not been taught, by omitting references to it.

FOREWORD A skilled carpenter knows which tool to use and how to use it. The CoRT Thinking tools should be regarded in the same way. The skilled thinker knows which tool to use and how to use it. This is exactly the opposite of drifting back and forth on a current of emotion. The CoRT Thinking tools are quite simple and in most cases they are very straightforward. The CoRT lessons, in six sections, provide a framework for paying direct attention to these thinking processes and for practising them until they become a tool that can be used at will and applied to any situation. It cannot be emphasised enough that fluent use of CoRT Thinking tools arises from practice and more practice. The attention must always be on the tool that is being practised and not on the content of the thinking item. It is a great temptation for both teacher and student to become more interested in the subject matter than the process that is being applied. This temptation must be resisted. That is why a variety of different items in a lesson are much more useful than sustained discussion on a single item, no matter how interesting it might seem.

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The purpose of the lessons is to develop thinking skills directly not to have an interesting discussion on some matter. The greatest weakness in the teaching of thinking is the problem of transfer. A class might have a very effective discussion on some matter, but the skills exhibited in this discussion will not transfer to a new discussion on another matter. Again and again, this has been the experience of those who have tried to teach thinking. Unless attention is focused on the process rather than the subject matter, transfer does not occur. That is why the CoRT method emphasises the practice of “thinking tools.” The thinking tools in CoRT 1 were concerned with the broadening of perception. The thinking tools in CoRT 2 are concerned with some basic thinking operations and their organisation for use. Understanding the tools is only a small part of the lesson. Practice of the tools is the main purpose of the lesson so that the student can use a particular thinking tool fluently and deliberately as required, just as the carpenter uses tools. There is nothing exotic about the thinking tools presented in CoRT 2, and most people would claim that they use these tools in the course of their normal thinking. This is probably true to the extent that now and again in their thinking they do analyse a situation or make a comparison, but this is usually done in an undisciplined way. A householder can use a saw when called upon to do so, but this is hardly the same as the skilled use of a saw by a carpenter. It bears repeating that the lessons must be brisk, crisp, focused and deliberate. The sense of achievement comes from doing something deliberately and fluently - just as there is joy in skiing well and not just in reaching a destination.

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LESSON FORMAT There are no Principles sections or Project sections in the CoRT 2 lessons. Otherwise, these are run in a similar way to the CoRT 1 lessons. Teachers are, however, encouraged to introduce variety (see Teaching Points section) and to develop their own style, so long as the basic purpose of the lesson is not lost. This basic purpose is to direct thinking processes.

LESSON DURATION The lessons are designed to be used over a single period of 35 minutes. In most cases, this will be rather short. Where possible, a double period can be used. It does not matter if not all the practice items are done so long as the central process of the lesson is made clear. When time is short, teachers must be crisp and brief and not stop to discuss every interesting point that arises.

INTRODUCTION Teachers give out the student notes to the students at the beginning of the lesson or after introducing the lesson. This second method is interesting as it frees the teacher from having to follow the introduction in the student notes and yet provides a back-up to what the teacher said. The introduction can be shorter than for the CoRT 1 lessons, since the lessons are centered on a specific question which is self-explanatory. This key question is more important than the lesson title. Philosophy should be avoided in the introduction. Ideally, the lessons should be introduced with a local example. Suggestions are given in the Lesson Notes for each lesson, and teachers can make up other examples for themselves. Illustration and example are more useful than subtle points of explanation. There is no need for the teacher to read out the introduction, since the students can do this for themselves during the lesson.

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PRACTICE ITEMS GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS: The students work in groups as in the CoRT 1 lessons (see CoRT 1 for details). In the CoRT 2 lessons more opportunity can be given for individual work and some items can be tackled on an individual basis as indicated in the Lesson Notes for each lesson. A teacher may ask an individual student for an answer or for comments even when the students have been doing their thinking as a group.

CHOICE OF PRACTICE ITEM: Each lesson contains eight practice items of which four are to be done. The Lesson Notes indicate when an item should be done and when choice is allowed. Nevertheless teachers need not stick precisely to these suggestions and can make their own choices or ask the students to suggest some practice items. They should remember, however, to have a mix of items some long and some short; some familiar and some remote; some easy and some that challenge the students.

TIME ALLOWED: As there are no Principles or Project sections in CoRT 2, more time can be spent on the practice items. Suggested timings are shown in the Lesson Notes for each lesson, but these will vary enormously with different students. All these timings are on the short side and should certainty be extended if the lesson is to last longer than a 35-minute period. With some classes it may not prove possible to do more than two or three items in a period. The teacher should try to cut down on discussions that explore the subject matter and should concentrate on the thinking process being practised. There is always a great temptation to move away from process to content.

SUGGESTIONS: For many of the practice items, suggested answers are given in the Lesson Note. These are not meant to be treated as the “right” answers they are only © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

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suggestions to help teachers should their own minds go blank when they are searching for an illustration of what is wanted. When students are producing ideas freely, these suggestions can be ignored. Indeed, the teacher could note in a book for future use the ideas turned up by students in a lesson. They could use these ideas as illustrations when giving the same lesson to another class.  

OUTPUT The output can take several forms: 1. In-turn group output: Through its spokesperson each group in turn gives its output or adds one more point to the master list. 2. Designated group output: One group is designated to give its output through a spokesperson and then individuals in other groups can comment on this or add to it. 3. Individual within group: Here the thinking takes place in groups but the teacher asks named individuals to report on the thinking of their group. The teacher may also respond to ideas from individuals. 4. Individual output: This refers to lessons done on an individual basis. 5. Written output: This can be from groups or individuals and can take the form of notes written in answer to a question. The essay-type output is restricted to individuals and is more suitable for a test situation. The teacher can operate a master list of points or ideas on the blackboard. Alternatively, the teacher can ask the students to make a master list of all the ideas put forward and can then pick on an individual student to read out his/her list. After each practice item, a certain amount of discussion may be allowed but this should be kept brief.

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With the more able students, certain parts of a lesson or even a whole lesson may be given over to individual essay-type outputs, but this should be in addition to the lesson, not instead of it. There is no Project section, but those schools which are used to giving the students projects can use any item from the lesson itself or from the items in the test section.

PROCESS SECTION This is the usual open discussion with the students acting as individuals rather than groups. The teacher can question any student or accept comments from any student. The purpose of the discussion is exploratory and there is no need to go through the questions one by one. They are only meant as suggestions. They are intended for use when there is difficulty in getting a discussion going. The teacher need not pretend to have all the answers, and you can throw a question back to the class for discussion. The purpose of this discussion is to explore the particular process of thinking on which the lesson is based.

RUNNING CORT TWO LESSONS The teaching of thinking across such a wide spectrum of age, ability, and so forth, will invariably lead to different approaches having to be adopted. With this in mind we suggest that the section “Teachers Variations” be read before the commencement of the lessons. In practice, teachers should read through the lesson notes before the lesson and mark the items they are going to use. During the lesson itself the teacher should use the lesson notes in conjunction with the student’s notes.

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NOTES ON ITEMS: The practice items throughout the CoRT Thinking Lessons have been carefully designed to be usable across a broad range of ages and abilities. Naturally, a higher degree of thinking skill is demanded from the more able student even if the practice item is the same. Some of the practice items are more suitable for older students. This does not mean that they cannot be used with younger students but that the teacher should use the other items first. In the same way, the more simple items can also be used with older and more able students. As has been indicated elsewhere, teachers are encouraged to modify the items and to adapt them to local circumstances or news items.

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LESSON SEQUENCE ONE Do not mention the subject of the lesson, but start with a story or an exercise which illustrates the aspect of thinking that is the subject of the lesson.

TWO Introduce the TOOL or SUBJECT of the lesson and explain simply what it does. You can use the introduction in the student notes.

THREE Carry out an open class example by setting a task and asking for individual responses. Repeat the letters of the TOOL as often as you can.

FOUR Divide the class into groups of 4, 5 or 6. Assign a practice item from the student notes. Allow about three minutes.

FIVE Get feed-back from the groups, for example by getting one suggestion from each of the groups.

SIX Repeat the process with another item. Repeat practice items in this manner.

SEVEN Move on to discuss the process that is the basis of the lesson.

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Organisation The first five lessons in Module 2 deal with five common thinking operations. Each of these is made the subject of deliberate attention, so that students can use them in an organised manner: asking specific questions and looking for specific answers. The next five lessons deal with the overall organisation of thinking so that it can be used in a deliberate and productive manner.

1: RECOGNISE The deliberate effort to identify a situation in order to make it easier to understand or to deal with.

2: ANALYSE Two types of analysis. Deliberate dividing up of a situation in order to think about it more effectively.

3: COMPARE Using comparison in order to understand a situation. Examining points of similarity and difference in offered comparisons.

4: SELECT The deliberate effort to find something that fulfills the requirements. Selecting from different possibilities.

5: FIND OTHER WAYS The deliberate effort to find alternative ways of looking at things.

6: START The practical business of starting to think about something. What is the first thing to do?

7: ORGANISE The practical business of organising the way a situation is to be tackled.

8: FOCUS Looking at different aspects of a situation, especially being clear as to what aspect is under consideration at the moment.

9: CONSOLIDATE What has been achieved so far? Drawing together and being clear about what has been done and what has been left out.

10: CONCLUDE Arriving at a definite conclusion, even if that declares that no definite conclusion is possible.

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Lesson 1 Reconise The deliberate effort to identify a situation in order to make it easier to understand or to deal with..

INTRODUCTION Recognition is possibly the most basic of all thinking operations, since it either precedes all others or is their aim. In everyday life, as soon as we recognise something we know how to deal with it. The process is usually unconscious: we do not have to make a deliberate effort to recognise a bus, a steering wheel, an egg or a frying pan. This recognition of concrete objects is not very important since unknown objects are relatively rare in ordinary life. What matters more is the recognition of situations, and this may require conscious effort. You have to recognise a problem situation before you can begin to try to solve it.. You have to recognise a planning situation before you sit down to make a plan. It is this very deliberate attempt to identify a situation in order to know what to do about it that is practiced in the lessons. Recognition can be dangerous when something is wrongly identified; nevertheless, it remains an essential operation. Most people assume that they recognise the Situation they are thinking about, but if asked to identify it, usually cannot do so. They are simply drifting from idea to idea in a subject area.

RECOGNISE As soon as you can recognise something you can use all the information you already have about it. As soon as you recognise something, you may know what to do about it, or at least you can use all you already know about it.

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So it is worth making an effort to see if the different information you have about something adds up to something you recognise.

OPERATION Ask the question: Do I recognise this? If the answer is NO then you can do three things: 1.

Try to get more information.

2. Make a guess and see if it fits. 3. Find a way of choosing between different possibilities. The emphasis of the lesson is on asking the deliberate question: “Do I recognise this?” The answer to the question is not as important as the deliberate asking of it. Even when the question seems superfluous or implicit, students should be encouraged to ask it deliberately so as to form the habit. The answer may identify a familiar object or a type of situation. During the lesson the teacher should try to move on from the recognition of actual objects to the recognition and naming of familiar “situations.” If the answer to the question is NO, then the three possible courses of action suggested in the student notes can be tried. 1.

Try to get more information.

2. Make a guess and see if it fits. 3. Find a way of choosing between different possibilities. Effort continues until the student can say: “Yes, I do recognise this now.” Nevertheless, the most important thing is to ask the deliberate question: «Do I recognise this?» The lesson should start with a simple example of something concrete that has to be recognised and a type of situation.

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For instance: It has buttons on the front, it has two ends and it sometimes makes a noise. (Answer: a telephone.)

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The students work in groups but may ask individual questions or be required to give individual answers. One or two items are chosen from this group depending on how long each item takes. The items are operated rather like “Twenty Questions.” At first the teacher asks each group the basic question: “Do you recognise this?” If no one does, the teacher allows four questions (from groups or individuals) and then repeats the question to the group. This goes on until one group gets the answer. The teacher can ask: “Why did you ask that question?” Or “Why did you think it was that?”, Whenever an answer is given. If a valid answer different from the ones given below is offered, the teacher can ask for further answers. 1.

X is full of water and has a name.

2.

X is red and has wheels but no one can get into it.

3.

X is sometimes full and sometimes quite empty and you can usually read about it in the newspaper.

4.

X is when a very popular mechanical system fails to function properly but has not broken down in any way.

Answers: 1.

A sunken ship;

2. A toy bus; 3. The senate; 4. A car skidding.

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PRACTICE ITEM 2 One group forms its own X-unknown and then the other groups proceed as in the previous example. Form your own X situation.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 Each group works separately to try to sort out the six clues into these situations. Bits of information about three different situations are jumbled up below. Can you sort out and recognise the three situations?



Works with scissors.



Some people find the smell very strong.



Needs electricity to work.



Needs to be lit.



Works well in the dark.



Always makes a mess on the floor.

Answers: A barber; a pipe, a TV set. (Plausible alternative answers can be accepted).

PRACTICE ITEM 4 The teacher can go through this item with the class acting as individuals. The first answer below can he given as an example, to illustrate what is required. The students are then asked to fit a CoRT 1 thinking tool to each note. An automobile designer puts down the following notes on a piece of paper. Can you recognise each note?

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Which of the CoRT 1 thinking tools fits each of the notes? •

Must get forty-five miles to the gallon.



Remember pollution regulations in America.



Will the under-body rust after two years?



Who is going to buy this sort of car?



Engine in front, or back, or middle, or even on roof?

Answers: •

This is an objective (after doing an AGO)



This is a factor to be considered (CAF)



Looking ahead to a consequence (C&S)



Trying to see other people’s points of view (OPV)



Alternative choices (APC)

PRACTICE ITEM 5 The groups can work alone and try to allot one of the descriptions offered to one of the situations given. The purpose is to get the students into the habit of trying to recognise abstract situations. At the end of the group work (3-4 minutes), each group presents its results - matching one description with one situation. These results may he commented on by other groups or individuals. Alternatives can be discussed. The important thing is to recognise a situation in a definite manner - and there are alternative ways it can be identified. The situations below have all been recognised as being one of the following: problem, planning, decision, more information required, and design. Which do you think applies to which, and what alternative choices are there? •

Boredom on a Saturday afternoon.



Two boys cut classes from school to watch their favourite football team.



An interviewer choosing a person for the job. © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

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Choosing a career.



Building a new Night Club.

Suggestions: •

Problem situation



Planning situation



Decision situation



More information required



Design situation

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

What makes it difficult to recognise something?



What are the dangers of mistaken recognition?



Can something be recognised as two different things and both be right?



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Is recognition always a guess?

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Lesson 2 Analyse Two types of analysis. Deliberate dividing up of a situation in order to think about it more effectively.

INTRODUCTION Most of the time we are analysing our complex environment into separate pieces, with which we can cope. In this lesson, analysis is used in its most basic sense of dividing something up. The purpose of this division is to enable us to understand something, deal with it, say something about it or explore it more easily. For the sake of convenience, analysis is separated into two distinct types. The first type is called original part analysis (O.P. Analysis) and corresponds to the classical search for the true components that make up the situation. The second type is called perceived parts analysis (p.p. Analysis) and is a division not of the thing itself, but of the way it is looked at. For instance, the true components of a box may be shaped pieces of wood, hinges and a lock. But the perceived parts, or aspects, may include size, age, value, use and ownership. In ordinary thinking it is natural to consider first one part of the situation and then another. This is usually a process of drifting, and as a result some areas get a lot of attention and others none. It is very unlikely that natural drift will reveal all the components or aspects revealed by a deliberate analysis. Analysis into true components should give the same answer for everyone if they are indeed true components. But analysis into perceived parts can give a variety of answers even for the same person. © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

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ANALYSE In analysis, you divide something up into parts so that you can understand it better and also think about each part separately if you wish. A complete analysis looks at all the parts involved.

OPERATION Ask the question: How can I divide this up? In fact there are two different ways of analysing something. 1.

Into true or original parts ( O P analysis).

2. Into perceived parts (P P analysis). These parts arise from the way you choose to look at the thing. Example:  The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the teacher can do an O P analysis followed by a P P analysis on “the classroom” before explaining the difference between the two.

O.P. Analysis: - door, floor, walls, windows, desks, table, blackboard, light, teacher, students, etc.

P.P. Analysis: - size, pleasantness, comfort, amount used, acoustics, etc. Analyse a bicycle

O.P. Analysis - wheels, handlebars, brakes, frame, chain, pedals, saddle, lights, etc.

P.P. Analysis - cost, appearance, comfort, safety, uniqueness, reliability speed, etc. The purpose of the lesson is to establish the habit of dividing up complex situations so that it becomes easier to think about them.

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So the emphasis is on asking the deliberate question: How can I divide this up?

To answer this question, the operation of analysis has to be carried out; i.e., p.p. Analysis and O.P. Analysis. For simplicity, O.P. Analysis can be used To answer this question, the operation of analysis has to be carried out; i.e., O P analysis and P P analysis. For simplicity, O P analysis can be used to find the components, whereas P P analysis can be used, as in the bicycle example; to find the attributes. The important thing is for the student to ask the deliberate question:

“How can I divide this up?” And to realise that there are two ways of doing this.

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The students work in groups but may be asked questions as individuals. An individual from a group can also supplement an answer given elsewhere or comment upon it. The teacher chooses any two items from this lot. The groups then work on each item for 3-4 minutes (or longer if required). At the end of that time one group gives the type of analysis called for by the item. The other groups or individuals can discuss this or add to it. Discussion must, however, be concentrated on the analysis operation itself rather than the subject matter. For instance, the teacher might say “Have you divided that up or are you just talking about it? If there is any confusion about the difference between O.P. And p.p. Analysis it is better to continue with more examples rather than to philosophise. 1.

Divide “school” into original parts (O.P. Analysis) and also perceived parts (p.p. analysis).

2. Do a p.p. analysis on “home.” 3. Which type of analysis would he most useful on each of the following? 4. A football team 5. A clown 6. An airport 7.

Do an O.P. analysis on “poverty.”

8. Do a P P analysis on music CDs. Suggestions: Item 1

O.P. analysis: Land, buildings, furniture and fittings, teachers, students, money

P.P. analysis: Atmosphere, discipline, teaching style, achievement

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Item 2:

P.P. analysis: Atmosphere, comfort, parent-child relationship, fun, interest, enjoyment, consideration of others Item 3: Football team: O.P. or p.p. analysis (both useful) clown: p.p. analysis airport: O.P. analysis Item 4:

O.P. analysis: Wage system, lack of opportunity or work, ill-health, competition, lack of system for improvement Item 5:

P.P. analysis: Mood of the times, attractiveness of group or singer, what other people feel, previous releases, identification. PRACTICE ITEM 2 This is a quick item which can be done in an open class situation without allowing any time for consideration. The teacher asks an individual student or group for comments. Alternatives or disagreements can be discussed but the discussion should focus on the analysis operation, not the content. Different points of view lead to different analyses. Three different people do the following three P.P. analyses on the same problem. 1.

What a person is good at, what he or she likes doing, what is available.

2. The money, the future prospects, security. 3. What friends are doing must not be boring, money must be good

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4. What is the problem and who are the different people A, B and C? Answer: The situation is choosing a career. A is a career adviser. B. is the student›s parents. C is the student. PRACTICE ITEM 3 Use one or the other of these items depending on the type of class. The human relations problem needs a rather longer discussion (5-6 minutes), whereas the aeroplane problem would have to be expanded by the teacher, who would explain further what was meant. In terms of people getting along with each other, an example for the p.p. analysis might be “the way you thought other people felt about you.” Item 1 The Wright brothers, who were the first to fly an aeroplane, analysed the problem as follows: •

A power source (gasoline engine)



A means of using the power source to move the plane (propeller)



Wings



A tail-plane for stability



Skids or wheels for taking off and landing.

What else did they put into their analysis?

Suggestions for Item 1

“control” of the plane while in flight is missing, and was in fact the Wright brothers’ main contribution.

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Item 2 Do a P P analysis on human relations (why people get along with each other and why they do not). Suggestions for Item 2

P P analyses: the relationship (friend, co-worker, etc.), Actions or words used in the past, competition, fear, jealousy, lack of communication, misunderstanding, aggression, internal irritation directed outwards, lack of “social practice.”

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups •

Does it matter if different people do a different P P analysis?



Should a correct O P analysis be the same for everyone?



When is it better to use an O P analysis and when a P P analysis?



Is an incomplete analysis (parts left out) of any value at all?

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Lesson 3 Compare Using comparison in order to understand a situation. Examining points of similarity and difference in offered comparisons.

INTRODUCTION When neither recognition nor analysis tells us enough about something, we turn to comparison. We compare something new to something familiar in order to see if we can transfer knowledge from one to the other. You compare something new to something well-known in order to know more about it. When two things appear to be very similar you look for the differences, and when they appear very different you look for the similarities.

OPERATION •

Ask the questions:



What are these like?



In what way are the two things similar?



In what way are they different?

The different questions will apply in different situations. Comparison is an important part of thinking. The purpose of this lesson is to treat comparison as a deliberate operation instead of something that happens now and then. TWO different situations arise.

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The first situation is when you are trying to find something with which to compare what you have. The operation asks the deliberate question: What is this like? The thing you find may be similar to what you have, in many respects, or in one respect which the comparison serves to illustrate. The second situation is when you are offered a comparison in which two things are declared to be similar (or different). Here it is a matter of testing the comparison by asking the two deliberate questions: •

In what way are they similar?



In what way are they different?

This leads to the deliberate operation of picking out points of similarity and points of difference. The emphasis of the lesson is on making comparison into a deliberate operation with a definite outcome. During the lesson the teacher distinguishes these two situations, which can be simply described as: 1.

The sought-after comparison (when you are looking for one)

2. The offered comparison (when you are testing one) The lesson should start with a very local example. For instance, the teacher might say: “With what can you compare a student in front of a book?” Perhaps with a horse in front of a water trough. You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. The best one can do is to offer opportunities. An example of the “offered comparison” could be: “How is a school like a factory?”

Points of similarity: •

Both have definite objectives and end products.

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Success depends on available tools, skill of workers and raw material.



There is someone in charge of the whole thing.

Points of difference: •

There is no profit involved in a school



The products in a school cannot he made in a mechanical fashion



Success in a school is not measured by the quantity produced.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: These items can be done on an individual basis with the teacher asking for suggestions from the class (in general or from a particular student). This is done with no time for consideration.  1. What comparison can you find for? •

An angry crowd



TV news announcer who always makes mistakes

2. It is suggested that the same principles are involved in a government budget and a household budget. Is this a good comparison?

3. Can you suggest a better comparison than those given below for someone who is always telling tales?

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A bucket with a hole in it



An old woman



A safe with a plastic lock



A walking newspaper

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Suggestions: Item 1. •

Like frying sausages.



Like a bad ball point pen that is always drying up.

I Item 2.

Similarities: •

Making ends meet,



Items of fixed expenditure,



Watched by someone else (spouse or public).

Differences: •

The household has no influence on prices,



Government can borrow more easily,



Government personnel changes periodically



Any suggestion anyone cares to offer (free advertisement, castor

I Item 3.

oil, etc). PRACTICE ITEM 2 All groups tackle this item. Allow 3-4 minutes. The item can be tackled in two ways. With the first method you pick out and one of the listed situations and then see which of the remaining situations provides a point of similarity. Do this for as many items as possible. At the end the comparisons are given by each group. They may be challenged or an explanation may be required.

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With the second method, divide all the situations into pairs which are linked by some point of comparison.   The things listed below seem to be very different indeed. How many pairs can you pick out in which there is at least one point of similarity? 1.

Cleaning teeth

2. Going to church 3. Three police officers in a hurry 4. Studying history 5. Tacos 6. Driving a car 7.

Watching TV

8. A race horse Suggestions: Cleaning teeth/going to church: (For some people both may be routine), Three police officers in a hurry/a race horse: (On the track of something). Tacos/studying history (separate bits collected together in one place). Watching TV/driving a car: (in both cases you can spend hours looking through a rectangular glass screen).

PRACTICE ITEM 3 (Difference Between) Choose any one of the items from this lot and draw up actual lists of the points of similarity and the points of difference.

After 4-5 minutes one group is designated to give its output and then other groups add to this or comment upon it. It may be useful for the teacher to draw up a master list on the blackboard to include all points made.

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As a variation some groups can be asked to list only the points of similarity and the other groups only the points of difference. At the end the two sets of points can be compared. 1.

What are the points of similarity and difference between a poor person and a lazy person?

2. What is the difference between spending money on new technology like a supersonic airliner and spending money on scientific research? 3. What are the points of difference between living in the country and in a city?

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole acting as individuals rather than groups •

Can anything ever be proven by comparison?



Do the two things have to be very similar for the comparison to be useful?



For what purposes are comparisons most useful?



What are the dangers of comparisons?

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Lesson 4 Selection The deliberate effort to find something that fulfills the requirements. Selecting from different possibilities.

INTRODUCTION Selection is another basic operation that comes into much of our thinking. The operation may appear in several guises, as selecting, choosing, judging, matching or fitting, but the basic process is similar. It is a matter of having requirements and seeing how well these are met. When something fits your requirements, you choose or select it whether it is a house, a new job, a car, an explanation, a plan or a solution to a problem. Selection is the broad process of trying to find something that fits your requirements. In practice, three situations may occur: 1.

Finding something to fit the requirements

What fits this? The operation involves being conscious of the requirements and then looking for something that fits them. 2. Testing to see whether something offered (as explanation, solution, etc.) fits or does not fit. Is there a good fit? The operation involves looking to see at which points the requirements are met and at which points they are not. 3. Choosing from among different possibilities. Which fits best?

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The operation involves finding the priorities among the requirements (i.e., doing a FIP on them) and then seeing which of the possibilities fits most of the priorities. The whole emphasis of the lesson is on “requirements’ and “fit.” During the lesson the teacher can ask students to list requirements in order of priority. A clear view of requirements makes selection much easier. Selection means finding or choosing something that fits your requirements. The first thing is to know your requirements. The second thing is to know when something fits them.

OPERATION Ask the questions: What fits this? When you have the requirements but have to look around to find something that fits. Is there a good fit? When you have to see whether something offered you, fits or not. Which fits best? From among different possibilities you have to choose the best fit. In all cases you find out the points that fit and the points that do not and then decide which points are most important. The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the teacher might say: “Suppose you found that only half the usual number of students had arrived at school one morning. What explanation could there be? What explanation would “fit?” This problem can he discussed with the class and the various explanations offered can be examined to see if they make a good fit.

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Suggestions: There was an epidemic and half the students were ill (but would it be so sudden and so extensive?). Parents had heard on the radio about a serious illness that was sweeping through the schools and half of them had decided to keep their children home (fits pretty well). Notices had been sent to parents about a school holiday and on half of them the date was given incorrectly (this would probably have been noticed and corrected). The date on all the notices was incorrect and only half the parents paid any attention to the corrected notice.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: Students work in groups, but the teacher can ask individuals for comments or answers. All groups do this item. The teacher sets the scene with the drifting Marie Celeste, log book up to date and everything in order. The groups examine the explanation offered (3-4 minutes) and say exactly where it fits and where it does not. They may then spend some time trying to find better explanations. One of the biggest sea mysteries is that of the Marie Celeste which was found sailing the high seas with everything in order but no sign of passengers or crew. Her lifeboats were on board and there was no sign of a fight. Explanation: the ship surrendered to pirates who took everyone away and then the pirate ship itself sank in a storm with the loss of everyone. List the points at which this explanation fits and the ones at which it does not. Offer any other explanation that you think fits?

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Suggestions:

Fit: Disappearance of all crew and passengers. Total disappearance for all time. Pirates would be a good enough reason for leaving the vessel.

Not Fit: Surely there would be some damage or a note left. Pirates would take the ship or at least loot it. Why should pirates want to leave everything in order?

PRACTICE ITEM 2 The groups tackle one or two items from this lot, depending on time. Ideally, they should tackle two, but this may be possible only when a double period is given to the lesson. The important point here is that the groups clearly understand the requirements and the priorities. The teacher can say: “Find the requirements, put them in order of priorities, and then see what fits them.” At the end of 5 minutes, one group is designated to give its output and the other groups add to this or comment on it. The designated group gives its list of requirements first. (Alternatively, each group may be asked in turn to give its list of requirements.) 1. As a means of transportation which of the following best fits the requirements? (List the requirements.) Bicycle, motorcycle, car, bus, train, helicopter, subway, cable-car, trolley, escalator. 3. Your school building is declared unsafe because there is a crack in the ceiling. You are asked to suggest other buildings in the area which could be used as a temporary school. Can you suggest some, and how do they fit the requirements?

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4. People are usually interviewed for a job. Could this selection of people be done in another way? 5. Everyone is looking for a good way of controlling world population. It is suggested that a birth-control chemical he put in the water supply. Would this fit the requirements? PRACTICE ITEM 3 Choose one of these items. The groups consider the characteristics of the person involved and, playing the role of career advisers, select one of the careers offered. At first, selection must be confined to this list and should not include any job not on the list. After this has been done, a job not on the list may be suggested. Each group makes its own decision and then offers its selection. The teacher may ask a group to explain its selection. 1. A boy is intelligent but lazy. He likes to have a lot of money but does not like taking orders from anyone. He is tough and likes people. But he also worries a lot. Which of the following careers would suit him best, and why? Bricklayer, car salesman, teacher, politician, farmer, doctor, newspaper reporter. 2. A girl is hardworking and ambitious but not very good at tests. She gets bored easily. She is good at math and bad at languages. She prefers to live in the country. Which of the following careers do you think would suit her best, and why? Scientist, designer, teacher, computer analyst, actress, engineer, doctor, travel agent, hairdresser. PRACTICE ITEM 4 All groups tackle this item. For each of the given situations the groups choose the most appropriate of the operations listed.

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Any operation can be used only once (i.e., the task is to distribute the operations among the situations). In each of the following situations it would be a good idea to do one of the following things: AGO, FIP, APC, OPV, PMI. Which one fits each situation best? • You have to decide whether to live in the town or the country. • You are helping to organise an anti-pollution campaign. • You are with a friend who steals something and you are accused instead. • You are trying to solve a dispute over wages between workers and employers. • There is a shortage of money for education.  Suggestions:

PMI (plus, minus and interesting points) AGO (define the objectives) APC (find the alternative courses of action open to you) OPV (look at the different viewpoints involved) FIP (pick out the priorities - for the use of the money)

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

When is a fit good enough?



Is it possible for two different things to fit just as well?



What happens when you cannot decide which fits best?



Which is more important - to include the things you want to have or to exclude the things you want to avoid (in a selection)?

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Lesson 5 Find other ways The deliberate effort to find alternative ways of looking at things.

INTRODUCTION The lesson title stands for “Find other ways of looking at things.” This clumsy title covers the basic process of trying to find alternative perceptions. When you find a different way of looking at something, you open up new ideas and new lines of thought. If you escape from a fixed way of looking at the problem, you may be able to solve it more easily. For instance, you can look at monarchy as antiquated and expensive or as a system which averts a more dangerous selection for the head of state. There is more than one way of looking at anything. Your thinking can be more effective if you make a deliberate effort to find alternative ways of looking at things.

OPERATION Ask the question:

Are there other ways of looking at this? The emphasis of the lesson is on the deliberate effort to find other ways of looking at things even when there seems no need to do so.

This is a vital point.

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It may seem unnecessary, wasteful, or confusing to search for other ways when the obvious way seems adequate. But the obvious way will always seem adequate until a better way has been found. That is why this basic process is so neglected. That is why there has to be a deliberate effort to search, and this is set off by the question: Are there other ways of looking at this? The other ways may turn out to be other points of view. This was discussed in the OPV lesson in CoRT 1. The difference is that in the OPV lesson you looked at a person and then tried to see his/her point of view. In this lesson you try to find other perceptions and may then discover that these fit different people. The Alternatives lesson (APC) was concerned with finding alternative choices of action - not just different ways of looking at something. Other ways may also arise from a different emphasis or from focusing on a different part of the situation. Finally, they may arise from a genuine exercise of lateral thinking (e.g., an exam is a method of testing what you know / an exam is a method for testing what you do not know). It does not matter how the alternative ways arise. What really matters is the escape from the feeling that there is only one way to look at this. Alternative ways of looking at something may come from many sources: •

Lateral thinking: Voters can be said to vote for the candidate they like or they can be said to vote against the candidate they dislike.



Other point of view (OPV): Strikes are viewed as a genuine bargaining device by unions but as an unnecessary work disruption by employers.



Different focus: A car can be looked at in terms of power and performance or in terms of comfort and appearance. Also as a means of getting to work or a source of traffic congestion.

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It does not matter how the alternatives arise - the important thing is to make a deliberate effort to find some. The alternatives may not turn out to be more useful but the effort to find them does increase the effectiveness of thinking by opening up new ideas. The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the class may be invited by the teacher to find different ways of looking at vacations. Suggestions: •

To give students a rest



To give teachers a rest



To lessen the cost of education



To alloys students to do other things

• Example: 

So that students can work harder during the term

8 x 2, 4 x 4, and 32/2 are alternative ways of looking at 16. A bottle that is half empty, a bottle that is half full, and a bottle that contains equal amounts of milk and air are all alternative ways of looking at half a pint of milk in a one pint bottle. A refrigerator is a device for keeping food cool. An alternative way of looking at a refrigerator is as a device for transferring money from those who buy refrigerators to those who make them.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The students work in groups but the teacher may ask individuals for comments or answers. This is a very quick item and can be used almost as an extension of the examples. It can be used with groups or individuals. There is no need for thinking time. Each item can be asked of a separate group. For each of the following there is at least one alternative way of looking at things:

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A chicken is a method for producing eggs.



A woman is taking an energetic dog for a walk.



An exam is a method of testing what you know. © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

Suggestions: •

An egg is a method for producing chickens.



The dog is taking the woman for a walk.



An exam is for testing what you do not know.

PRACTICE ITEM 2 Choose one item from these three. The groups work on the item for about 5 minutes. The teacher must stress the need to find different ways of looking at the matter:

“Find as many different ways as you can.” One group is then asked to give its output and the other groups can add to this or comment. The teacher may make a master list of all the alternatives on the blackboard. The important thing is that it be a list of different ways of looking at the matter - not different things that could be said about it. 1.

Girls and women often wear make-up. Can you find four alternative ways of looking at the reasons for this?

2. Thousands of people die every year in traffic accidents. Can you find two alternative ways of looking at this problem? 3. Police officers, soldiers, hospital nurses, and some students wear uniforms. What are the alternative ways of looking at uniforms? Suggestions: Item 1: •

As an aid to beauty to hide blemishes,



Because everyone else does,



Because advertisements are so good,



Just a custom.

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Item 2: •

A necessary price to pay for having fast individual transportation,



An expression of people’s carelessness,



Publicising this could be a way of making people drive better.



So that they are recognisable,



So that they have the feeling of belonging to a particular group,



So they do not have to wear their ordinary clothes for work,



Because uniforms are specially designed for the work.

Item 3:

PRACTICE ITEM 3 All groups tackle this item. It may also be done on an individual basis, with the teacher asking different students. The point here is to decide whether the suggestion is really a different way of looking at school - and then to decide whether one agrees with it or not. It may be a genuine alternative way and one can still disagree with it. Do you agree with the following alternative ways of looking at school? 1.

A way of teaching young people the knowledge and skills they need in life.

2. A way of keeping children out of the home and giving them something to do. 3. A way of giving jobs to school principals, teachers and everyone in education. 4. An opportunity for boys and girls to teach themselves if they want to. 5. A way of training for a job that will later pay you money.

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PRACTICE ITEM 4 Choose one item from among these three. The groups work on the item for 4-5 minutes. At the end of this time, the teacher tries to collect from all groups as many different ways of looking at the matter as possible. These can be listed on a blackboard. Some discussion may be allowed. The important point is to distinguish different ways not just to talk about the matter. 1.

How many different ways can you find of looking at money?

2. A new protein food is invented. It is very nutritious but it tastes so bad that people will not eat it even if they are starving. How many different approaches to this problem can you suggest? 3. Three boys are found guilty of starting a hotel fire in which a person was killed. They say they only meant to start a small fire for fun. If you were the judge, in how many alternative ways could you look at this? Suggestions: Item 1: •

A status symbol and social order device.



A reward and incentive system.



An exchange device with a storage element.



A control system.



Regard it as medicine and not food at all.



Mix it with something else.



Publicity and education may make the taste acceptable.



Incorporate anesthetic to dull the taste.

Item 2:

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Item 3: •

Guilty of murder whether they intended it or not.



The death was not intended but accidental.



Punish them as a warning to others.



Imprisonment may make real criminals of them.



Stupidity is not a crime.



Society must protect itself from dangerous people.

PROCESS Open discussion with class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

Does an alternative have to say exactly the same thing but in a different way?



When is it useful to look at alternatives?



What is the difference between an alternative and an OPV (other people’s views)?



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Who decides whether an alternative is right or wrong?

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Lesson 6 Start The practical business of starting to think about something. What is the first thing to do?

INTRODUCTION Whenever a person is thinking about something, there must be a place to start. So why do we need to make deliberate what is automatic and obvious? Because the natural start is usually a matter of drifting into the subject at any point that happens to come to mind. In order to make a deliberate start, you have to consider the type of situation and where you want to end up. This is quite different from drifting. The first operation is to ask the question:

Where do I start? Once asked the question has to be answered. As always, it is this answering operation that matters most. But it is much easier to ask the question first as a way of getting the second operation done than to try to do it directly. The lesson is about the practical business of starting to think about something. The whole emphasis of the lesson is on encouraging the students to make a definite, crisp and deliberate start. In practice this means making a conscious choice of any of the thinking operations covered in the previous lessons (both CoRT 1 and CoRT 2). This choice of definite operation is in contrast to just sitting and waiting for an idea to come to mind or drifting into consideration of some part of the problem. It is not a matter of choosing the right operation. The emphasis is on the deliberate and definite choice of an operation, whatever it is. In this lesson students are asked to make a definite choice of starting operation and then to say why they chose that operation. It is not a matter of their choosing the right operation, but of making a deliberate choice of an operation.   © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

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If you know exactly how you are going to start to think about something the rest follows much more easily.

OPERATION Ask the question:

WHERE DO I START? You choose from a number of possible operations, many of which have been covered in previous thinking lessons: PMI, CAF, C&S, AGO, APC, FIP, OPV, recognise, analyse, compare, select, find other ways, etc. Which operation you choose depends on two things: 1.

The type of situation.

2. What you want to end up with. In practice it is not so important which operation you choose so long as you are definite about it. Example:  The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the teacher might say: “Suppose I said to you this morning that each student who could convince me that he or she had something worthwhile to do for the rest of the day could have the day off - how would you start thinking about that?” Alternative starting operations could include the following: Doing an APC to see what choices and possibilities there were. Assessing the priorities (FIP) of something that the teacher would accept as worthwhile. Analysing what “something worthwhile” would be. The teacher should go through the possible answers, and where the students suggest other answers the teacher should deliberately crystallise these into a definite operation.

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The students work in groups but for certain items a teacher may ask the class to work as individuals. The teacher may also ask for an answer from any individual in a group even though the group has been working together. Choose any two of these items. Allow 3-4 minutes of discussion or about 6 minutes for item 4. If an item is used for the individual response, the teacher simply presents the item then almost immediately asks a particular person for an answer. This is then discussed. With group work, each group in turn is asked for its answer and then a short discussion is held on the different answers. For an answer, the group gives its choice of operation and says why it chose that one. 1.

A young couple is thinking of buying a house. How should they begin thinking about this?

2. You are asked to solve the problem of vandals who wreck public telephones. How would you start thinking about this? 3. A girl wants to go on vacation with her friends but her parents object because she is too young. How should she start thinking about this? 4. Three situations to think about are given below. In each case decide on the operation with which you should start. •

The problem of teacher shortage in some schools.



Do girls study harder than boys at school?



What should be done to set up a new type of test for those who are not good at tests?

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Suggestions: Item 1: CAF, FIP, APC or Analyse (both O.P. and P.P.) Item 2: AGO, CAF, FIP, Find Other Ways Item 3: OPV, Compare, Find Other Ways Item 4: C&S, CAF, PMI, Recognise PMI, AGO, C&S CAF, FIP, and APC

PRACTICE ITEM 2 All groups do this item or the teacher may ask individuals what they think about the different choices of operation. There is a plan to build a new road through a beautiful part of the countryside. In starting to think about this, different people (A, B. C) choose different operations. A does a C&S. B. does an AGO. C does a FIP. Which of these do you think is best?

PRACTICE ITEM 3 Choose one item from this group according to age or interest of the class. Item 1 can be conducted as a back and forth discussion with the class. The other items are done by groups. Only 3 minutes are allowed (with the emphasis not on discussing the problem itself but on choosing a starting operation). Each group then gives its choice and says why it chose it. 1.

A businessman wants to borrow money from a bank and he is explaining his project in the following terms: site, type of building, equipment, shelves for displaying goods, number of people that could be accommodated at any one time, staff needed, cost of goods. What is the project, what operation is he doing, and is this a good way to think about it?

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2. Should people who move to a new country stick with their own culture, foods, and habits or should they change over to the customs of the new country? If you were asked to think about this where would you start? What operation might you use first? 3. You are on the committee of a political party. You know that at the moment your party is not very popular and that you will need to increase your popularity. How would you start thinking about this?

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

Does it matter if you choose the wrong operation to start with?



Will more than one operation be necessary in the course of the thinking?



What are the dangers of choosing a definite operation?



Is it better to use a deliberate operation or just follow the obvious line of thought?

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Lesson 7 Organise The practical business of organising the way a situation is to be tackled.

INTRODUCTION This is a natural sequel to the preceding lesson and is concerned with knowing what you are going to do next. Once again the purpose is to supplant the drifting with a definite sense of direction. The organisation does not have to be complex. The important thing is that it should be definite and that there should be a deliberate effort to set up a plan, so that whatever you are doing you know what is to be done next. The first operation is to ask the question:

How do I organise this? The second operation is to consider the situation and put down

some definite plan. The lesson does not try to demonstrate what a good plan should be. It is difficult and rather spurious to set down planning rules that would cover every situation, and they would probably be so complicated that they would confuse. What is important is to carry out the operation and make a plan - any plan. This is a big improvement on having no plan at all and just drifting from idea to idea. The purpose of organisation is to prevent confusion. If you know what needs to be done, what is being done at the moment, and what is to be done next then you are probably organised.

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OPERATION Ask the question: How do I organise this? The important thing is to make a plan - of any sort. It can include headings, questions or operations. When there is some sort of plan, look at it again to see what has been left out and where it can be simplified then use it. A plan may be very short. Example:  The lesson should begin with a local example. For example, the teacher may ask: “Suppose I wanted to improve the school meals - how could I organise my thinking about this?” A suggested answer might be as follows: •

What are the objectives (AGO)?



What are the priorities (FIP)?



What factors are involved here (CAF)?



What are the possibilities and choices (APC)?



How can I select the best course of action?

Comments like “ask the students for their complaints and what they want” come under AGO (objective to satisfy students) or FIP. The important point is to set up an organisational structure even if an obvious way of thinking about something seems to make this superfluous. Problem: How to grow more food. 1.

Plan: CAF (operation)

2. APC (operation) 3. Difficulties (heading) 4. Which are the most practical methods? (question)

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes The students work in groups, but for certain items the teacher can ask them to work as individuals. Choose one of these items. Allow 4-5 minutes for group work and then ask each group for its organisational plan - without comments. Write these down and compare similarities and differences during a short discussion. The teacher should crystallise the answers into a definite form, indicating operations, headings and questions. 1.

Someone who sleeps in the same room as you snores very loudly. How would you tackle that problem?

2. A football team which has been doing very well suddenly starts doing badly. If you were the manager, how would you organise your thinking about this? 3. In Russia there are more women engineers than in any other country. Do you think this is a good idea? How would you organise your thinking to arrive at a conclusion? 4. The radio system of a plane fails and it becomes a danger since it can no longer obey signals from the control tower. How should the air traffic controllers organise their thinking about this problem? PRACTICE ITEM 2 This item can be done by groups or by individuals. Allow 4 minutes. If items are done individually the teacher asks two or three students for their organisational plans and then comments (or invites comments) on these. How would you organise the problem of choosing a career?

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PRACTICE ITEM 3 This item is done by groups, who criticise and comment on the two organisational plans shown. They should also say which they prefer and why. Allow 4 minutes. Food prices suddenly rise and a family sits down to think about its expenses. The mother organises her thinking as follows: •

Analyse expenses (O.P. Analysis)



FIP



Which expenses can be cut?



C&S

The father thinks rather differently: •

APC (for all different expenses)



Absolute necessities



Compare expenditure with friends



OPV (for family)

Comment on the thinking of both and say which you consider best. Suggestion: Mother: Might be better to start with consideration of money available, then do FIP, followed by C&S.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 Choose one item from these two. Groups work on them 3-4 minutes, and then each group gives its answer. Emphasis is not on dealing with the problems as such but on organising the thinking about them. Teacher must be firm about this.

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1.

A school has a number of students who do not seem very interested in learning anything and are always disrupting the class. If you had to deal with this problem, how would you organise your thinking?

2. In many countries there are not enough doctors. How would you set about solving this problem? Outline the organisation of your thinking, but also offer a solution. Suggestions: Item 1: •

OPV of students involved, can this be altered? (Question)



APC as to what can be done



PMI on decision



Analyse the problem (O.P. Analysis)



Find other ways of looking at it CAF



Make a plan.

Item 2:

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

Is it necessary to plan one’s thinking on tiny problems?



If quick thinking is needed doesn’t organisation waste time?



If different plans can be just as good, what is the point of making one at all?



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Which are the better plans, the short ones or the long ones?

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Lesson 8 Focus Looking at different aspects of a situation, especially being clear as to what aspect is under consideration at the moment.

INTRODUCTION Although this lesson, like many others, sounds obvious, it is a very important one. In discussion or personal train of thought, the mind moves from one aspect of the situation to another. This is a natural flow and the people involved assume that they know what they are thinking about. But if you stop someone in mid-thinking, and ask “Exactly what are you looking at now?” The answer is usually very vague (unless it is so general that it covers the whole subject area). This is because at any moment the ideas are related more to the preceding ideas than to the situation being considered. The purpose of the lesson is to encourage the habit of asking the deliberate question:

What is being looked at now?

Or

What is in focus now?

It is not a matter of deciding whether or not something should be looked at or the right thing to look at, but of being able to give an instant answer to the question. The answer should be as sharply focused as possible. At first students will tend to give a vague answer so general that it just repeats the whole situation. This sort of answer is not acceptable and when this happens the teacher must offer a more sharply focused answer.

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If there is confusion and different people think that different things are in focus at the same moment, then they should express the confusion and try to clear it up. Thinking involves focusing on different aspects of the situation. At each moment you should know what is being looked at.

OPERATION Ask the question:

What am I looking at now?

You should be able to give a definite answer to that question. In each operation (analysis, CAF, Selection, C&S, etc.) There are moments when you focus on some particular aspect of the situation. You should know what you are looking at, and if you want to move on to a different area you should know that you are doing that. It is not a matter of sticking to one aspect but of knowing what is being looked at. Example:  The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the teacher might say: “Some people are good at thinking about lessons, others are good at thinking about football, and others at thinking about politics, but very few are good at thinking about everything. What is in focus here?” An answer such as “thinking” is not sharply focused enough. An answer indicating “the actual process of thinking” is much better. An answer that says: “different people’s interests” needs to be discussed. Is the remark really about “interests” as such? The important thing is to be able to give a definite answer whether it is the best possible one or not.

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: Groups work as usual, but some of the items can just as easily be treated on an individual basis. In the group work there may be disagreement within a group, in which case opportunity should be given to hear different views within a group. One or two of these items can he discussed rather quickly. Allow about 9 minutes. The important thing is to get a definite answer from each group. A short discussion can follow but should not be allowed to develop into a full-scale argument. 1.

In a discussion on world hunger the following remarks are made. Exactly what is being looked at?



“The Australian Aborigines eat snakes.”



“Very good protein can be made from yeast but no one would buy it.”



“Starving people have been known to give corn to their animals.”



“Why should people change their eating habits?”

2. What is being looked at when the following remarks are made during a discussion on punishment? •

“The main purpose of punishment is not revenge.”



“Thieves should be made to look ridiculous in the stocks.”



“If you do not think you are going to get caught you do not care.”



“Has the murder rate gone up in countries which abolished the death penalty for murder?”

3. What is being looked at when the following remarks are made during a discussion on what people are good at?

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“Being clever does not make you a better cook.”



“A boxer does not only have to be strong.”



“Once you learn how to ride a bicycle it is easy.”



“A person who practices thinking should get better at it.”

4. The following remarks are made during a discussion on laziness. Which ones are relevant to the area in focus and which ones are not? •

“Some people just do not like taking orders.”



“There are people with a great deal of energy.”



“If people are interested in what they are doing they can work very hard.”



“Laziness is not a sin.”



“When people find something too difficult they may pretend they are not trying.”

PRACTICE ITEM 2 Choose one or other of these items. With item 1 the emphasis is on picking out definite areas. With item 2 the emphasis is on staying within a definite area. 1.

In considering whether big schools are better or worse than small ones which four areas do you think might come into focus?

2. A person is comparing organisation in society with a tree, focusing on the need to prune some trees. What do you think this person would have to say in this area?

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PRACTICE ITEM 3 The groups work on this item for 3-4 minutes. They must pick out three of the given areas and say why they chose them. It may be argued that some areas overlap, but this does not matter as one area will still be more sharply in focus. Some people are thinking about the problem of different groups of people who hate and fight each other. Which three of the following areas do you think it would be most useful to focus on and why? 1.

Current dislike of each other

2. Where they live 3. Historical background 4. Richness or poverty of groups 5. Different beliefs and culture 6. Real grievances 7.

The leaders involved

8. Myths about each other PRACTICE ITEM 4 (WORKING OUT) If there is time, the groups can be allowed to work on this problem for 5-6 minutes. The groups should actually have a discussion on the problem itself and then the teacher should stop the discussion and ask each group to list the different areas that have been in focus. Each group then reads out this list and the teacher points out similarities and differences. In many industries in the U.S. the productivity per worker is not as high as in some countries abroad. This could be the fault of the workers or the management, or both. Consider this problem and make a note of all the different areas you focus on.

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Suggestions: •

Amount of machinery in factories



National attitudes toward work



Tradition



Good management



Labour relations management



Incentive to work



Taxation

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

What happens if someone makes a remark which is irrelevant to the area in focus?



Do you need to be conscious of what is being looked at all the time, or only now and then as a check?



Is there a danger that too narrows a view of things may be taken?



Different people might have different ideas about what is being looked at.

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Lesson 9 Consolidate What has been achieved so far? Drawing together and being clear about what has been done and what has been left out.

INTRODUCTION This is an ugly word but it does indicate a basic process. After thinking or discussing has proceeded for a while, it is useful to know exactly what has been achieved and what has yet to be achieved. The purpose of the lesson is to encourage the habit of pausing deliberately for consolidation. This means looking back over the thinking to see what has been achieved so far. The process is more than a passive summary since the effort to consolidate may involve synthesising some ideas or clarifying others. As before, the process is one of asking a deliberate question, and expecting a definite answer. The first operation is to ask the question:

How far have I got? The second operation is to look back and consolidate whatever has been achieved. This may show that much has been achieved, or that very little has been achieved and that the time has been wasted without direction. But consolidation will also show what has not been achieved - what is still to be done. The aspect of consolidation is most important, since it happens not at the end of the thinking but part of the way along. The habit of consolidation can also bring home to a person or group just how good their thinking is.

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When repeated consolidations fail to show any achievement, a group is inclined to become more deliberate and relevant in its thinking. The intention of the lesson is to encourage a deliberate pause for consolidation in a discussion or personal thinking about a matter. The emphasis is on the deliberate asking of the question: How far have I got? The actual response to the question is less important than the asking of the question. A consolidation may include a list of points made and areas considered. At times it may resemble a summary of conclusions, but the important difference is that it can be done at any time. By showing in a definite manner what has been discussed, a consolidation makes it easier to see what has so far been left out. In the course of thinking about something, it can be extremely useful to pause now and again to consolidate what has been achieved up to that point.

OPERATION Ask the question: How far have I got? A consolidation is more than just a summary because different ideas can be put together to give a single idea. Different ideas can also be put together under one heading. When there is a consolidation you can look at it to find the gaps in the thinking or to find the points that need thinking about more fully. A consolidation is not a conclusion. Example:  After ten minutes’ discussion on the problem of falling movie attendance, a group consolidated its thinking as follows: 1.

The movies showed a steady fall in attendance over the last ten years with no sign of a change.

2. Rising prices might reduce attendance even more.

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3. But very popular films still made a great deal of money. How could one find out which films were going to make money? The lesson should start with a very local example. For instance, the teacher might have a short (2-3 minute) discussion with one or two students on the desirability of longer vacations. The teacher then consolidates this discussion as succinctly as possible. (For example: “We have discussed whether students and teachers would like longer vacations; what effect would this have on schoolwork, what could be done during longer vacations?”)

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The students work in groups, but for certain items the teacher asks the class to work as individuals. Even in a group situation the teacher can ask an individual member of a group for an answer. In some of the items (as indicated later), there may be an open class discussion facilitated by the teacher. Choose any one item from this group. With these items the students are looking directly at someone else’s consolidation. The groups work on the item 2-3 minutes. At the end of that time, each group in turn gives its output briefly. With items 1 and 2 the objective is to see what area of the total subject seems to have been left out. With items 3 and 4 the objective is to focus on a point which seems to need further discussion. 1.

Following a discussion on what makes a good teacher, a group consolidated its thinking as follows:

“You can tell at once. It depends a lot on the subject. A good teacher makes things interesting. A bad teacher is boring and confusing .But a good teacher does not have to be nice. Sometimes you do not learn anything from a nice teacher.” What gaps can you find in this group’s thinking? © Coptright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All rights reserved

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2. Following a discussion on whether young children should help at home with the housework, a group consolidated its thinking as follows “Some of the group felt that it was not fair because being young was for enjoying yourself and after a hard time at school you should be allowed to have fun. But others said that since parents were working to pay all the bills the children should help where they could - like doing housework.” What gaps can you find in this group’s thinking? 3. From the following consolidation, pick out any one point that needs thinking about more fully. The subject is bird sanctuaries. “Very few people go bird-watching. Most people would not recognise a rare bird and do not care whether a particular species comes to this country or not. It is a waste of land which could be used by people in other ways.” 4. From the following consolidation, pick out any point that needs thinking about more fully. The subject is sports at school. “Only those who want to play should have to - the rest should do as they like. People say exercise is good for you and makes you healthy, so everyone should do it. If only a few wanted to do it, should money be spent on expensive facilities?”

Suggestions:

Item 1: Gap “depends also on the class itself and the willingness to learn’’ Item 2: Gap “some parents might want (or need) help, but others may not want it”

Item 3: Point “do not care” Item 4: Point “do as they like”

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PRACTICE ITEM 2 Choose two items from this group. Short group discussion lasts for 3-4 minutes and then the teacher asks the group to consolidate deliberately what they have discussed. After another 1-2 minutes each group gives its output in turn. Alternatively there may be an open class discussion facilitated by the teacher. After 3-4 minutes every student is asked to spend one minute consolidating what has been said. The teacher then asks individual students to give their consolidations. 1.

With a telephoto lens a photographer can take pictures of famous people from a long distance and when they are not expecting it. As a result such people have no privacy. Should such photographs be banned or do people have a right to see photographs of public people, no matter how they were taken? Discuss this and then consolidate your thinking.

2. Iceland claims that its livelihood depends on fish and that the coastal waters are being over-fished. So the territorial waters were extended to a fifty-mile limit. But other nations which have always fished these waters say Iceland has no right to do this. Discuss this and then consolidate your thinking.

3. Do you think it is better to have individual friends or to go around in gangs? Discuss this and then consolidate your thinking.

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PRACTICE ITEM 3 This item can also be used with individuals instead of groups. Students look directly at the alternative consolidations, decide which one they like best and then explain why (2-3 minutes). In a discussion on whether parents should be more involved in schools, two people separately consolidate the group’s thinking. 1.

“Not sure in what way parents could be involved. Many parents live too far away or would not be interested in any case. What would he the benefit? A few parents might have too much influence. But parents should know what is happening to their children.”

2. “Does involvements mean knowledge of what goes on at school or influence on it? Do all parents have to be involved or only those most interested? Would this be fair? What would be the advantage of parent involvement?” Which of these two consolidations do you think is best? Suggestion: 2 is more succinct. Sometimes using questions is a convenient way of consolidating a discussion.

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

Should a consolidation be as brief as possible?



Should a consolidation include all the points or only the most important ones?



Are individual opinions included or only the ones generally agreed upon bit the group?



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Lesson 10 Conclude Arriving at a definite conclusion, even if that declares that no definite conclusion is possible.

INTRODUCTION Many people believe that only some thinking situations can have definite conclusions (problems, decisions, plans, judgements, etc.). The purpose of this lesson is to show that every piece of thinking can have a conclusion, and that a deliberate effort should be made to produce such a conclusion. It is true that not all situations have a correct answer, but they can still have definite conclusions. For instance, a meeting that ends with the comment: “We are unable to reach agreement on this issue has a definite conclusion but no answer. The comment that there is no definite conclusion is itself a definite conclusion. It is important to realise this and to emphasise it. If students do believe that there is to be no conclusion then their thinking simply drifts on to an end with nothing achieved At the very least, those taking part should conclude that they have been wasting their time or are unable to tackle the problem - both these are worthwhile conclusions. The whole emphasis of the lesson is on reaching a definite conclusion. The whole conclusion may be that no conclusion is possible - nevertheless, this in itself is a conclusion. In practice, there can always be a conclusion of one sort or another. That is why the student notes offer a number of different types of conclusions (idea picture, opinion judgement, answer/solution, operation action).

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These are meant as illustrations and to get students away from the idea that a definite solution to a problem is the only possible type of conclusion. Similarly, the suggestion in the student notes that conclusions may be definite, tentative or changeable is to get students away from the idea that dogmatic conclusions are the only possible ones. All these different types of conclusions must not be treated as tight categories and the lesson must not concern itself with fine judgements as to which category is involved. This has no practical value. The deliberate question is the first operation:

What is the conclusion? An easy way out would be to say: “There is no conclusion”. This is specifically disallowed. So the student has to make a deliberate effort to produce a definite conclusion. In order to avoid the notion that all conclusions are dogmatic, the lesson introduces the possibility of tentative conclusions or changeable conclusions. The important thing is to make an effort to find a conclusion and then to present it. It must be realised, of course, that the conclusion is only the conclusion of that particular piece of thinking. The most important thing is to ask the deliberate question: What is the conclusion? If it seems difficult to give a definite answer, then the different types of conclusions can be looked at. Much of the effectiveness of thinking may be wasted if there is no definite conclusion at the end. The conclusion may not be the one intended but it can still be definite, e.g., ‹We are unable to solve this problem» is a definite conclusion.

OPERATION Ask the question: What is the conclusion? There are several types of conclusions. Some of them are given here:

Ideal: - one or more ideas on the matter or a new way of looking at things Page 66

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Picture: - an exploration of the matter with information, ideas and feelings Opinion: - a personal view of the matter based on fact, feeling or both Judgement: - an evaluation according to some principles Answer: - an answer to whatever question was asked Solution: - a solution to whatever problem was posed Operation: - the result of carrying out some operation (e.g. AGO, C&S, etc.) Action: - an action carried out directly as a result of thinking.



A conclusion is definite if there is no doubt about it.



A conclusion is tentative if it seems the best that can be reached but is still doubtful.



A conclusion is changeable if it is foreseen that new information or circumstances may make it necessary to change.

But the important thing is that a conclusion of some sort should be reached and expressed in a definite manner. Example:  The lesson should start with a local example. For instance, the teacher can start a discussion with one or two students on the subject: “Is it important for everyone to be good at mathematics?’’ This discussion should last 2-3 minutes, and at the end the teacher should give a definite conclusion. For example: Everyone should be competent at basic mathematics just as they should at reading and at writing, but it is not necessary to be an expert mathematician.

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: For some items the students can work as individuals in an open classroom and for others they can work as groups. Even when working as individuals the students can still sit in a group format so that a switch from one method to the other can be made easily. These are very short items which can be done on an individual basis with a brief period for consideration of all the items (3-4 minutes), after which the teacher should ask an individual or a group for its comments. If the items are done very quickly, all four items can be attempted. Otherwise, any two items will suffice. 1.

Subject: Should school vacations be increased? Conclusion: “We think it would be a great idea.” Comment on this conclusion.

2. Subject: Is it best to be intelligent, strong, popular or rich? Conclusion: “It depends on what you prefer.” Comment on this conclusion: 3. Subject: Do you have any ideas on school meals? Conclusion: “They vary too much from school to school.” Comment on this conclusion: 4. What type of conclusion is each of the following? •

“This fellow is not right for our political representative.”



“The objectives are fast transportation, available cheaply to all at all times, at low cost and with little harm to the environment.”



“Hospital costs could be cut if patients who were not very ill stayed in hotels nearby.”



“We have explored the suggestion that students do a job while still at school. We have considered the possible types of job, the effect on the students, their education and the school, but are unable to offer any definite opinion.”

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Suggestions:

Item 1: This is a definite opinion-type conclusion (even though there may not be much thought behind it).

Item 2: This is a definite conclusion but perhaps better expressed as “no one of them is best in itself.”

Item 3: This may be true but it avoids the question. Even though some school meals are good and some bad it is still possible to consider both.

Item 4: judgement type operation type (an AGO has been done) solution (to the problem of hospital costs) picture type (exploration of situation)

PRACTICE ITEM 2 This item also can be treated in a quick manner with the class acting as individuals rather than groups. There is no need for consideration time. Individuals are asked how they would rate each conclusion (definite, tentative or changeable) and their answer may he commented upon. Each of the following conclusions is definite, tentative or changeable. Which is which? 1.

“If inflation is to be fought, prices and wages must be controlled.”

2. “It seems the best thing would be for him to give up his dream of becoming a rock star `and take an ordinary job.” 3. “Right now it makes more sense to spend money on modernising the railways than on building more airports.” 4. “One idea might be to tattoo thieves on the forehead so everyone could recognise them.” Suggestions: •

Definite conclusion



Tentative conclusion



Changeable conclusion



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PRACTICE ITEM 3 Choose two items from this group. Students work in groups. Each group discusses the item for 4-5 minutes with the definite intention of being able to offer a conclusion at the end. Each group then gives its conclusion in turn and individuals in other groups can comment on it. 1.

Are exams necessary to make students work hard and to select the best students for further education? Think about this and reach some definite conclusion.

2. Can young people make a proper career choice when they do not know what they are choosing? Think about this and reach some definite conclusion. 3. Discuss the system of working in groups (instead of on one’s own) and reach some definite conclusions.

PROCESS Open discussion with the class as a whole, acting as individuals rather than groups: •

What happens if different people reach different conclusions from the same discussion?



Should a conclusion be based on what has been said or on what people really feel?



Is the group conclusion more important than that of an individual in the group?



What is the difference between a good conclusion and a bad conclusion?

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THE TEST MATERIAL 1.

PURPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL

2. WHEN TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 4. ESSAY TYPE 5. CRITICISM TYPE 6. ASSESSMENT 7.

EXPERIMENT

8. RESEARCH 1.

THE TEST MATERIAL SERVES THREE MAIN PURPOSES:

A. Individual: During the thinking lessons, the students work in groups and do not get much chance to work as individuals. The test material gives them this chance. It also gives them enough time to work over a problem more fully than is possible during the lessons. B. Achievement: Some students are apt to believe that thinking is natural and that their own thinking is perfect. The test material provides an opportunity to see whether this is indeed the case. The material is a means of tightening up the lessons. Conversely, the test material provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate achievement and to practice the thinking skills they have learned during the lessons. C. Effectiveness: The test material provides a means for teachers to assess the effectiveness of their own teaching.

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2. WHEN TO USE TEST MATERIAL There are two main uses of the test material: A. Interspersed: With high-achieving students, older students, and students used to tightly structured subjects, the test material can be interspersed with the lessons. This is especially necessary when the lessons appear to lack purpose in the view of the students. Use of the test material after every third or fourth lesson would be appropriate.

B. Experimental: This is to test the effect of the lessons on the students. In this case, material usually would be used at the beginning of the course and again at the end. It could also be used at the beginning and then after a particular lesson.

3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL Time and place: In schools where it is customary to give students material to work on in their own time, the test material can be used in this way. Otherwise, one of the thinking lesson periods may be given over to the test material. It is not advisable to try to tackle a full thinking lesson and also test material in the same period (unless it is a double period). The test material can also be used as essay material and therefore can serve a dual purpose. In this case, it would be administered in the usual way essays are administered. Time allowed for the test material would vary from 15 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the nature of the item chosen. Output: The student’s test output is always written otherwise it would be no different from the thinking lessons themselves. For this reason the material is not suitable for younger children or remedial groups. The written output can take two forms:

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Essay: Students write down their thinking in essay form. Obviously students work as individuals.

Notes: Individuals or groups can put down their output in written note form.

Material: Test material can come from various sources. •

The project items in the lessons can be used for the essay type of test.



Teachers may wish to make up their own problems.



A further selection of problems is given below.

I

4.

ESSAY TYPE

Below is a selection of items which can be used for the essay type test material. These are in addition to the unused project items from each lesson which can also be used. 1.

Should students inquire whether they are supposed to use a PMI CAF etc, they can be told to do as they think fit.

2. What do you think of the idea of having weekend prisons for minor offenders? 3. Should students be part of the rule-making process in schools? 4. What do you think of the idea that students should be paid a small wage for going to school?

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5. There is a suggestion that when graduating from high schools, students should spend one year doing social work (e.g. Helping old people, hospital work, cleaning up the environment). Do you think this is a good idea? 6. A boy is trying to decide between a career as a teacher or a law officer. How should he make his decision? 7.

A grocery is losing so much money that the store owner may soon have to close the store. Why do you think the store is losing so much money?

8. It has been decided to teach students by internet at home, instead of having them attend schools. Do you think this is a good idea? 9. There is a new type of vacation in which you earn money in the morning and enjoy yourself the rest of the day. What is the purpose behind this idea and what do you think would happen? 10. What would happen if young people, adults and old people had to abide by different laws? 11. Should people be subject to a dress code? 12. If about half the people dislike some law can it still be a good law? 13. How often should rules be changed and who should ask for them to be changed? 14. Gasoline rationing is introduced. Why do you think this might happen and what would happen as a consequence? 15. What do you think of the idea that students should be able to leave school as soon as they can read and write? 16. Because of increasing mechanisation, there comes a time when everyone retires at 40 so that there are enough jobs to go round. What effects will this have?

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17. A new type of marriage that only lasts for three years is suggested. Is this a good idea? 18. Should a Company making shoes change the style as often as it can? 19. What do you think are the objectives and priorities of people running TV Companies? 20. A man is found to have stolen a large number of left shoes. What do you think he is up to? 21. An architect declares that he prefers to build ugly houses - why? 22. The government decides to raise the minimum age for leaving school to 20. Discuss this idea. 23. The police are given different coloured hats to wear (red, blue, green, etc.). What is the point of this? 24. Someone tells you that someone else is saying nasty things about you. What should you do? 25. If you were in the government and had to raise money by taxation, which things would you choose to tax? 26. Would it be a good idea for political parties to choose all women candidates rather than men? 27. A city council decides to remove all traffic lights in its city. Discuss this idea. 28. If you had to choose, which would you prefer: to be smart, to be hard-working, or to be well-liked? 29. If you wanted to make lots of money, how would you set about doing it? 30. If you were a parent, would you allow your children to smoke, and if not why not? What are the arguments on each side?

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5.

CRITICISM TYPE

In the essay type of material, the students are asked to generate ideals about a situation. In the criticism type, they react to ideas which someone else has generated. Some possible examples are given below. If teachers wish to generate further examples of their own, they should not try deliberately to include mistakes but should set down a piece of thinking and allow the students to point out the mistakes. Topical items can be used here. 1.

“A medical school decides that since the world needs more doctors it would be better to make the medical course shorter and easier. This would mean that some of those who become doctors would not know as much as before, but this risk would have to be taken.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

2. “In order to reduce the cost of living the government increased the tax on cigarettes and alcohol but introduced a subsidy for meat and bread.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 3. “A Company decided that research was too expensive. So instead of their own research they waited for other people to make new discoveries and then either borrowed the ideas or bought the company involved. This way other people took the risk.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 4. “A principal decides that his students are not working hard enough, so he insists that each week the students must take a test. If the students in a class do badly in the test, then the whole week’s work has to be repeated.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

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5. “A boy is confused over which girlfriend he really likes best, so he pretends to be bored with both of them. He reasons that if he does not see either of them he will soon be able tell which one he misses most.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 6. “A girl leaving school has to choose a career, so she writes down on a piece of paper all the things she likes. She then asks her parents to write down what they think she will be good at. She then sees how the two lists compare. Those items that occur on both lists she puts in a hat and draws one out.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 7.

“A doctor finds that he has too many patients to handle. He thinks this is because his patients are always bothering him with matters that are not very serious. So he invents a very bad-tasting medicine which he gives to everyone of his patients no matter what illness they have.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

8. “A company makes a point of employing only people who are smart but not the smartest. The company says that the smartest people are not used to working hard and will not take orders from someone less intelligent than them.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 9. “The leaders of a certain union are just about to make a wage increase demand. They know these will get all they ask for. They also know members of their union do not like strikes. So they ask for a very large wage increase - that way, if it comes to a strike there will be something big to strike about.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

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10. “Because newspapers find that bad news is more interesting than good, it is suggested that there should be a tax on bad news so that only the bad news that was really important would be published. Then people would get less depressed.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

6.

ASSESSMENT

What happens to the test material output? The teacher will want to make some sort of assessment which can be used as a basis for a class discussion. The main basis for such an assessment would be as follows:

Comprehensive: By looking through all the outputs, teachers can get a good idea of the important points. They may also have some of their own which no one had mentioned. The emphasis here is on whether the main points have been touched upon or left out.

Organisation: Although a rigidly structured organisation of ideas is not desired, the ideas should be presented in some sort of order and with clarity

Interest: Sometimes, one student may bring up a point which though not a major point is novel and interesting. This is given credit so long as it is relevant.

Opinion: Teachers may disagree with various points raised. They should voice this disagreement (not to the extent of saying that the other point of view must be wrong, but by saying that they do not agree).

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Thinking process: The deliberate or implied use of a particular thinking process can be commented on. Similarly, failure to use a process can also be commented upon. For instance, if someone fails to pay any attention to consequences, this can be noted. This sort of thing can be done by comparison between individual outputs or on a group basis.

7. EXPERIMENT There are two main ways in which the test material can be used for experimental purposes in order to see what difference the lessons have made to the thinking of the students: control groups and crossover. Control Groups In schools where one class is doing the thinking lessons and a parallel class is not, then it is sometimes possible to give the same test items to the two groups and then compare the output. This can be done in the form of an essay. Naturally, the group which has done the thinking lessons should not be given any special instructions to remember them. Crossover Here the class serves as its own control group. One half of the class tackles test item “A” and the other half test item “B.”. Later the two are reversed and the group that tackled item A now tackles item B. In this way the effect of the lessons on tackling both A and B. can be seen since there are before and after results for each item. For instance, the first stage of the crossover can be done before any lessons are given and the second stage at the end of the term.

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8 RESEARCH The most important thing about the lessons is that they should be effective in developing thinking skill. There are three main ways in which the teacher can help:

Observation: In the course of running the lessons, the teacher cannot fail to notice certain things: how the students react, which lessons work best and which worst, the types of responses, difficulties, points which arouse most interest, the type of problem liked best or least. Observations may be of a general nature and apply to the atmosphere of the class or the general performance of the students. But observations can also be much more specific and be about individuals. For instance, one teacher noticed how a boy who was on the verge of being sent to a remedial group suddenly brightened up in the thinking lessons and became the leader and spokesperson of a group that contained the brightest students in the class.

Variation: The teacher may decide to alter the way the lessons are run. These alterations may apply to the basic format or individual practice items. If these variations work, it would certainly be most useful to hear about them. There are, however, two dangers. The first is that the teacher tries alteration after alteration just for the sake of this. The whole thing can become very gimmicky and the students thoroughly confused. The second danger is when the variation results in a lesson which might be very interesting in it-self, but is only remotely connected with teaching thinking as a skill. This can easily happen with general discussion lessons, role-playing, debates, etc. The most useful sort of variation is when the teacher notices something that works particularly well during a lesson and then tries to introduce this deliberately as a variation.

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Output:

Students’ individual comments can be reported back, as they are often very revealing. One school had its students do a PMI on the thinking lessons themselves and this was a very good idea. Written output either in note form or essay forms from tests or from ordinary lessons can also be sent. So can video-recorded discussions. Whether teachers use the test material and format suggestions in this site or devise their own, the results would be of great research interest. Results may not seem to be important to the person sending them, but when put together with results from other Schools they may help complete the picture. No one should be timid about sending material, no matter how inadequate it may

Thank You

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 3

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INTERACTION THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING CORT 3 OVERVIEW FOREWORD STANDARD LESSON FORMAT PRACTICE AND PROJECT ITEMS MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE THE TEN LESSONS

1.

EBS: Examine Both Sides

2. Evidence: Type 3. Evidence: Value 4. Evidence: Structure 5. ADI: Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance 6. Being Right 1 7.

Being Right 2

8. Being Wrong 1 9. Being Wrong 2 10. Outcome

TEST MATERIAL

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OVERVIEW CoRT 3 deals with two-people situations. The thinker is no longer looking directly at the subject matter but at someone else’s thinking. The area is that of argument, debate, conflict, opinion, etc. The lessons provide ways of assessing evidence. They also examine the different strategies used to prove a point and the two main classes of error. Two practical procedures for helping to solve conflicts are offered in “Examine Both Sides (EBS)” and in the mapping operation called “Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance (ADI).” The aim of CoRT 3 is to encourage pupils to listen to what is being said and to assess its value. They are also encouraged to adopt a constructive approach to resolving arguments.

FOREWORD CoRT 1 was concerned with perception, CoRT 2 with organisation and now CoRT 3 is concerned with interaction. Many thinking situations involve other people. Such situations involve arguments, debates and negotiations. What should our thinking be in such situations?

Much of Western culture is based on the adversary system. Each side takes up a position and each side sets out to prove the other side wrong. That tends to be the essence of a debate. The CoRT 3 approach to interactive thinking is different. In keeping with the rest of the CoRT Thinking Program the emphasis is on constructive thinking. The purpose of the thinking is to achieve some aim - to bring something about. Winning an argument is to achieve some aim - to bring something about. Winning an argument for the

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sake of winning an argument is not especially worthwhile. The emphasis of the lessons in CoRT 3 is not on point scoring, proving someone else wrong or winning debates. The emphasis is on bringing forth something useful from the argument or the negotiation.

A great deal of attention has been paid to critical thinking, as if this were the only aspect of thinking or even the most important aspect. This is very dangerous because it leads to neglect of the more constructive aspects of thinking. Critical thinking is an important part of thinking but only one part. This part of thinking is dealt with specifically in the lessons of CoRT 3. Naturally it also plays an important role in other parts. For example, examination of the consequences of action (C&S, see CoRT 1) is automatically an evaluation of the proposed action.

A thinker in an interactive situation needs to know what is going on. One needs to be aware of the techniques used for being right and being wrong. This is not only so that the thinker can use such techniques but so that the thinker can recognise these techniques when used by others or when they intrude into the thinker’s own thinking.

As always, the teacher needs to be very clear about the purpose of each lesson. It is essential that each lesson be firmly focused on the purpose of that lesson. If this is not done then each lesson dissolves into a general lesson on thinking and the students get bored and confused.

Because of the interactive nature of the thinking in CoRT 3, the teacher can use role-playing in order to produce the interaction. Modification of this nature can inject interest into the lessons. So long as the purpose of each lesson is kept absolutely clear and attention is focused on the thinking process in use, the teacher should try to introduce as much variety and interest as possible. If something seems too difficult or is not working well, the teacher should move on to something else rather than persist. If one way of explaining the lesson is not working, the teacher should attempt another way. Complicated philosophical arguments should be avoided.

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One of the aims of CoRT 3 is that students learn to attain a clear idea of what is going on in an argument. They should be able to step outside the situation and regard it objectively instead of in terms of “I am right and you are wrong.” Students should be encouraged to perceive an argument just as they have been encouraged in other CoRT lessons to perceive a situation. This applies to someone on the receiving end of an argument and to someone offering the argument.

Some teachers find the CoRT 3 lessons more difficult than the other CoRT sections. Other teachers have no difficulty with them. The differences seem to be that teachers in the first group tend to overcomplicate the lessons and to seek watertight philosophical divisions. The other teachers are more pragmatic and accept the value of practical frameworks. Throughout the CoRT lessons it is best to give clear examples rather than to try to argue the niceties of borderline cases. With thinking there is always a great deal of overlap and blurring at the edges. It is much more useful to be absolutely clear about the centre than to try to remove all ambiguity from the periphery. It is perfectly permissible for a teacher to say of a grey area: “This could well be looked at as an example of this or, alternatively, it could equally well be looked at as an example of that.”

Through a CoRT lesson a teacher should keep reminding herself or himself: What am I trying to show in this lesson? What aspect of thinking am I trying to make clear? Teaching thinking is not difficult, but like riding a bicycle it can be awkward at first. It is awkward to try to keep attention on processes when the natural tendency is to attend to content.

STANDARD LESSON FORMAT The CoRT 3 lessons are rather different from the lessons in CoRT 1 and CoRT 2. They are simpler because there is only an introduction, which explains the particular thinking process that is central to the lesson, and then a practice section, which practices this process. There is a further difference in that the format for all CoRT 3 lessons is essentially a debating format.

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Alternatives for the practical operation of this in a classroom are given below under the Practice heading.

TIME As usual each lesson is designed to be used over a single period of 35 minutes. In some cases this may turn out to be rather short. Where it is possible and where the teacher feels it to be necessary, a double period can be used. This is better than two single periods, as students are often reluctant to return to the same lesson again. The teaching should be crisp and brief, and should concentrate on the main process of the lesson, rather than meander after any interesting point that arises. It should be remembered that the purpose of the lesson is to examine and practice a particular thinking process, not just to have an interesting time with nothing to show for it at the end.

INTRODUCTION The important thing is to go through the introduction very briskly. Older students can re-read it for themselves in their lesson notes. The fundamental process of the lesson should be crystallised in a sharp and definite manner. Philosophical discussion, justification and expansion should be avoided, since they add nothing to the lesson and serve only to confuse. Confusion must at all costs be avoided, since it wrecks the lesson. It is better that the students have a clear idea of the process as an arbitrary process than a vague conception of something that seems reasonable to do. The student’s achievement lies in carrying out the process in a sharp and effective manner. The approach should be more in line with: “This is what we are going to do today” (as in defining a new game) rather than: “Bear with me, and I will try and explain to you why it may be useful in thinking to do the following.”

The actual lesson notes can be given out right at the beginning of the lesson, or after the teacher’s introduction. The latter method ensures that the teacher has fuller attention and is also not just seen to be reading material the students could read at the same time.

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PRACTICE In most of the lessons the first practice item is to be done as an openclass item. That is to say, the class tackles the practice item as individuals, who make their comments directly to the teacher, who can ask questions or collect the comments in any way wished (i.e. all from one person or one point at a time from a number of different people, etc.). All the other practice items in each lesson are based on the debate format. That is to say an argument is presented, and one side of the argument is to be taken by Side A and the other side by Side B. Alternative suggestions for the debating format are given below:

Debate format 1: In some classes there are established debating formats, and these can be used if they seem suitable for these lessons.

Debate format 2: Individuals in the class can volunteer to take Side A or B in the argument or the teacher can pick students and ask them to assume these roles All assistant may be assigned to each debater. The rest of the class can act as observers.

Debate format 3: The class is divided into two halves by the teacher, and one half is designated Side A and the other half Side B. Any individual on Side A can volunteer an argument in support of the side (or can be asked to do so by the teacher). In this case there is no separate “audience,” and each side must act as observer for the other side’s arguments.

Debate format 4: Two groups (say of four students each) are chosen by the teacher to prepare a “brief’ on the case to be argued. Group A then argues Side A of the case, and Group B the other side. The rest of the class can act as observers.

ROLE-PLAYING In some of the practice items it may be possible to describe particular roles for each of the debating sides. Such roles can include committees, pressure groups, political speeches, etc.

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OUTPUT The output will vary slightly from lesson to lesson, according to the basic process being practised. Some possible types of output are listed below (and will be repeated in the individual lesson notes).

General comments: Students listen to the opposing side’s arguments and are then asked to make some general comments on these and to pick out specific points as requested (e.g. key points, facts, opinions, prejudice, etc.).

Written lists: Students listen to the arguments and are asked to make a written list of certain specified points (e.g. list all the items of fact used in the argument).

Teacher’s halt: Here the teacher stops the argument at some point and repeats something that has just been said. The class is then asked to classify this piece of evidence or comment on it.

Buzzer: This is a metaphorical or imaginary buzzer, which is used like buzzers on radio shows when one contestant buzzes another who has used a forbidden word. Students use some signalling device (raising arm, rapping desk, etc.) in a similar manner. If students believe t hey have spotted some specified type of thinking being used in the course of the argument they signal to the teacher, who asks what they have spotted. For instance, students may be asked to look out for value judgement words.

On the whole, “general comments” and “teacher’s halt” will be used most often. With more sophisticated groups “written lists” and the “buzzer” technique should be possible.

PROMPTING When students are slow to develop any arguments on either Side A or B. the teacher can feed in suggestions in the form of a brief general discussion on the matter. Teachers may generate such suggestions for themselves

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or they can use the ones given in the actual lesson notes in the teacher’s notes. The suggestions given in the notes are not meant to be the correct answers, but the sort of arguments that might be put forward on the subject.

PRACTICE AND PROJECT ITEMS On the following pages are sets of lesson notes to accompany the CoRT student’s notes. In practice, teachers should read through the lesson notes before the lesson and mark the items they are going to use.

The practice items have been carefully designed to be usable across a broad range of ages and abilities. Naturally a higher degree of thinking skill is demanded from the more able student even if the practice item is the same. Some of the practice items are more suitable for older students. This does not mean that they cannot be used with younger students but that the teacher should use the other items first.

Teachers are encouraged to modify the items and to adapt them to local circumstances or news items. For details, refer to the sections Teaching Points and Standard Lesson Format). Also consult individual notes for each lesson.

A MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE

ONE Do not mention the subject of the lesson, but start with a story or an exercise which illustrates the aspect of thinking that is the subject of the lesson.

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TWO Introduce the TOOL or SUBJECT of the lesson and explain simply what it does. You can use the introduction in the student’s notes.

THREE Carry out an open class example by setting a task and asking for individual responses. ALWAYS repeat the letters of the tool as often as you can. Make sure it is seen as a TOOL.

FOUR Divide the class into groups of 4, 5 or 6. Assign a practice item from the student’s notes. Allow about three minutes.

FIVE Get feedback from the groups, for example by getting one suggestion from each of the groups.

SIX Repeat the process with another item. Repeat practice items in this manner.

SEVEN At the end of the lesson, allow some time for discussion of the subject of the lesson.

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Interaction Module 3 deals with two-people situations. The thinker is no longer looking directly at the subject matter but at someone elses thinking. The area is that of argument, debate, conflict, opinion, etc. The lessons provide ways of assessing evidence. They also examine the different strategies used to prove a point and the two main classes of error.

1: EBS Deliberate practice in examining both sides of an argument instead of blindly supporting one side.

2: EVIDENCE The types of evidence put forward in an argument. Distinguishing between fact and opinion.

3: EVIDENCE - VALUE Practice in the assessment of the value of evidence. Not all evidence is of equal value.

4: EVIDENCE - STRUCTURE Examining evidence. Does it stand on its own, is it dependent on other evidence which in turn depends on something else.

5: ADI Mapping out these areas to increase areas of agreement and reduce areas of disagreement.

6: BEING RIGHT - 1 Two of the main ways of being right. (1) Examining the idea itself, its implications and effects. (2) Referring to facts, authority, feelings.

7: BEING RIGHT 2 The other two ways of being right. (1) Use of names, labels, classifications. (2)Judgment, including the use of value words .

8: BEING WRONG 1 Exaggeration - false generalizations, taking things to extremes. Basing conclusions on only part of the situation.

9: BEING WRONG 2 The remaining two ways of being wrong: mistake and prejudice.

10: OUTCOME What has been achieved at the end of an argument? Seven possible levels of achievement short of complete agreement

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Lesson 1 Examine Both Sides

EBS Deliberate practice in examining both sides of an argument instead of blindly supporting one side.

INTRODUCTION The purpose of the lesson is to establish EBS as a definite operation or tool that can be used deliberately - or asked for. This is similar to the use of the PMI. A student may be asked to “do an EBS” on a question. This is a vital lesson because it is unnatural to examine both sides of a question. It may seem an obvious thing to do, and indeed many people claim that it is something they do naturally. But how many people will have examined the other side so well that they could take over and carry through the opponent’s argument? It is an unnatural thing to do because in an argument people are anxious to prove their point. They know that they are right so why should they bother to listen to the other side? They may listen enough to be able to score debating or courtroom points, but not enough to see the question from the other side (and even beyond the other person’s presentation of it). Alternatively, one may be under such heavy attack that one does not have the time or inclination to examine the other side. That is why a deliberate effort must be made to examine both sides. This deliberate effort is crystallised in the EBS operation. An EBS requires one to examine both sides. People taking part in the argument are required to examine the opponent’s side (since it is assumed they know their own). One might assume that people generally do an EBS anyhow, but in practice this is not so.

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An EBS means more than a general awareness of the other side’s arguments - it means being able to take them over and argue them oneself in a switch of sides. In an argument, disagreement, quarrel, dispute or debate there are two sides. Each side believes that it is right, and that the other side is wrong. Once upon a time there were people who argued that the earth was flat and others who argued that it was round. There were people who argued that the earth was the centre of the universe and others who argued that the sun was the centre. There are times when the workers in a business want more money and the management argues that wages cannot be increased further. In such an argument each side is usually so busy saying what it thinks and why it is right that it never really listens to the arguments of the other side.

EBS STANDS FOR EXAMINE BOTH SIDES This means that each side should examine the other side›s arguments so well that it could present these arguments if asked to do so. Example:  Should the minimum age that a student can quit school be raised by one year? Side A: •

More education is needed for jobs nowadays.



It may be necessary to change jobs later on.



More education makes people happier.



It would help unemployment.

Side B: Many students are already too bored at school. •

Students could be earning good money instead of sitting in class.



School education is not helpful for all jobs. It may be better to learn the job directly by starting young.



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There would be a need for more schools and more teachers.

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Side A should be able to give the exact arguments of Side B. if asked to do an EBS. Similarly Side B should be able to give the exact arguments of Side A if asked to do an EBS. The EBS should be introduced as a definite operation, or even a game, without too much philosophy as to its value. Any question on which there are two points of view can be used as an example, or the example given in the student notes can be elaborated. Though there is some overlap, an EBS is not the same as an OPV, since an EBS examines the other side of the question in full, and not just the other person’s view of it. (If no one raises this question it is best to leave it out since it might be confusing.) The general usefulness of doing an EBS is self-evident. In an argument situation it can help one to win an argument or to lose it (if you realise the other side does have a better case); to reach agreement or compromise; and not to argue aimlessly just because you have never listened to what the other side is actually saying.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: A debating format is arranged (see Standard Lesson Format for some alternatives). For instance, one student may be asked to represent Side A of [he argument in practice item I and another student to present Side B. The rest of the class acts as observers, but it is made clear to them that at any moment they might be asked by the teacher to give arguments for either Side A or Side B. An alternative format is to divide the class into A and B halves. Individuals in the A half give arguments on the A side of the question and in the B half on the B side. Then the sides are deliberately switched, and the students have to give arguments for the opposite side (in doing this they are at least expected to give all the arguments previously given by the other side). © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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There will probably be time for only two items and these can be selected from the four items given in the student notes. There is evidence that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health and can cause lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, etc. Should smoking be banned by law or should people just be warned about the dangers and allowed to smoke if they want to? Only some people will get the diseases and the tax from tobacco helps pay for government services. But more than three times as many people die of lung cancer each year as are killed on the roads. Side A: Arguments for the complete banning by law of cigarette smoking showing why the present system is not good enough. Side B: Arguments against the complete banning by law and arguments to show why the present system is better. Suggested points for practice item: Side A: •

People cannot really know all the possible dangers.



If cigarettes were not around people would not be tempted.



There is no real need to smoke - if one never starts.



The present system does not work - deaths are too high.



People should be free to take risk if they want to.



Alcohol, car driving, skiing also are dangerous - you cannot ban

Side B:

everything that involves risk. •

The government needs the taxes and would otherwise have to raise taxes elsewhere.



Better education about dangers, especially at school, should be enough.

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PRACTICE ITEM 2 A debating format is arranged (see Standard Lesson Format for some alternatives). For instance, one student may be asked to represent Side A of the argument in practice item I and another student to present Side B. The rest of the class acts as observers, but it is made clear to them that at any moment they might be asked by the teacher to give arguments for either Side A or Side B. An alternative format is to divide the class into A and B halves. Individuals in the A half give arguments on the A side of the question and in the B half on the B side. Then the sides are deliberately switched, and the students have to give arguments for the opposite side (in doing this they are at least expected to give all the arguments previously given by the other side). There will probably be time for only two items and these can be selected from the four items given in the student notes. Some people argue that local industries should be protected from foreign competition. For example the government might limit the number of foreign cars that can be imported or the quantity of foreign shoes. Others argue that there must be free trade and if a business cannot compete it should close down. Side A: Arguments for protection of local industries. Side B: Arguments for free trade and no limits on foreign imports. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

There would be a loss of jobs and high unemployment.



Revenues from local workers and local industry would decrease.



Foreign competition is often unfair.



Foreign workers are often exploited.



The standard of living of foreign workers is often very low.



There may be a need for protection when a local industry is modernising.

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Side B. •

If we restrict imports other countries will restrict our exports.



Consumers will have to pay higher prices.



Consumers will not get such choice or quality.



The best producers should do the producing.



There is no point keeping alive for a while longer an industry that will eventually die.



Free competition spurs improvement and modernisation.

PRACTICE ITEM 3) A debating format is arranged (see Standard Lesson Format for some alternatives). For instance, one student may be asked to represent Side A of the argument in practice item I and another student to present Side B. The rest of the class acts as observers, but it is made clear to them that at any moment they might be asked by the teacher to give arguments for either Side A or Side B. An alternative format is to divide the class into A and B halves. Individuals in the A half give arguments on the A side of the question and in the B half on the B side. Then the sides are deliberately switched, and the students have to give arguments for the opposite side (in doing this they are at least expected to give all the arguments previously given by the other side). There will probably be time for only two items and these can be selected from the four items given in the student notes. In some countries TV broadcasting is limited to a fixed number of hours every day. It is said that people then spend more time reading, talking and doing their hobbies. In other countries there is continuous TV. Side A: Arguments for limiting the number of hours of TV. What is to be said for this? Why could it be a good thing? Side B: Arguments against restricting TV by law. Arguments for letting people watch as much TV as they wish.

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Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

People would talk to their friends and family more.



People would develop their own interests and achievements and not be passive.



There would be less advertising and pressure to buy things.



People are not forced to watch TV if they do not want to.



Different people want so many different programs - sports, drama,

Side B.

news, etc., - that it would be difficult to fit everything into two hours. •

Extra moneys from longer TV hours makes for better quality.



People would drink more and get into more trouble.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 A debating format is arranged (see Standard Lesson Format for some alternatives). For instance, one student may be asked to represent Side A of the argument in practice item I and another student to present Side B. The rest of the class acts as observers, but it is made clear to them that at any moment they might be asked by the teacher to give arguments for either Side A or Side B. An alternative format is to divide the class into A and B halves. Individuals in the A half give arguments on the A side of the question and in the B half on the B side. Then the sides are deliberately switched, and the students have to give arguments for the opposite side (in doing this they are at least expected to give all the arguments previously given by the other side). There will probably be time for only two items and these can be selected from the four items given in the student notes. Is it better to live in the country or in a town? Side A: Arguments in favour of country living and against city living.

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Side B: Arguments in favour of city living and against country living. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

Cleaner air and less pollution.



Prices are cheaper.



People are friendlier.



Better for children: fields, horses, streams, etc.



The country is boring.



Work is easier to find in town.



One can have more friends in town.



Better shops are in town.

Side B.

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Lesson 2 Evidence Types The types of evidence put forward in an argument. Distinguishing between fact and opinion.

INTRODUCTION “Evidence” is a general term covering points, arguments, ideas, thoughts, support, etc., which are used as evidence for a point of view. This lesson is concerned with looking at the nature or type of evidence that may be used. There is a very simple classification into FACT and OPINION. It is definitely not suggested that facts are valid evidence and that opinions are not. There are cases when the facts may be correct in themselves but may be out of context, or incomplete, and may therefore be wrong in use. There are situations which must depend on opinions (for instance, what people like, believe or want). The purpose of the lesson is to get students to examine each piece of evidence put forward and to decide whether it is a FACT or an OPINION. FACT includes ordinary fact, personal experience, common experience, examples which have actually occurred. OPINION includes ordinary opinion, feeling, prejudice, belief and guesses. Anything which is subjective is an opinion; anything which is objective is a fact. The separation of evidence into these two types has the main purpose of getting students to look closely at evidence in a neutral manner (i.e., to see what it is, not whether they agree or not).

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There is the secondary purpose that fact and opinion are indeed different types of evidence. Facts have universal application insofar as they should be accepted by everyone. The emphasis is therefore on seeing whether the fact is correct and whether it is correctly used. Opinions are much more personal and do not have a universal application. On the other hand it is very difficult to show that an opinion is wrong, or to change it. Sometimes people claim as facts what are only opinions, and it is useful to be able to point out the distinction. In practice, facts need checking and opinions need noting. How do you support your arguments? How does the other side support its arguments? Both sides support their arguments with evidence and this evidence can be of various types. There are two types of evidence: opinion and fact. OPINION: This includes •

Ordinary opinion,



Feeling,



Prejudice,



Belief and guesses.

FACT: This includes •

Ordinary fact,



Personal experience,



Common experience and actual examples.

Opinions can sometimes be just as valid as facts, and sometimes facts can be out of place. The important thing is to be able to distinguish fact from opinion.

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Example:  Should stores be open on Sundays? Opinion: •

Shopping is enjoyable and people may want to have this pleasure on weekends.



People won’t go to church.



Most people would prefer shopping at their leisure instead of in a rush during the week.



Stores would make more money.



Many people work and do not have enough time for shopping

Fact:

during the week •

Store assistants would not be able to spend all weekend with their families.



There are those who are against Sunday shopping on religious grounds.



Many stores already stay open late in the evening.



People now manage to do all their shopping without stores being open on Sunday.

It is intended that this simple classification should be a “rough and ready” one. It is not necessary to go into subtle philosophical distinctions. There may be borderline cases, where something could be classified as a fact or an opinion (e.g., “That driver nearly had an accident”; fact: he passed within two inches of the divider; opinion: he might well have hit it - but for all I know he might be an expert driver who was in no danger of hitting it at all.) Such borderline cases should be avoided, and the simple test is: if it actually happened it is a fact. In this lesson, facts are taken as events which have really occurred.

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This includes the usual figures and data but it also includes actual experience (e.g., “I was in a car crash yesterday” is a fact). The interpretation of experience may, however, be an opinion (e.g., “I was lucky not to get killed in the car crash”). There is no point in trying to make subtle philosophical distinctions in the lesson. If it is subjective it is an opinion, if it is objective it is a fact.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: The first item is done on an open-class basis. Every student looks at the list of points given in the student notes and decides which of them are fact and which is opinion. Alternatively the teacher can read out the points one by one and ask individual students to classify each one. In some cases there might be a short discussion. It is proposed to build a new highway which will destroy some towns and farmland. The following arguments are put forward in favour of the highway and against it. Can you separate the arguments into opinion and fact? A. I do not think we should allow highways to be built all over the country, destroying beautiful countryside. B. The cost of the highway will be greater than 4 million dollars a mile. C. The highway will bring new industries and so provide more jobs for the people in the area. D. If the highway is not built the roads will be so congested in three years that driving will be very difficult. E. I think this trend toward greater speed is always harmful. F. Everyone knows that highways help the people at either end of them but not those along the way. G. I asked ten people what they thought of the highway and not one of them was in favour of it. Page 22

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H. Forty-two houses and eight hundred acres of farmland will be destroyed. I. I think these beautiful towns are unique and should be preserved. J. Planners are paid for planning, so they are always trying to build unnecessary roads. It is suggested that the following points be regarded as fact: B. F. G. H.

PRACTICE ITEM 2 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). For this lesson it may be better if there are two individuals or groups arguing Sides A and B. with the rest of the class acting as observers. The teacher may then stop the argument at any point and ask the observers to listen to one side of the argument and simply list all the facts used. In many countries young men have to do compulsory military service after leaving school. Do you think this is a good idea? Side A: Arguments in favour of this military service, from the point of view of both the people involved and the country. Side B: Arguments against all young men having to do military service. Suggestions; Side A. •

All young men would get some military training.



Without compulsory service there may not be enough volunteers for the army.



It is good for the young men - gives them some discipline.



It is a useful pause between school and whatever follows.

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Side B. •

Military service interrupts education (if further education is intended).



It is very boring.



It is a waste of time at a very important stage in life.



Some people are totally unsuited to army life and it can ruin them.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 (FORMULA ONE TIME) This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). For this lesson it may be better if there are two individuals or groups arguing Sides A and B. with the rest of the class acting as observers. The teacher may then stop the argument at any point and ask the observers to listen to one side of the argument and simply list all the facts used. Big cars use more fuel and also occupy more of the road. Should there be a special tax on cars over a certain size? Side A: Arguments in favour of this special tax. Side B: Arguments against such a tax. Suggestions; Side A. •

Bigger cars waste fuel and should be discouraged.



Bigger cars wear out the roads more.



Someone who owns a big car can afford to pay the taxes.



Big cars cause more damage in an accident.



There would be more money for road improvement.



The rich already pay higher taxes.



Big car owners already pay more in gasoline tax.



Big car owners are contributing more to the economy.



If people stopped buying cars there might be unemployment.

Side B.

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There are already too many taxes.



It is unfair to tax people’s preferences.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 (WORKING NINE TO FIVE) This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). For this lesson it may be better if there are two individuals or groups arguing Sides A and B. with the rest of the class acting as observers. The teacher may then stop the argument at any point and ask the observers to listen to one side of the argument and simply list all the facts used. There are some organisations that let people work whatever hours they like, provided they put in the same total of hours and get the work done. Side A: Arguments in favour of flexible working hours. Side B: Arguments against flexible working hours. Suggestions; Side A. •

People have different lifestyles.



People have different needs at home (children in school, etc.).



Some people work better in the morning; others do not.



People will work harder.



People like more control over their lives.



It will cause confusion.



People will cheat and not put in their hours.



It will be difficult for people to communicate with each other.



Some things have to be done in groups.



There will be money wasted on more light and heating.



Security will be a problem.

Side B.

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Lesson 3 Evidence Value Practice in the assessment of the value of evidence. Not all evidence is of equal value.

INTRODUCTION This lesson is concerned with the value of a particular piece of evidence to the argument it supports. We know that in criminal cases there may be a “key” piece of evidence on which the whole case rests. This approach is carried over into the argument situation. Not everything that is said is equally important. A great deal of time can be wasted in chasing or disagreeing with minor or even irrelevant points without ever getting to the core of the argument. There is a very strong natural tendency to tackle an immediate point because the answer is known. We are concerned with examining the importance of a piece of evidence to the argument it supports. This importance is called value. Three types of value are suggested: KEY (evidence): The central point or key point on which the whole argument depends. If it were not there or were destroyed, the argument would collapse. STRONG (evidence): Gives strong support to the argument, but the argument does not collapse without it. Certainly needs to be considered. WEAK (evidence): May seem important or true, but really adds very little and could be ignored. The purpose of the lesson is to get students to examine the evidence in a deliberate manner and to assess its value. The classification divisions are indeed subjective, but this does not matter so long as students can justify their own classification.

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Thus a student who picks out a different key point must justify it as being vital. The lesson is concerned only with stated evidence, not with implied evidence that is never stated. An effort is also made to pick out the strong points. These are points which really need considering, even though they are not actually key points. Similarly, points which are classified as weak can be ignored until the more important point have been dealt with. There may be one or more key pieces of evidence, but an effort must be made to keep the number down since it is unlikely that every point is a key one. The test is: What would happen to the argument if this point were omitted? This lesson can be very useful when applied to one’s own thinking. When one is putting forward an argument, it is well worth knowing the key point, the strong points and the weak points. In an effort to sort them out, one may well find fewer strong points than supposed.  In an argument the supporting evidence on each side is not all of equal value. Some evidence may give very strong support to the argument but other evidence may be of much less value. For practical purposes we can consider the value of evidence in the following manner:

KEY: The whole argument depends on the key point, just as an arch depends on the keystone. If the key point is destroyed the argument tends to collapse.

STRONG: Evidence which gives strong support to the argument but which is not key evidence. If the strong evidence were removed the argument would be weakened but not destroyed.

WEAK: By itself, weak evidence adds little to an argument and it would not much matter if it were left out. A lot of weak evidence considered together can provide some support. Evidence may be so weak as to be irrelevant.

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Example:  Should there be school tests? The following arguments are put forward: •

Teachers find they can teach better if they have a definite test in mind. (Strong)



Tests are a lot of bother. (Weak)



If a school is used to having tests it should continue to do so. (Weak)



When there are tests the students take the subjects more seriously and actually work harder. (Key point in favour)



Students learn only what is necessary to pass the test and nothing else. (Strong)



Some subjects are rather difficult to test. (Weak)



Tests are unfair to those students who do not work at their best in tests. (Key point against)



Most students do not like tests. (Weak or Strong?)

A local example can be used as well.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: his first item is done on an open-class basis. The teacher can go through the practice points one by one and ask the students to classify each point as key, strong or weak. Disagreements can be discussed first and then accepted if properly justified. Alternatively, students can go through all the points alone and then the whole item is discussed. The following arguments are used either in favour of higher taxation for the rich or against it. For each argument indicate whether it is key, strong or weak.

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a. Rich people must expect to make a bigger contribution to society. b. As long as poor people see rich people spending their money freely the poor will not feel there is social justice. c. Most wealth is ultimately derived from someone else’s work or ignorance. d. Social equality demands that no one should be very much richer than anyone else. e. No matter how high the taxes, rich people will always be able to earn enough money to pay them. f. The amount of money taken from the rich actually makes very little difference when spread out among the rest. g. Jealousy of the rich is not a good basis for justice. h. If taxes are too high there will be no incentive for people to work harder or to invest, and society as a whole will suffer. i. Rich people spend their money and so give employment to other people. j. Rich people do not use the roads, the police or the community services more than others, so why should they pay more? k. Taxing the rich encourages neither the rich nor the poor to work harder. The following classification is suggested (but is open to alteration): Key: a. k. Strong: b. c. f. g. Weak: d. e. h. i. j.

PRACTICE ITEM 2) This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). With this lesson it may be better for the audience or observer students to listen to the whole of one side of the argument and then say which particular points they consider key, strong or weak. In addition, teachers can extract a point from the argument (or supply a fresh one of their own) and ask the class to assess its value. Should there be film censorship or should people of all ages be allowed to see whatever they want to see? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Side A: Arguments in favour of censorship and against completely free viewing. Side B: Arguments against censorship and in favour of completely free viewing. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

If there is no censorship at all, producers will be free to make the most awful movies just for money.



Young people may be shocked or influenced by things which older people, having more experience, can dismiss as nonsense.



Though sophisticated people may be able to watch a harmful movie with detachment, others may not.



People are protected from poisons, road accidents, electricity, etc. why not from harmful movies?

Side B. •

No one is forced to see a movie.



If you start censoring some things, you will soon censor everything and have a police state.



No one takes movies seriously enough to be influenced by them.



After a while people stop being shocked and get bored.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). With this lesson it may be better for the audience or observer students to listen to the whole of one side of the argument and then say which particular points they consider key, strong or weak. In addition, teachers can extract a point from the argument (or supply a fresh one of their own) and ask the class to assess its value.

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There is a suggestion that drivers convicted of dangerous driving should have yellow and black stripes painted on their cars so that other motorists can steer clear of them. Side A: Arguments in favour of the yellow and black stripes, showing why it might be a good idea. Side B: Arguments against the idea, showing why it would not work or the harmful effects it might have. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. Other drivers would avoid them. •

It would be like being in the stocks - people would be ashamed to have the stripes on their cars.



The effect would last much longer than a fine or short prison sentence.



The cars would look ugly and this would be a deterrent.



Some people might consider it a mark of distinction and try hard

Side B.

to “win” the stripes. •

People with the stripes might feel they had a license to drive dangerously.



What would happen the second time such a driver was caught?



The stripes would not be visible at night.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). With this lesson it may be better for the audience or observer students to listen to the whole of one side of the argument and then say which particular points they consider key, strong or weak.

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In addition, teachers can extract a point from the argument (or supply a fresh one of their own) and ask the class to assess its value. It is claimed that experiments on live animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs) are sometimes necessary in medical research in order to find out how to cure diseases. These experiments may cause suffering to the animals. Side A: Arguments against the use of animals in medical research. Side B: Arguments in favour of continuing the use of animals where necessary in medical research. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

Some of the experiments seem very cruel and inflicting pain cannot ever be justified.



An effort should be made to find other ways of doing research.



Animals are defenceless and at our mercy.



Most understanding of disease did not in fact arise from research on animals but from observation of humankind itself.

Side B. •

Most people eat meat from animals that have been grown and killed as food - research can help many sick people.



Some things (like testing vaccines) could not possibly be done on people.



Provided there is no deliberate cruelty, the use of animals is justified.



We must also look at the human suffering in disease, not only at the animals who suffer in research.

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Lesson 4 Evidence Structure Examining evidence. Does it stand on its own, is it dependent on other evidence which in turn depends on

something else.

INTRODUCTION This lesson is concerned with the way evidence is used, with the way it is put together, with the way it hangs together. Two simple classifications are given: DEPENDENT EVIDENCE and INDEPENDENT EVIDENCE Dependent evidence rests on other evidence. In an argument one point may rest on another and that other on yet another point. At the bottom of that particular line of evidence is some point that is accepted as true or assumed to be true. In analysing an argument (reading a book or listening to a speech), it is useful to examine each point to see what it depends on. For instance, several quite reasonable points may be found ultimately to depend on some assumption that has not been proved. Sometimes there may be a long line of points, each one dependent on the next. At other times it may just be one point that rests on another. Some pieces of evidence can stand alone, but others depend on some other piece of evidence. For instance, “the room is cold” may depend on “the heating is off,” which in turn may depend on “there is a power failure,” which in turn may depend on “there is too little coal at the power stations,” which in turn may depend on “there is a coal miner’s strike.” This sort of thing can happen just as easily in an argument.

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The effort here is not so much to classify but to unravel the structure of dependence. In other words, in order to classify a point as dependent or independent you have to make an effort to determine what it depends on. If a point cannot be found to depend on another point it is termed “independent.” This may only be an admission of failure on the part of the person pursuing the line of dependence. The important thing is not to have classified the evidence, but to have some picture of the structure of dependence in the argument. The purpose of the lessons is to get students to look at the structure of evidence - at the way evidence is put together to make up the argument. With more able students it may be possible to look at the whole structure of evidence in an argument: the basic points, what depends on them, etc. Otherwise it is best to keep things very simple and just to show how some pieces of evidence depend on others. The simplest way to proceed is to repeat the piece of evidence and then ask, Why? This reveals the next level, and so on.  We have had a look at the type of evidence (fact, opinion) used in an argument and also at the value of the evidence (key, strong, weak). The next thing is to look at how the evidence is put together - in other words the structure of the evidence. Each piece of evidence is either dependent or independent. DEPENDENT: Most evidence used in an argument is dependent. That is to say it depends on another piece of evidence. Sometimes this other piece of evidence is given. At other times it is assumed or accepted without actually being stated. Some dependent evidence depends on something else being true or accepted. INDEPENDENT: When evidence does not appear to depend on anything else but seems to stand by itself it can be called independent. Independent evidence has to be challenged in its own right. But with dependent evidence you can challenge what it rests upon. Example:  Should very smart boys and girls go to a special school, or should they be mixed in with everyone else at an ordinary school? Page 34

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Those in favour of a special school argue that bright students would learn more in a special school. This argument depends on the following three items: •

Classes could proceed at a rapid pace.



Students would be competing with others at the same level.



They would probably have special teachers.

The last item depends on special teachers being attracted by the idea of bright students. Finally, an independent piece of evidence: •

Such special schools have been very successful.

In fact in this example all the evidence depends on the assumption that the most important thing in school is to do well at school work. It can happen that evidence depends on some assumption that is implied but never actually stated. This assumption can be drawn forth and then examined. For instance, the statement, “It is necessary to kill animals for food” depends on the assumption that the food we get from the animals cannot be obtained anywhere else.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first practice item is done on an open-class basis. Each student looks at the list of practice points given and decides which points rest on which. The whole practice item is then discussed with the class. The teacher asks one or two students for their views of the matter, and then the individual points and their dependence can be looked at.

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The following suggestions can be made: f depends on e. e. depends on both d. and c. d. depends on a. b. depends on e. Some jobs are unpleasant, like sewage work or garbage collection. Other jobs, like mining, may be both unpleasant and dangerous. It is suggested that people in such jobs should get paid as much as people in jobs that are more difficult but more pleasant (teachers, doctors, etc.). The following arguments are put forward in favour of this idea. Can you indicate which items are dependent on which? A. Society depends on having these jobs done. B. Money can be raised by charging much higher prices for coal, etc. C. No one would ever enjoy doing these unpleasant jobs. D. The consequences are very serious if these workers have to strike for better pay. E. They should be paid enough to compensate for the unpleasantness or danger. F. So much the better if the higher pay attracts more people.

PRACTICE ITEM 2 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). In this lesson it is best if the argument proceeds until halted occasionally by the teacher, who repeats a point that has been made. The class is asked whether this point is dependent on any other point (or assumption). Should only women design advertisements directed at women consumers? Side A: Arguments in favour. Side B: Arguments against.

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Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

Women would have a better feel of what appeals to other women.



Women are more likely to focus on the product than to show the users of the product.



As users themselves of the products, women will know which things are most appealing.



Women will avoid being as patronising as male advertisers.



Because they may know the product well, women will not use the

Side B.

sort of advertising copy that will attract people who are not yet users. •

Women cannot see themselves objectively, which men might be able to do.



Because you know the subject it does not make you more skilled at advertising.



Women will focus on what suits them personally and this might have less appeal to other women.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). In this lesson it is best if the argument proceeds until halted occasionally by the teacher, who repeats a point that has been made. The class is asked whether this point is dependent on any other point (or assumption). A businessman is kidnapped and the kidnappers demand a ransom of 2 million Dollars.

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If this is paid the police think there will be many other kidnappings. If it is not paid then the man might be killed by the kidnappers. Side A: Arguments in favour of paying the ransom. Side B: Arguments against paying the ransom. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

If it is not paid he will be killed.



Better to pay it and then try to find the kidnappers.



The money can be taken out of profits, or prices can be raised.



If the man is killed the kidnappers will try again anyway- knowing that the next time they will be paid.

Side B. •

If the ransom is paid, there will be many more kidnappings.



The kidnappers can just go on asking for more and more money without limit.



There is no way to prevent kidnapping except to refuse to pay ransom.



With the money, the kidnappers can organise more kidnapping.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 This item can be chosen for the debating format (see Standard Lesson Format). In this lesson it is best if the argument proceeds until halted occasionally by the teacher, who repeats a point that has been made. The class is asked whether this point is dependent on any other point (or assumption). Suddenly it becomes scientifically possible to determine the sex of a baby, so that if a couple wants a son or daughter they can arrange this. This could have a lot of consequences and a debate arises as to whether it should be allowed. Page 38

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Side A: Arguments against allowing this new process. Side B: Arguments in favour of making use of this new development and allowing couples to choose the sex of their children. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. There might be a dangerous imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls. It is better left to nature. If it is used then governments might try to use it for special purposes - to breed more soldiers, etc. Side B. If a Couple wants a boy or a girl why should they not have one? - Things will even out in the end. There might be fewer children if couples could determine what they wanted they would not go on having boys in the hope of having a girl (or vice versa). Some families might be better at bringing up boys or girls, and should be allowed to choose.

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Lesson 5 Agreement, Disagreement, Irrelevance

ADI Mapping out these areas to increase areas of agreement and reduce areas of disagreement.

INTRODUCTION Doing an ADI is a natural sequel to doing an EBS, but it is much more specific. An EBS is used to examine the other side of the argument, whereas an ADI is used to map out the areas of agreement, disagreement, and irrelevance. In practice, an ADI need not cover the whole of the argument - it is possible to pick out the major points of agreement or disagreement. In an argument it is quite natural to assume that everything the other side says is wrong and must therefore be opposed. This makes agreement or compromise extremely difficult. The purpose of the ADI is to provide a deliberate device for mapping out the areas of agreement, disagreement and irrelevance. It does require an effort to find the areas of agreement between your own position and that of your opponent. The areas of disagreement can also be mapped out in a definite manner. Finally, the irrelevant points can be labeled as such, so that they no longer muddle the argument proper. Students can be asked to “do an ADI” just as they can be asked to “do a PMI”. This means listing the points of agreement first, then the points of disagreement, and finally the points which seem irrelevant. In practice, an ADI may be applied to the whole of an opponent’s argument or only to the main points. It is usually more convenient to apply it to the main points. An EBS covers the whole of the opposing position (even beyond what the opponent says) and makes no distinction between agreement and disagreement.

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In politics it is usual to believe, or to pretend, that everything the other side says is wrong or mistaken. It is not uncommon to find this blanket view of things in any other situation where two sides are accustomed to disagreeing. It does, however, make any sort of agreement or compromise very difficult. A deliberate ADI solves this problem by directing attention to finding the areas of agreement and disagreement. The ADI should be introduced as a definite operation or even a game without too much philosophising about its value. It is wrong to suppose that in an argument the two sides disagree about everything. There is usually disagreement on some points and agreement on others. There may also be points which are so irrelevant that agreement or disagreement does not matter. It is worth making a deliberate effort to find out the points of agreement, disagreement and irrelevance by doing an ADI. A - AGREEMENT (points on which the two sides agree) D - DISAGREEMENT (points on which the two sides disagree) I - IRRELEVANT (points which are irrelevant and do not matter) To do an ADI you list the points under A, Then the points under D, And finally the points under I. Example:  Should there be special school uniforms or should everyone wear what they like? A. Both sides agree that school uniforms: •

Are more easily recognisable



Are an added expense for parents



Remove the bother of wondering what to wear



Remove the difference in clothing due to parents’ income or choice

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D. •

Side A maintains that ordinary clothing is more comfortable but Side B disagrees.



Side B says that uniforms lead to a greater pride in the school but Side A disagrees.



Side B claims that uniforms are much tidier but Side A says that this need not be so.



Side A says that student comfort is more important than the school image but Side B disagrees and says that the school image is in the students’ own interest.

I •

The colour of the uniform.



The style



Etc

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first practice item is done as an open-class item. This means that the students look at all the points and decide which of them might be agreed upon, which might be a source of disagreement, and which might be considered irrelevant. Alternatively the teacher can take the points one by one and get the class to decide on them. For instance: Agreement: a. c. e. Disagreement: b. d. g. h. Irrelevant: f. There is an argument about the effect of TV violence (gunfights, fights, westerns, bombs, etc.) on young people.

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Side A claims that so much TV violence must influence young people and make them more violent themselves. Side B disagrees and says that TV only entertains and does not make people do what they would not have done anyway. The following points arise during the argument. Can you decide which might be? The points of agreement (A), The points of disagreement (D), And the irrelevant points (I)? A. The average person spends 4-5 hours watching TV each day. B. Most programs on TV are very realistic and so easily imitated. C. Violence has always been around in stories, games, books, etc., And so its presence on TV is nothing new. D. TV is bound to have a stronger effect than any other medium. E. There is no need for TV to show so much violence. F. Violence should only be shown when children are in bed. G. Because of TV, people take violence for granted and become very casual about it. H. People do not regard TV as the real world but as a fairy tale, and you do not imitate fairy tales. PRACTICE ITEM 2 The debating format can be used with item. In this lesson it might be best to divide the class into an A half and a B half. Individual students in each half can then put forward single points to support their side of the argument. At the end the students are asked to pick out the main points of agreement, disagreement, and irrelevance. There is a suggestion that students who are less intelligent could have shorter vacations so that they would have more time to work and keep up with the others.

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Side A: Arguments in favour of shorter vacations for students who are less bright. Side B: Arguments against shorter vacations and in favour of everyone having the same vacations. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

They could work longer and so keep up.



They could get special attention.



Students that fall behind get further and further behind the class as the school year progresses - this would provide an opportunity for catching up.



Lazy students would work harder so as not to be considered less intelligent.

Side B. •

Teachers would also have to have shorter vacations.



Less intelligent students probably have to work harder so they need more vacation, not less.



It would not be a good idea to divide students into two types.



Students who are bored would get even more bored.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 The debating format can be used with this item. In this lesson it might be best to divide the class into an A half and a B half. Individual students in each half can then put forward single points to support their side of the argument. At the end the students are asked to pick out the main points of agreement, disagreement, and irrelevance. Should a person who is trying to destroy free speech have the right to free speech?

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Should a political party that aims to destroy free speech be given free speech? Should an organisation that disrupts other people’s meetings be allowed to hold meetings? Side A: Arguments in favour of free speech for everyone, no matter what their aim or intention might be. Side B: Arguments against allowing free speech to those who do not believe in it for others. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

Free speech means free speech for everyone.



Who is going to decide who can have free speech?



Soon the government might decide that someone it did not like should not have free speech.



It is better to give them the chance of trying to persuade people by free speech.

Side B. •

Once such people have power, they will stop free speech for everyone.



Why should someone use a privilege he/she would deny to others?



A clever person could use deceit and persuasion to build up a big following.



The first duty of any political system is to safeguard its own survival.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 (STEALING BASES) The debating format can be used with this item. In this lesson it might be best to divide the class into an A half and a B half.

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Individual students in each half can then put forward single points to support their side of the argument. At the end the students are asked to pick out the main points of agreement, disagreement, and irrelevance. It is sometimes claimed that a person who is very hungry and has no money has a right to steal food, for instance from a supermarket. Side A: Stealing is always wrong and a person has no right to steal. Side B: The right to survive is stronger than the right to property. Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

A person who is lazy and does not want to work might also be hungry - and could make it a way of life.



Who is to decide whether a particular thief was hungry enough to justify theft?



A law is no law if there are exceptions.



It is better to keep the law and show mercy in special circumstances.



Human life is more important than property.



Such people would only take enough for their own immediate

Side B.

needs and this would not harm anyone. •

The government should pay the store owners for the goods as a form of social relief.



There would be more insistence by everyone on relieving poverty if everyone could suffer in this way (i.e., by being robbed).

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Lesson 6 Being Right 1 Two of the main ways of being right. (1) Examining the idea itself, its implications and effects. (2) Referring to facts, authority, feelings.

INTRODUCTION This lesson deals with two of the four main ways of proving a point or being right in an argument. The students are asked to observe an argument and then to comment on which way is being used. The two ways described in this lesson are: 1.

SHOW

2. REFER. SHOW: This includes showing what something means; showing why an idea would work (or would not work); showing what would happen if an idea were carried out; showing all the implications and logical deductions. In fact, “show” covers all the usual ways of proving a point. REFER: This includes referring to some outside source of support for the argument. It can mean bringing in facts and figures. It can mean referring to feelings or instincts. The distinction between the two is quite straightforward: you are either “showing” how something is or you are “referring” to something to support your argument. In an argument there are four important ways people use to show that they are right. The first two of these ways are dealt with in this lesson and the next two ways in the following lesson.

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SHOW: •

You try to show what would happen.



You try to show why an idea is impossible.



You try to show the implications.



You try to show how the idea can be looked at your way.



You try to show how an idea is wrong by examining it



You try to show how an idea is right by examining it.



You refer to facts.



You refer to authority.



You refer to what the experts say.



You refer to personal experience.



You refer to common experience.



You refer to your own instincts or feelings.



You refer to common instincts or feelings.

REFER:

Example:  Education should be useful rather than interesting. Someone arguing in favour of this point uses the show and refer method of being right in the following way:

Show: •

If everyone did only what interested them there would be chaos and everyone would play around all day.



Some useful things like mathematics may be boring to many people.

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Refer: •

The principal and teachers should know best.



For certain jobs definite qualifications are required - even if it is very boring getting them.



A lot of people may all be interested in the same thing but society needs different jobs to be done.

A simple or local example can be used in addition to the one given in the student’s notes. “I can show you (or explain to you) why a car with square wheels would be uncomfortable; but I would have to refer to the maker’s handbook to tell you the exact gear ratios. ”

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first item is done on an open-class basis. The teacher can take the listed points one by one and ask the class whether the point uses the show or refer method of being right. There is a suggestion that ordinary citizens should be paid definite monetary rewards for reporting crime to the police (burglary, shoplifting, assault, fraud, etc.). In the argument about this suggestion the following points are made. Can you indicate which points use the show method and which use the refer method? A. We know that many police forces are under-staffed, especially in cities. B. If criminals know that anyone might report them they would be deterred (especially shoplifters). C. I don’t like the idea of everyone snooping on everyone else. D. In fact, police already use paid informers to catch criminals.

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E. Some people might invent crimes and accuse people in order to earn money. F. It would cost a lot of money. Suggested points for practice item: A. Refers to common knowledge and the fact that police forces are understaffed. B. shows what might happen if the idea were adopted. C. Refers to personal feeling of dislike in the matter. D. Refers to the fact that police do use paid informers already. E. shows what might happen if the idea were adopted. F. shows what might happen (possibly refers to the cost, but this is only an opinion and not a fact). There is a suggestion that ordinary citizens should be paid definite monetary rewards for reporting crime to the police (burglary, shoplifting, assault, fraud, etc.). In the argument about this suggestion the following points are made. Can you indicate which points use the show method and which use the refer method?

PRACTICE ITEM 2. The debating format is used with this item. In this lesson it is probably best to let one side of the argument run for a while (with an individual or a group taking up each side), and then stop it and ask the “observer” students which method of being right had been used and where. The argument can then continue again for a while. This is better than trying to take the argument point by point, or waiting until the end of the argument. Should there be small grocery stores (often owned by families), or should there be supermarkets only? The food is often cheaper in the supermarkets, but the service and attention is more personal in the corner grocers. Side A: Arguments in favour of preserving the small grocers and against letting the supermarkets take over entirely. Page 50

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Side B: Arguments in favour of the supermarkets and showing why it is better to let them take over.

Suggested points for practice item: Side A. •

Small grocery stores are nearer and easier to get to.



You meet your neighbours in the corner grocers.



Lonely people and old people can have someone to talk to and someone to help them.



The service is more friendly and helpful.



Supermarkets are cheaper because they have less staff for the

Side B.

volume of food. •

The food is fresher and more carefully supervised.



There is a greater variety of goods.



You are less dependent on the efficiency of one person.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 The debating format is used for this item. In this lesson it is probably best to let one side of the argument run for a while (with an individual or a group taking up each side), and then stop it and ask the “observer” students which method of being right had been used and where. The argument can then continue again for a while. This is better than trying to take the argument point by point, or waiting until the end of the argument. There is an argument about whether the existing airport in a town should be doubled in size or whether a new airport should be built somewhere else. Side A: Arguments in favour of doubling the existing airport. Side B: Arguments in favour of a new airport elsewhere. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

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People near the existing airport are already used to the sound.



Organisation would be much easier.



Support services would be cheaper in the existing airport.



Transferring from plane to plane would be easier.



The present airport is overcrowded.



More landings will be possible.



It is a good chance to start a modern airport.



More businesses might locate near the new airport.



More employment and construction work will be provided.

Side B

PRACTICE ITEM 4 The debating format is used for this item. In this lesson it is probably best to let one side of the argument run for a while (with an individual or a group taking up each side), and then stop it and ask the “observer” students which method of being right had been used and where. The argument can then continue again for a while. This is better than trying to take the argument point by point, or waiting until the end of the argument. Some people argue that it is the duty of Scientists only to discover things and that they have no responsibility regarding the use of their discoveries. Other people argue that if scientists invent an atom bomb then they are responsible for all the people killed by the bomb. Side A: Arguments that it is a scientist’s job to discover things and that society must be responsible for how these things are used. Side B: Arguments that the scientists are themselves responsible and must be careful about what they work on. Suggested points for practice item:

Side A Page 52

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Scientists are not trained to examine the social consequences of everything they did



It is not the duty of a scientist to tell society how to behave.



Even the most helpful discovery can be turned to evil purposes for instance, biotechnology in germ warfare.



Even if the scientists on one side refuse to work on something, the scientists on the other side might do so with dangerous consequences - for instance, the atom bomb.

Side B •

Scientists must know better than anyone else the implications of what they are doing.



Dangerous weapons must be kept out of the hands of children and often politicians are like children.



If all scientists refused to work on things that were dangerous to society these things would not get developed.



It would not be wise to let scientists work on anything they like, because some of them might be crazy or power hungry.

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Lesson 7 Being Right 2 The other two ways of being right. (1) Use of names, labels, classifications. (2)Judgment, including the use of value words .

INTRODUCTION This lesson deals with the remaining two ways of being right: 1.

NAME

2. JUDGE. At first sight both these ways of being right may seem false. It may seem that they are tricks used by people to make them-selves appear right. It is quite true that these particular ways of being right are very frequently abused and it is useful to be able to pick out the abuses. But, just as a hammer can be used for driving in a nail or breaking a window, these two ways of being right are valid in themselves. NAME: Someone identifies a situation and gives it a name. In this way the experience and value attached to that name become attached to the argument either in favour of something or against something. This point is best explained with multiple examples. If you call someone a ‘sneak ‘ then you are attaching all we know about sneaks to that person. If you call the disappearance of a book a “theft,” then you are attaching all we know about theft to the disappearance. If you call something a “record,” then you are attaching all we know about records and record-breaking. JUDGE: Here a value-word or value-adjective is used directly to indicate whether something is good or bad.

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For instance, if you call an idea “ridiculous” you are trying to say it is not worth considering. If you say that someone is “dirty” you may be trying to prove why you are right in disliking him/her. If you say that some arrangement is “fair” you are trying to prove that you are right to support that arrangement. Even though it does not cover the whole situation, it is probable best to confine this method to value judgements and in particular the use of value-adjectives. We often put a label on things. We give things a name which is a noun or we judge some quality by using an adjective. It is necessary to explain that both these ways of being right are very often abused. For instance, to call someone “dirty” does not prove anything, except that you want to call him/her that. Value-adjectives are used to express feeling but rarely prove anything at all. The method may, however, be validly used, as in: “No one liked him, but we must admit that he was sincere in his beliefs”. The crucial test is, of course: What is the evidence for the judgement?  In an argument people use four main ways to show that they are right. Two of these ways, show and refer, have been dealt with in the previous lesson. The remaining two ways are name and judge. NAME; Someone claims to recognise the situation and proceeds to name it or attach some label to it. This name or label has its own value and this value then supports the argument. For instance: •

This is a trick.



This is nothing but blackmail.



You are all fascists.



This is a communist plot to destroy the government.



We would expect this from capitalists.



He is a sneak.



That is just cheating.

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Once the situation has been named then everyone is supposed to react to the name. JUDGE; Here it is a matter of using value words. These words carry with them a value with which no one could disagree. By using these value words a person judges the situation and puts on it a value which is thought to be right. Examples of value words: right, proper, just, normal, fair, honourable, honest, clever, brave, direct, open, sincere, etc. Silly, ridiculous, unjust, abnormal, unfair, immoral, dishonest, cowardly, stupid, devious, insincere, etc. Example:  Are music artists a good or bad influence on young people? The following points are raised in an argument on this question:

1.

They are wonderful people. (Judge)

2. They are so free and alive they must be a good influence. (Judge) 3. They are sensitive and sincere. (Judge) 4. They are decadent and stupid. (Judge) 5. They are very limited and selfish. (Judge) 6. The whole pop scene is just a commercial venture to make money. (Name) 7.

Their culture is only an image with nothing behind it. (Name)

8. They are leaders of fashion and youth culture. (Name) 9. They are not real - they are plastic people attached to a recording company. (Name)

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first item is done on an open-class basis. The teacher takes each listed point by itself and gets the class to classify the particular way of being right that has been used (i.e.; name or judge). There are often discussions as to whether the U.S. should intervene militarily in the Middle East. The following points often arise in arguments on this matter. Indicate which points are using the name method and which the judge method. 1.

The militarists always want a military solution.

2. The U.S. should not be a bully. 3. The opponents of intervention are ignorant of what is going on. 4. We must show that we are strong and will resist aggression. 5. These are people’s movements and we should support them. 6. Too often one tyranny is just replaced by another. 7.

The U.S. must always be on the side of freedom.

Suggested points for practice item: 1.

Name by using “militarists”.

2. Name by using “bully”. 3. Judge by using “ignorant”. 4. Judge by using “strong,” “resist,” “aggression”. 5. Name by using “movements”. 6. Both judge and name with “tyranny”. 7.

Judge with “freedom”.

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PRACTICE ITEM 2 The debating is used for this item. Each side of the argument is taken by an individual or a group and the rest of the class act as observers. These observers are free to press the metaphorical “buzzer” (i.e., signal by raising a hand) whenever someone uses a value-word or a name. The argument then continues. It is not that value-words and names are forbidden, but that they are to be “spotted.” In each case there may be a brief discussion as to whether the word is being used properly or abused. Some people argue that it is a woman’s place to stay at home, do housework and look after children. Others say that a woman should be free to go out and do an interesting job, and that men should share the housework with women. Side A: Arguments for women staying at home in their traditional role. Side B: Arguments against women having to stay at home and in favour of their having the same sort of opportunities as men. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

Most women would really prefer to stay at home if they did not have to go out to earn money.



If a woman is out at work all day she cannot bring up her children properly.



If women become like men in everything, what is the point of being a woman?



If men stayed home they might discover they prefer housework to office work.

Side B •

Women have minds and ambitions as well as men.



If women go out and work they increase the family income.



Women should have the same opportunities as men and use them if they want to - and not use them if they don’t want to.

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It depends more on personality than on being a man or a woman. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

PRACTICE ITEM 3 The debating format is used with this item. Each side of the argument is taken by an individual or a group and the rest of the class act as observers. These observers are free to press the metaphorical “buzzer” (i.e., signal by raising a hand) whenever someone uses a value-word or a name. The argument then continues. It is not that value-words and names are forbidden, but that they are to be “spotted.” In each case there may be a brief discussion as to whether the word is being used properly or abused. Should there be free migration between different countries so that people can live and work where they like or should there be strict controls so that only those born in a country can live there? Side A: Arguments in favour of free migration. Side B: Arguments against free migration and in favour of very strict controls. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

People should be free to move out of a country that does not suit them and to live in a country that does.



National boundaries are artificial - underneath we are all human beings.



Free migration would make nationalism and wars obsolete.



Migrants can sometimes bring in new talents.



It is unfair that newcomers should just arrive and enjoy the

Side B

benefits that natives have had to build up over years. •

Too much mixture may cause conflict, jealousy and racial troubles.



How do you stop a popular country from being flooded with people?



If all the best people leave a poor country it will get even poorer.

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PRACTICE ITEM 4 (A DEDICATED FOLLOW OF FASHION) The debating format is used for this item. Each side of the argument is taken by an individual or a group and the rest of the class act as observers. These observers are free to press the metaphorical “buzzer” (i.e., signal by raising a hand) whenever someone uses a value-word or a name. The argument then continues. It is not that value-words and names are forbidden, but that they are to be “spotted.” In each case there may be a brief discussion as to whether the word is being used properly or abused. Should people be judged by their appearance and the clothes they wear? Should a person with long hair and jeans be thought less capable of doing a job than a person with a suit and tie? Side A: Arguments against judging people by their appearance. Side B: Arguments in favour of judging people to some extent by their appearance. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

Clothes are just a fashion and tell nothing about the person inside - for instance, almost all teenagers wear jeans.



Clothes may depend on income and it would be unfair to exclude poor people from the jobs they really need.



People can always change their clothes later if they find them unsuitable for the job.



It is easy to be fooled by clothes and a neatly dressed person may in fact be lazy or a con-man.

Side B •

If people cannot be bothered to put on neat clothes they show too little consideration for others.



People who are sloppy about their appearance will probably be sloppy in work.

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A poor appearance may affect customers (in a store, etc.).



If no one pays any attention to clothes and cleanliness everyone will get dirtier and sloppier.

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Lesson 8 Being Wrong 1 Exaggeration - false generalizations, taking things to extremes. Basing conclusions on only part of the

situation.

INTRODUCTION

This lesson is concerned with two of the main ways of being wrong. The emphasis of the lesson is on being able to recognise and pick out both ways. The both ways to be wrong are 1.

EXAGGERATE

2. MISS-OUT At first, this applies to the other side’s arguments, but once the concepts become clear it applies to one’s own thinking. It is important to illustrate each way very clearly with definite examples and not to try to clarify the processes by distinguishing them from others.

EXAGGERATE includes false generalisations. It also includes the “magnitude error,” which is very common in thinking and arises from a lack of sense of proportion. Indeed it could be said that mathematics was invented to stop this magnitude error. For instance, to say that “a ten percent rise in the cost of living will make it impossible for anyone to support a family” is clearly an exaggeration because, although the trend will be in that direction. The portrayed magnitude of the effect is quite wrong. Straightforward exaggeration (the U.S.A. spent so much money on the Apollo program it had none left for other things”) is part of the same error. So is taking things to extremes: “The advocates of women’s liberation are all neurotic man-haters.” Page 62

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Very many arguments are not about whether an effect exists, but about how big it is or how important, and this is why the exaggeration error is so fundamental. MISS-OUT means that some parts of the situation or the evidence are simply ignored. This is the basis for many arguments in which a person’s thinking seems to be very plausible and indeed logical, but leads to a false conclusion. It is also at the bottom of those arguments in which each side seems to be logically correct and yet arrives at opposite conclusions. Politicians are often guilty of this type of error in their public pronouncements. In order to make a point, they look at that part of the situation which supports the point, and ignore or miss-out on the rest. For instance, one politician may look at the rise in the price of frozen fish and base a wage demand on that. Another politician may look at the adverse balance of payments and deny a low-paid worker a wage rise on that basis. This type of error is extremely dangerous, because it is indeed possible to build a perfectly logical argument based on false premises or assumptions. Since it is not possible to attack the validity of the logic, the conclusion seems to be impregnable. Yet the whole argument may have ignored certain crucial factors (like estimates of Japan’s world dominance by 2000 AD seem to have missed out her dependence on imported fuel), and when these are brought in the argument collapses - no matter how logical it appeared in the first place.  No one is ever wrong on purpose. Nevertheless there are four standard ways of being wrong which you may notice in other people›s thinking or they may notice in yours. The first two ways are exaggerate and miss out. EXAGGERATE - This can involve three processes: 1.

Straightforward exaggeration: “If you jump up and down like that the whole building will collapse.”

2. Taking things to extremes: “If public transportation were free then everyone would ride around all day and no work would get done.”

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3. False generalisation (exaggerating an example into a general rule): “I know one Australian and he is very happy so perhaps we ought to emigrate to Australia.” MISS OUT - If you look at only part of a situation you may be perfectly right with regard to that part but quite wrong with regard to what you have ignored or missed out. “If we are short of energy the obvious thing to do is to build a lot of nuclear power stations.” (Missing out the dangers of radioactivity, both in the case of accident and also waste disposal.) “We should abolish all tests because students do not like them.” (Missing out the effect of tests on getting students to work and the difficulty of selecting for college admissions.) “All motor traffic should be banned completely from city centres.” (Missing out on buses and the need to unload from trucks in order to fill up stores.) Example:  Teenagers over the age of 14 should be allowed to stay out as long as they like in the evening. •

Many of them would stay out all night. (Exaggerate)



If a teenager tells her parents where she is going the situation is quite safe. (Missing out the possibility of her not telling the truth)



A person who does not drink is in no trouble. (Missing out the fact that other people drink and may cause trouble, such as driving drunk)



I know one boy who got beaten up by a gang late in the evening, so I think everyone should be home by 9 p.m. (Exaggerate)



If parents control what time you come home they will want to control everything: clothes, friends, toothpaste, etc. (Exaggerate)



Parents do not understand what young people do. That is why they want them home early. (Missing out the possibility that if they did understand they might want them home early even more)

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For this reason, very clear examples with frequent repetition of the words exaggerate and miss-out is better than philosophical definitions.

PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first item is done on an open-class basis. Each point is taken in turn and examined with the class to see whether it is an example of exaggerate or miss-out. Subtle distinctions should be avoided, and there may be instances when a point may be seen to be an example of both - if looked at in a particular way. Is it right that a union should be able to call a strike in order to get the wages it wants for its members? In an argument on this subject the following points arise. Some of them are examples of exaggeration and others of missing out. Indicate which are which. 1.

There is nothing to stop unions from striking for huge amounts of money if they want to.

2. If there were no right to strike, workers would be slaves. 3. A strike is a fair form of bargaining between employer and workers. 4. If a company can afford to pay more money to its own workers it should be forced by law to do so. 5. If there were no strikes there would be twice as much productivity. 6. If workers got the pay they wanted there would be no more strikes. Suggested points for practice item: 1.

Exaggeration - an example of taking things to extremes. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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2. Exaggeration to call workers slaves if they cannot strike (for instance, fixed contracts might be used). 3. Missing-out the effect of the strikes on the general public is it fair to them? 4. Missing-out the fact that other companies would be forced to pay the same wages as the most profitable company, so they would be forced out of business. 5. A gross exaggeration - in fact, productivity might increase by 5% or 10%.Also missing-out the problems of individual bargaining and deciding how much a company can afford from year to year. 6. Missing-out the other factors causing strikes: dismissals, work conditions, etc. PRACTICE ITEM 2 The debating format is used for this item. Individuals or groups are asked to take up sides A and B of the argument. In the course of the debate the teacher can stop it at any point and, repeating one of the arguments used, ask the class to classify it as missout or exaggeration. Alternatively, the “buzzer” method can be used and individuals asked to signal as soon as they spot the use of an exaggeration or obvious miss-out. The landlord wants to raise the rents in a block of apartments. He claims that the extra money is needed for repairs. The tenants committee is resisting this demand. Side A: Arguments in favour of the rent increase. Side B: Arguments against the rent increase. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

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The cost of repairs is always going up.

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Tenants always resist rent increases no matter how justified.



The building must show a profit.



Other landlords have had to increase the rent.



If tenants do not like it they can leave.



The landlord does not use the money for repairs.



The landlord’s service is very poor.



The landlord is being very greedy. * There has to be a line drawn

Side B

somewhere. •

The tenants do not believe the landlord.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 (A SMALL STEP OR A GIANT LEAP) The debating format is used for this item. Individuals or groups are asked to take up sides A and B of the argument. In the course of the debate the teacher can stop it at any point and, repeating one of the arguments used, ask the class to classify it as missout or exaggeration. Alternatively, the “buzzer” method can be used and individuals asked to signal as soon as they spot the use of an exaggeration or obvious miss-out. A very great deal of money was spent on the Apollo program which landed people on the moon. Would this money have been better spent on schools, hospitals, medical research, aid to poor countries, etc.? Side A: Arguments to show that the money would have been better spent on these things. Side B: Arguments in favour of the Apollo program and landing on the moon. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

Nothing at all was gained from the moon landings except a little more expertise in rockets and their control.

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A huge number of new schools or hospitals could have been built for this money.



It is wrong to be seen spending money on such luxuries when poverty exists in a country.



If given the choice most people would have preferred the money to be spent more usefully.

Side B •

Landing

on

the

moon

is

probably

humankind’s

greatest

achievement, since it is the first one to take us outside our own Earth’s environment. •

The money would not have made any lasting difference to those other areas, but the fact of having landed on the moon is everlasting.



Humanity needs inspiration and spiritual encouragement, not just food.



The management techniques developed for this tremendous program can now be applied to other areas.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 (CHILD LABOUR) The debating format is used for this item. Individuals or groups are asked to take up sides A and B of the argument. In the course of the debate the teacher can stop it at any point and, repeating one of the arguments used, ask the class to classify it as missout or exaggeration. Alternatively, the “buzzer” method can be used and individuals asked to signal as soon as they spot the use of an exaggeration or obvious miss-out. Should children try to earn some money to help their parents by taking jobs? Such as in the morning (like newspaper routes), in the evening, and weekends, or during vacations?

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Side A: Arguments in favour of children taking jobs in this way. Side B: Arguments against children taking jobs to help their parents. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

If children do jobs they will soon learn the value of money.



Parents often have to work too hard to support their children, who take things for granted.



Doing a job gives a child a sense of satisfaction and independence.



Children might work harder at school if they realise that without qualifications it is not easy to get a job.

Side B •

You are only young once and you should enjoy yourself - in time you will be a working parent too.



Other people who need the money more would not get the jobs.



You cannot really study hard if you have no time to play.



Most parents would not want to be helped by their children in this way.

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Lesson 9 Being Wrong 2 The remaining two ways of being wrong: mistake and prejudice.

INTRODUCTION Mistake, and Prejudice This lesson is concerned with the remaining two ways of being wrong. As before, it is best to give clear examples of each, rather than try to explain the processes in a philosophical fashion. Some examples are given in the student notes and others are given below. MISTAKE covers exactly what it seems to cover: mistakes in facts, mistakes in identification, misinterpretations, misunderstandings, getting things wrong in a variety of ways. Usually the mistakes are genuine, but sometimes they are deliberate. For instance a person may genuinely get a fact wrong, but may deliberately misinterpret what the opponent is saying in order to win a point. It is not always easy to pick out a mistake. For instance, you can only pick out a mistaken fact if you happen to know the correct fact. Nor is it always easy to get someone to admit a mistake. Nevertheless it is useful to be able to say: “That is a straightforward mistake,” or “I think that is a mistake”. MISTAKE: This covers all the examples of the ordinary type of error or mistake. “The Japanese drive on the right-hand side of the road” (mistake of fact, since they drive on the left). “That is Joe’s handwriting” (mistake of recognition, since it is really Peter’s). “You are arguing for longer vacations” (misunderstanding if the person was arguing for less work during the same school semesters). No attempt should be made to distinguish between these different types they are simply different illustrations of mistake. Page 70

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PREJUDICE covers all those fixed ideas which are not open to alteration by argument or evidence, no matter how strong it is. There may be a fixed idea that opponents are idiots, dishonest or crooks. There may be a fixed idea of conflict between “them” and “us” (fixed polarisations). Clichés and fixed generalisations also come under this heading. So do doctrinaire beliefs and dogmas. The actual content of the fixed idea may sometimes be valid. What is wrong is the way the fixed idea is used as proof in an argument. The more evidence there is against a particular fixed idea, the more “wrong” it is to use that idea as fixed. In effect, prejudice renders all argument useless. PREJUDICE: This applies to those fixed ideas which are not the result of thinking. In practice it may be difficult to distinguish between an idea that seems to be prejudice but for which some scanty arguments can be brought forward. In such cases it is still possible to say: “That seems to be prejudice since those arguments are not sufficient.” Prejudice may of course be for the good, although it is usually the opposite. For instance, there may be a prejudice that all Swiss are very efficient. The important point is that the error lies in using fixed ideas (whether good or bad) which are not open to discussion. Any fixed idea that is not based on evidence and not open to alteration is an example of prejudice. “Claudia will cheat if she gets a chance.” “Juan cannot have done this because he is always so honest.” “Old people cannot understand young people.” “Union leaders are only interested in their power”.  Two ways of being wrong in an argument, exaggerate and missing out, were examined in the previous lesson. The remaining two ways of being wrong are mistake and prejudice. MISTAKE - Genuine mistakes can take several forms: 1.

Getting a fact wrong: The moon is 500,000 miles from the earth. (actually it is 250,000 miles)

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2. Mistake in recognition or identification: Those cows are Friesian cows. (when they are really Herefords) 3. Wrong interpretation of opponent’s argument: You are in favour of capital punishment. (when you are in favour of stricter prison sentences) PREJUDICE - Prejudice covers all fixed ideas such as: •

Fixed idea that the other side is stupid and whatever they say must be wrong- as in politics.



Fixed idea that there is only one possible way of looking at things - your way.



Fixed idea that all Americans are very rich, all Frenchmen love garlic, all British houses are cold; all children are angels, etc.



Fixed idea that there must be a division into “them and us”.

Example:  Is there any point in trying to teach people how to think? In an argument on this subject the following points arose: •

People should do as they are told. If they start thinking they only cause trouble. (Prejudice)



You are born with a fixed intelligence and nothing else matters. (Prejudice)



If you have not been to college your thinking is worthless. (Prejudice)



Thinking is valuable only when there are difficult problems. (Mistake)

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Thinking lessons should be more interesting. (Mistake)



Intelligent people are always good at thinking. (Mistake)

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PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 Teachers Notes: This first item is done on an open-class basis. Each point in turn is discussed with the class and it is decided whether it is an example of mistake or prejudice. Quite often the two can go together and there is no harm saying so. Should buildings be beautiful to look at or should they be practical to work in? It is sometimes claimed that the most beautiful buildings are not very practical and that some ugly buildings are easier to use. In an argument about this the following points arose. Some of them show prejudice and some show mistakes - can you indicate which is which? 1.

Beautiful buildings are always very expensive.

2. You cannot please everyone and one person’s beauty is another person’s ugliness. 3. If people are surrounded by beauty they are bound to be happier. 4. Concrete buildings can never be made beautiful. 5. More people work in a building than look at it from the outside. 6. When you are using other people’s money, as in public buildings, cost is the most important thing. Suggested points for practice item: 1.

The idea that beautiful buildings must always be expensive seems to be a prejudice.

2. Another example of prejudice which leads to no attempt being made to make anything beautiful.

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3. A further example of prejudice: a fixed belief that beautiful surroundings make people happy. It may in fact be true but it is nevertheless a prejudice. 4. A prejudice against concrete buildings. Also a mistake. 5. A simple mistake, since the same people work inside a building, but there are thousands of different passers-by. 6. A mistake, since beauty of surroundings is as much a public duty as cost. PRACTICE ITEM 2 The debating format is used for this item. There are three alternatives. The arguments (on an A and B basis) can be allowed to run for a short time and then the observers are asked for comments on the use of mistake or prejudice. Alternatively (and it may be best for this lesson), the teacher halts the discussion and repeats one of the points to the class, who then discuss whether or not it is an example of prejudice or mistake. The third alternative is the “buzzer” method in which the observers signal when they think they have spotted examples of mistake or prejudice in the ongoing argument. Should people be paid according to how hard they work or according to how much money they need? For instance, should a person with four children and a parent to support be paid the same as a bachelor? Or should someone who works hard be paid less than a lazy person who has a large family? Side A: Arguments in favour of people being paid according to how hard they work. Side B: Arguments in favour of people being paid according to how much they really need.

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Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

People would never work hard if it made no difference in their paychecks.



People should not be rewarded merely for having many children.



How do you determine how much a person needs? People have different needs and tastes.



A person with greater needs should be given the opportunity to work harder.

Side B •

No one should extract more from the world than they really need - this way there would be no waste.



People with real needs may not be able to work hard for various reasons such as ill health.

PRACTICE ITEM 3 (AND TIME TICKS BLANK AND BUSY ON THEIR WRISTS) The debating format is used with this item. There are three alternatives. The arguments (on an A and B basis) can be allowed to run for a short time and then the observers are asked for comments on the use of mistake or prejudice. Alternatively (and it may be best for this lesson), the teacher halts the discussion and repeats one of the points to the class, who then discuss whether or not it is an example of prejudice or mistake. The third alternative is the “buzzer” method in which the observers signal when they think they have spotted examples of mistake or prejudice in the ongoing argument. Some people say that they are pacifists and would not fight a war or kill another person under any circumstances. Other people say that it may be necessary to fight a war to defend one’s country against an attacker, and that pacifists can only exist so long as there are others to do the fighting.

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Side A: Arguments in favour of pacifism and how it can be made to work. Side B: Arguments against pacifism both as a general policy and also in practice. Arguments in favour of justified defense. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

If people are prepared to suffer or die for their beliefs then pacifism can work.



Pacifism might be impractical if everyone acted that way, but that does not mean it is wrong for a few people to hold such beliefs.



If pacifism really spread so that everyone was affected then all problems of war and aggression would be ended.



One should not cease to strive for an idea merely because it seems impractical - the striving itself can have a good influence.

Side B •

You might be a pacifist yourself but how do you defend your family?



Pacifism is fine so long as enough other people do the fighting - rather like not being vaccinated against smallpox, so long as everyone else is.



What is one to do about aggression and aggressive wars - is no form of self-defence justified?



Weakness may encourage aggression rather than remove it.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 (WEDDING BELLS) The debating format is used for this item. There are three alternatives. The arguments (on an A and B basis) can be allowed to run for a short time and then the observers are asked for comments on the use of mistake or prejudice. Page 76

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Alternatively (and it may be best for this lesson), the teacher halts the discussion and repeats one of the points to the class, who then discuss whether or not it is an example of prejudice or mistake. The third alternative is the “buzzer” method in which the observers signal when they think they have spotted examples of mistake or prejudice in the ongoing argument. In some countries it is the custom for parents to arrange marriages for their children. They find someone who is suitable in background or even useful from a business point of view. It is said that the partners start out with a more realistic view of marriage and try to make it work Also there are fewer disappointed or unmarried people. Side A: Arguments against arranged marriages and in favour of everyone choosing a marriage partner for himself or herself. Side B: Arguments in favour of arranged marriages and against the direct choice system. Suggested points for practice item: Side A •

It is impossible for parents to know what their children really want.



Love is one of the most beautiful things in life, and arranged marriages throw this gift away.



Why should a person have to adjust to another person instead of being delighted to live with the other person?



There is more to life than business arrangements.



Young people have no experience and marry for infatuation and

Side B

soon regret it. •

You can grow to love an arranged marriage partner instead of getting bored with a love partner.

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Marriage is for family and stability - perhaps love can be found elsewhere.



People who arrange marriages often have a great deal of experience with human nature.

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Lesson 10 Outcome What has been achieved at the end of an argument? Seven possible levels of achievement short of complete

agreement

INTRODUCTION The whole emphasis of this lesson is to get students to make a conscious and deliberate effort to assess what has been gained from an argument. On the one hand it is very easy to feel that nothing at all has been gained, and on the other hand it is easy to feel that something has been gained but does not need expressing in words. The teacher emphasises all the different things which can be gained - from the least to the most: 1.

We have wasted our time.

2. We at least know each other’s views (EBS, OPV). 3. We agree on these points but differ on those (ADI). 4. We have agreed to differ on this matter. 5. We are agreed about priorities and what needs agreement most (FIP). 6. We have these alternatives to choose from (APC). 7.

We have reached a compromise.

8. We have reached an agreement. As soon as people decide which of these could be the outcome, they should then concentrate on deliberately spelling it out.

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For instance, if people decide the outcome can be no higher than item 5, “We are agreed about priorities and what needs agreement most,” then they should deliberately list the priorities for agreement. Arguments do not always have neat endings. Occasionally there may be complete agreement. At other times there may be a compromise. But when there is neither agreement nor compromise has the argument been just a waste of time? The purpose of this final lesson is to get students to assess what has been achieved in the argument. •

Each side may have a much better knowledge of the other’s views.



It may be possible to map out the points of agreement and the points of disagreement.



There may be an agreement to disagree on certain issues - at least for the time being.



There may be an agreement about the priorities and the points which need agreeing most urgently.



There may be some agreed alternatives even though there is no agreement as to which one is to be chosen.



There may be an agreement to seek further information.

What happens at the end of an argument? What has been achieved? What does it boil down to? What is the conclusion? What is the outcome? Quite a lot may have been achieved, or not very much. The following list shows some possible outcomes, with number 1 being the least useful and number 8 the most useful.

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1.

We have wasted our time.

2. We at least know each other’s views. (EBS, OPV) 3. We agree on these points but differ on those. (ADI) 4. We have agreed to differ on this matter. 5. 5. We have agreed on the priorities and what needs agreement most. (FIP) 6. We have these alternatives to choose from. (APC) 7.

We have reached a compromise.

8. We have reached agreement. The important thing is to be definite about what has happened in the argument - what the OUTCOME is. Example:  Should students have a direct say in running their school or not? The outcome of this argument was in the form of a conclusion agreed on by both sides: There should be a definite opportunity for the students to put forward their views, either as suggestions for what might be done or objections to what has been proposed. There should also be a way of showing that these views have been considered.  All these are valid outcomes, and yet they are not obvious until one makes a deliberate effort to see what has been achieved by the agreement. The important point in the lesson is that every argument does have some sort of outcome and this can be stated in a definite manner. PRACTICE ITEMS PRACTICE ITEM 1 (SOME CAPITAL ISSUES) Teachers Notes: This first item is done on an open-class basis but in this lesson the item is rather different from the usual type. Students can work on their own or in groups.

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Three possible argument situations are given. Each situation is tackled in turn. The students are asked to imagine or invent the sort of outcome there might be. For instance, they might say, “I think they would reach a compromise in that situation,” or “I think they could reach agreement,” or “I think they would agree on some points and differ on some points.” The students are not asked to examine the different arguments in each situation. A brief class discussion can follow each point. Invent some possible outcomes for the following arguments: 1. Side A argues that prison sentences for any sort of violence must be made much longer. Side B argues that keeping people in prison only makes them into hardened criminals, and in any case it would be very expensive. 2. Some people enjoy rock climbing or mountaineering, but when they get stuck other people may have to risk their lives to rescue them. Side A argues that rock climbing or mountaineering is dangerous in places and should be banned. Side B argues that this would take all the fun out of sport and that there is a risk in everything. 3. Transplanting human hearts requires special equipment and a large team of doctors and helpers and the whole thing is very expensive. In any case, it is only possible to transplant a few hearts a year. Would the money be better spent elsewhere - for instance on research into preventing heart disease? Side A argues in favour of heart transplants and Side B against them. Suggested points for practice item: 1.

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We at least know each other’s views.

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2. We have reached a compromise (e.g. every climber gets insurance which is paid to the rescuers - who are themselves volunteers). 3. We are agreed about priorities (e.g., examining the true cost and success rate). PRACTICE ITEM 2 (THE STATE OF HOUSING) A debating format is used for this item. If the arguments are kept fairly brief it may be possible to do two items, since with this lesson the argument runs smoothly without interruption for analysis. Alternative debating formats are possible (class into A and B halves; individuals taking A and B sides, groups taking sides, etc.). Side A gives its case first and then Side B. The argument can go back and forth for a while, and then the teacher cuts it short and gets two sides (and the observers) to discuss what the outcome could be. Should the government own a number of houses which would be rented out at low rents to deserving families who otherwise could not find accommodations? Side A: Arguments in favour of the government owning such houses. Side B: Arguments against the government being involved in this way. Suggested points for practice item: Side A: •

Some deserving families may never have what they can’t afford.



The government is accountable, private landlords are not.



The government has the resources.



The children of such families should be given a chance to grow up in decent surroundings.

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Side B •

It is not the business of government to get involved.



People will cheat.



The incentive to work harder will be removed.



Government expenditures are already too high.



Who is to choose these “deserving” families?

PRACTICE ITEM 3 (A GENERAL ARMY ISSUE) A debating format is used for this item. If the arguments are kept fairly brief it may be possible to do two items, since with this lesson the argument runs smoothly without interruption for analysis. Alternative debating formats are possible (class into A and B halves; individuals taking A and B sides, groups taking sides, etc.). Side A gives its case first and then Side B. The argument can go back and forth for a while, and then the teacher cuts it short and gets two sides (and the observers) to discuss what the outcome could be. Should women play the same role in the armed forces as men? Side A: Arguments that they should be allowed this equality if they want it. Side B: Arguments to show that women should not play the same role in the military as men. Suggested points for practice item: Side A: 4. Women already fight in some armies (e.g... Great Britain). 5. Women have more stamina than men. 6. Modern war is technical and hand-to-hand fighting is rare. 7.

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Women should be able to make their own choices.

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Side B: •

Having both men and women might cause jealousies and disruptions on a personal level.



The men might always be trying to protect the women.



Women tend to be nurturers, not killers.



Many women are not physically strong or fast enough.



Pregnancy might cause a problem.



Men might feel uncomfortable fighting alongside women.

PRACTICE ITEM 4 (SHARING STOCKS) A debating format is used for this item. If the arguments are kept fairly brief it may be possible to do two items, since with this lesson the argument runs smoothly without interruption for analysis. Alternative debating formats are possible (class into A and B halves; individuals taking A and B sides, groups taking sides, etc.). Side A gives its case first and then Side B. The argument can go back and forth for a while, and then the teacher cuts it short and gets two sides (and the observers) to discuss what the outcome could be. Are shareholders a good or bad influence on companies? Side A: Argue in favour. Side B: Argue against. Suggested points for practice item: Side A: •

If shareholders make a profit, they are likely to build more factories and employ good managers to look after their profits.



No one will take a risk if there is no reward.



Individual enterprise tends to be more dynamic than central state control.

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Would people be prevented from using their money to start up a business and then selling part of it?

Side B: •

Once the factory is successful, then there is no more risk and the shareholders are taking the money that should go to the workers.



The workers have no control over their jobs or security if the management is responsible mainly to the shareholders.



Profit is the sole motive of the shareholders and, yet there are more important things (living conditions, security, pollution, etc.).



If the workers owned the factory, they would have to work harder to get more money instead of just striking for it.

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TEST MATERIAL CORT 3 – INTERACTION The CoRT 3 lessons are concerned with interaction: argument, controversy, dispute, discussion. Nevertheless it is possible to use written formats.

Some suggestions are given below.

1.

The students are asked to write an essay or use note format on a controversial subject.

2. The students are asked to write an essay or use note format on a controversial subject and are directly instructed to give both sides.

3. The students are asked to write about one side of an issue for 15 minutes and are then asked to write about the other side for 15 minutes. In this case it is better that they do not know that they are going to be asked to switch sides.

4. The students are asked to write an essay to support one side of a controversial subject the essays are then switched around so that each student has someone else’s essay (preferable without knowing whose it is). They are then asked to pick out different things: types of evidence, different ways of being right or wrong, etc.

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5. Same as 4, but using some other source material, such as a book (e.g., passage from a novel or play) or newspaper.

PURPOSE The test material has two main functions. The first and most important function is to allow the student to apply the processes which they have learned in the CoRT lessons. Because they are working on their own and using the written form, students have more time to be deliberate and organise their thoughts. In this way they can become more conscious of the application of the processes. The second function is to test the effect of the lessons. This is rather difficult to do with the CoRT 2 lessons, because there are only two specific operations and the rest is a matter of observation. Students’ observations on someone else’s thinking are not necessarily expressed in their writing unless they are specifically asked to make these observations. For this reason it is best to set specific instructions: assess the value of the evidence and its structure; indicate which ways of being right are being used; what is the outcome?

USE The test material and written format can be used at the beginning and end of the CoRT 3 terms, in order to assess the effects of the lessons. With more-able students the written form should be interspersed among the lessons, since such students often require a more tangible expression of their skill than simple discussion. For test purposes it also helps to be able to translate thinking processes into the written form, since that is how most tests are conducted. Nevertheless fluency in written expression does not automatically guarantee good thinking (since style can easily obscure content).

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ASSESSMENT

1.

Thoroughness:

When students are asked to write on

both sides of a controversy the teacher may assess the thoroughness with which they do so. Is it a genuine attempt to see both sides, or is it simply a defence of one side with an acknowledgement of the other? The number of points or arguments offered for each side can be counted.

2. Content: This is rather difficult to assess. The teacher can assess for clarity, type of argument used, structure, etc. The difficulty is that many of these things

are independent

of the thinking lessons as such and also very subjectively judged.

3. Phenomena:

Students are asked to examine a controversy

and to pick out the type of evidence used, etc. Assessment is relatively easy: the teacher simply counts the phenomena noted by the student and assesses the validity of each.

4. Cross-assessment: This is when students are asked to assess each other’s work. Only the more general overall effects may be noted. For instance, at the beginning of the term the students might be far more tolerant of other people’s arguing style than at the end or the other way round. As usual the two main points of assessment are:

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1.

How much of the picture is being seen? (Exploration, breadth, depth, number of points, different points, other points of view, etc.)

2. What is made of the ideas? (Relevance, framework, objectivity, balanced judgement, argument structure, conclusions, etc.)

MATERIAL There are three possible sources of material. Teachers may use practice items that have not actually been used in the lessons. Teachers may produce their own controversies either from the newspaper or current topical events (e.g. should air traffic controllers get paid more?) or from the local school situation. Finally teachers may make use of some of the items listed below.

1.

Should there be corporal punishment in school? Some say it is necessary in order to maintain discipline and that it is swift, effective and soon forgotten. Others maintain that it is unnecessary and old-fashioned.

2. Some people argue that TV has a great influence on young people: on their ideas, ambitions, values, etc. Others say that it has no more influence than the furniture in a room. What are the arguments on each side?

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3. It is suggested that instead of paying a cable subscription fee and then watching as much TV as you like, there should be a coin slot on each TV set and you would pay for only what you wanted to watch. What are the arguments on each side? For instance, it could be said that people would watch only programs they really wanted to watch.

4. To help poor people it is suggested that the government put subsidies on fish, milk and bread and raise the money by increasing income tax. What are the arguments on each side?

5. It is suggested that tests are unfair because some people get very nervous and also because it is a matter of luck whether or not you are asked about a topic you know well. It is claimed that a teacher’s report on each student would be better. What are the arguments on each side?

6. Should students in schools be made to take part in sports even if they do not want to? It is said that sports are good for them physically and mentally (team spirit, etc.) Unless it was compulsory, lazy students might not want to take part. What are the arguments?

7.

Should the oil-producing countries charge as much as they can get for their oil, or should they pay careful attention to the effect on the economy of their customers?

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8. Should Children at schools be paid a small wage by the government? What are the arguments on each side?

9. Lots of windows have been broken lately in a school. A boy finds out that a friend of his is responsible, should he tell the teacher or not? What are the arguments?

10. If children do earn money doing odd jobs should they keep it for themselves or use it to help their parents? What arguments could be put forward on each side?

11. Should students be allowed to choose all their own subjects in schools? Should some of the subjects (like maths) be compulsory?

12. What are the arguments in favour of a scheme which would encourage people to go to college later in life instead of directly after high school? And what are the arguments against such a scheme?

13. Juries are sometimes moved more by sympathy than by justice and sometimes the matter is too technical for them to understand. What are the arguments on each side?

14. Three boys are found by a principal to be bringing drugs (cannabis) into school for their own use. Should they be expelled? Are there arguments on each side?

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15. Arguments for and against arranged marriages with suitable partners, as sometimes happens in India and Japan.

16. Is it better for children to make their own way in life or to inherit money from their parents?

17. Some people say that it is too depressing to read newspapers or listen to the news. They say they do not need to know what is going on in the world and if it is important they will hear about it sooner or later anyway. What are the arguments on each side: for and against reading the news?

18. In the future there may not be enough work to go around. Would it be better for everyone to work half a day and get paid - or for those who liked work to work very hard and the others not to work at all, but get money from the state? What are the arguments on each side?

19. Should prisons be made so uncomfortable that prisoners will not want to go back and other people will be deterred from going there in the first place - or should prisons be made comfortable and an effort made to reform the criminal in pleasant surroundings?

20. It is suggested that, for minor crimes, offenders should be sent to prison for a number of weekends and be able to work during the week in between. What are the arguments for and against this idea?

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21. In the old days a child learned a trade by being apprenticed at an early age to someone in the trade. The child earned very little, but over the years picked up the trade. Today many trades are learned at special colleges. What are the arguments in favour of each system?

22. For each job should there be a special test and then the job be given to the person who does best in that test? What are the arguments on each side?

23. There are those who argue that all medical care should be free (and paid for by the state). Others say that unless the patients pay a charge there will be a great deal of waste. Discuss this matter.

24. Should families which have old people (grandparents) be made to pay a special tax if they refuse to look after them?

25. Should everyone hold the same beliefs - or should people hold their own beliefs even though they seem primitive and wrong to some people?

26. Some artists claim that what they do is just as important to society as making cars or catching fish. They say that the state should pay them a good salary and let them paint what they like. What are the arguments on each side, for and against this?

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27. Many museums have introduced a charge for admission. There are those who say this is unfair and that it will mean that fewer young people will visit museums. Others say that if people can afford candy, video cassettes, records, or going to the movies they can afford to go to a museum and why should the state pay all the costs?

28. A large part of the national budget is spent on defence (paying for the army, navy and air force: developing weapons and buying them, etc.) Should the government spend this money elsewhere (education, health) and not be concerned about defence?

29. Should students in school have any say at all in the selection of the principal? On the one side there is the argument that they are only at the school for a short time, but the principal for much longer. On the other side is the argument that students know better about what goes on in the school than do people outside. What other arguments are there on each side?

30. In elections a lot of people do not bother to vote. Should there be a law making it compulsory for everyone to vote?

31. Should people only think about their own immediate problems or about general problems that concern us as a whole?

32. A president or prime minister finds that most people in the country are against him (as shown by an opinion poll). Should he resign or stay in office? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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33. Is it better to maintain friendly relations with a country that is known to have opposite interests or to keep the country at arm’s length?

34. A general in a war disobeys an order and launches an attack. The attack happens to be very successful. Should he be court-martial for disobeying orders or treated as a hero?

35. It is said that industry should spend money on cleaning up pollution. The industrialists argue that this would increase their costs so that they could no longer compete with foreign industry. What are the arguments on each side?

36. Should newspapers give people exactly what they want (sports, entertainment, scandal, etc.) or should newspapers try to educate people and tell them what they need to know even if it seems not to be very interesting?

37. TV is very powerful, since most people spend 4-5 hours every day watching it. Should the purpose of TV be to entertain or to educate?

38. Beef is a very expensive way of getting protein since it takes one acre of land to feed every steer. Protein could be produced more cheaply in factories and the land released for other things.

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39. In some countries people are not allowed to choose their own jobs but are directed by their government to certain jobs that need doing. This is said to be more efficient than the method whereby each person does what he/she wants to do or remains unemployed. What are the arguments on each side: in favour of directed labour or in favour of free choice?

40. It is said that the beautiful oyster catcher bird is eating up all the mussels and so threatening the livelihood of the people who collect mussels. Should the birds be shot to reduce their numbers? What are the arguments on each side?

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 4

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CORT 4 CREATIVITY THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING

OVERVIEW OF CORT 4

FOREWORD AND AUTHORS NOTES

MODEL LESSON FORMAT

PRACTICE AND PROJECT ITEMS

STANDARD LESSON SEQUENCE

THE TEN LESSONS

1.

Yes, No, Po

2. Stepping Stone 3. Random Input 4. Concept Challenge 5. Dominant Idea 6. Define the Problem 7.

Remove Faults

8. Combination 9. Requirements 10. Evaluation THE TEST MATERIAL FOR CORT 4

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OVERVIEW It is too often assumed that creative ideas come only from inspiration and that there is nothing else that can be done about it. CoRT 4 covers the basic creative techniques, procedures and attitudes. Creativity is treated as a normal part of thinking, involving processes that can be learned, practiced and applied in a deliberate manner. Some of the processes are concerned with the escape from imprisoning ideas. Others are concerned with the provocation of new ideas. Problem definition is an important part of creativity. So is the evaluation of suggested solutions.

FOREWORD The six sections of CoRT Thinking Lessons do not have to be used in sequence. A teacher may elect to use different methods. For example a teacher may use CoRT 1 followed by CoRT 4 and then move to CoRT 5. Though a few lessons in CoRT 2 do refer to CoRT 1 lessons, the rest of the sections may be used in any order.

Creativity is always fun and highly motivating to the people involved. This sense of fun should be kept throughout CoRT 4, but at the same time creativity is a serious matter. The purpose of creativity is to arrive at an effective new idea, not to offer some bizarre gimmick.

It is unfortunate that in ordinary language the word “creativity” is often applied to artistic creativity, which involves emotional resonance, craftsmanship and many other characteristics in addition to the ability to create new ideas. In CoRT 4 the type of creativity that is developed is the “design” type of creativity. This type of thinking the author has called “lateral thinking” (a word which is now officially recognised in the Oxford English Dictionary). Page 2

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Many of the processes put forward in CoRT 4 arise directly from the nature of lateral thinking. The processes are put forward as thinking tools which can be applied deliberately and directly in order to produce a result. There is no attempt to explain why the processes should work or how they work (for example why should a random word be useful in solving a problem?). There is, however, considerable theory behind these processes. Those who are interested will find this covered in two of the author’s books (Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity and The Mechanism of Mind).

Experience builds up patterns of perception and patterns of action. For the most part these are very useful and life would be impossible without them. We can even say that the main asset of the brain is that it is “brilliantly uncreative.” It creates fixed patterns out of chaos of experience and then looks at the world through these fixed patterns. This gives order and meaning to life. But now and then these patterns need changing. Now and then we need to escape from a blind alley or an old pattern in order to enjoy the benefits of a new one.

Having no skill in creativity is like being unable to use the reverse gear in a car and getting trapped in the first blind alley you come to. On the other hand you would not choose to demonstrate your skill with the reverse gear by attempting to drive in reverse throughout the day. Creativity must take its place as an essential part of thinking along with other skills.

There is an unfortunate mystique about creativity. It is regarded as a special gift which some people have and others can never acquire. This is a mistake. Lateral thinking is a type of thinking which everyone can learn. Some people will be better at it than others, just as some people are better at tennis than other people. But most people can learn to play in a reasonable manner if they put some effort into practising the skills of both tennis and lateral thinking. Skill in lateral thinking is a mixture of attitudes and techniques. For example an attitude encapsulated in the word “PO” is that of provocation, of allowing an idea into the mind in order to see what effect it might have. The “stepping stone” is a deliberate tool that can be used - as is the random word.

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As usual with the CoRT lessons the teacher must remember that the purpose of the lessons is to practice some operating skills. The CoRT 4 lessons should not be used for discussion of creativity in general or design processes in particular. The lessons should be focused upon the practice of some specific thinking tools. A tool should be simple, deliberate, effective and usable. The tools put forward in CoRT 4 have been used and tested with thousands of adults and children. Many corporations around the world now use some of the tools regularly. This applies to some governments as well.

It can be emphasised again that the CoRT Thinking Lessons are not tentative and experimental but have been used widely. If a teacher has difficulty with the lessons it is up to that teacher to examine his or her teaching style and to consider whether matters are being overcomplicated.

AUTHOR’ S NOTE Many years of experience with these materials have taught me that teachers will want to use these Teacher’s Notes in two distinct ways. The first is as a guide to the specific lessons. The second is as an introduction to the subject of teaching thinking in general and also to the particular method used here. The teacher should if possible read the sections Teaching Points and Standard Lesson Format before starting the lessons. However, once this background material has been read it becomes of less importance than the actual guidelines for running the individual lessons. It is for this reason that Teaching Points and Standard Lesson Format follow the Lesson Notes in this book.

As an additional aid to teaching the lessons, teachers are referred to the section A Model Lesson Sequence, which consists of a one-page outline of the lesson style.

In CoRT 4 it is much more important that the teacher read through the Lesson Notes than in any of the preceding CoRT sections. The format of the lessons is rather different.

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In previous sections the important part of the lesson was announced at the beginning and the rest of the lesson dealt with practice. In CoRT 4 there is a “flow” format. In other words, the students are eased gently into the lesson and the important statements are placed at intervals throughout the lesson. In this way the lesson flows along from example to practice to learning point to practice, etc. If teachers do not read both the Lesson Notes and the student’s notes they may well miss the point of the lesson.

There is a further reason why it is important for the teacher to read the Lesson Notes. The subject is creativity and the students are being asked to turn up creative ideas. From time to time they will find this difficult - in fact they may not be able to get going at all. They will then expect teachers to produce ideas themselves in order to show what can be done. Teachers may or may not be able to do this at that instant, but if they consult the Lesson Notes they will find that for every task given to the students a suggested answer is given in the Notes. This suggested answer has no special value and should not be taken as the right answer. It is simply there to provide teachers with something to say if they cannot think of anything. These suggestions are more in the nature of illustrations than answers.

MODEL LESSON FORMAT In practice, teachers should read through the Lesson Notes before the lesson and mark the items they are going to use. During the lesson itself the teacher should use the teacher’s notes in conjunction with the student’s notes.

CoRT is currently in use throughout the world. The CoRT Thinking Lessons have been used with students from elementary school through the college level as well as by scientists, academics and professionals - including senior executives of major Fortune 500 corporations.

The reason CoRT thinking can be used by so wide an audience is because thinking is a basic skill that can be applied to all situations and problems, from the most simple to the most complex.

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The practice items have been carefully designed to be usable across a broad range of ages and abilities: Naturally, a higher degree of thinking skill is demanded from the more able student even if the practice item is the same.

Teachers are encouraged to modify the items and to adapt them to local circumstances or news items.

A MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE 1.

Introduce the TOOL or SUBJECT of the lesson and explain simply what it does. You can use the introduction in the student’s notes.

2. Carry out an open class example by setting a task and asking for individual responses. Repeat the letters of the tool as often as you can. Make sure it is seen as a TOOL.

3. Divide the class into groups of 4, 5 or 6. Select a practice item from the student’s notes. Allow about three minutes.

4. Get feedback from the groups, for example by getting one suggestion from each of the groups.

5. Alternate teaching points and practice items. Allow time at the end of the lesson for discussion on the process of the lesson.

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Creativity It is too often assumed that creative ideas come only from inspiration and that there is nothing else that can be done about it. Module 4 covers the basic creative techniques, procedures and attitudes. Creativity is treated as a normal part of thinking, involving processes that can be learned, practiced and applied in a deliberate manner.

1: YES, NO & PO “Po,” a device for showing that an idea is being used creatively without any judgment or immediate evaluation.

2: STEPPING STONE The use of ideas not for their own sake but because of other ideas they may lead to.

3: RANDOM INPUT The input of unrelated spurious ideas into a situation may change the situation.

4: CONCEPT CHALLENGE The testing of the ‘ uniqueness” of concepts may lead to other ways of doing things.

5: DOMINANT IDEA In most situations there is a dominant idea. In order to be creative one must find and escape from it.

6: DEFINE THE PROBLEM An effort to define a problem exactly may make it easier to solve.

7: REMOVE FAULTS The assessment of faults and their removal from an idea.

8: COMBINATION By examining the attributes of seemingly unrelated items new items may be created either by fusion or by combination.

9: REQUIREMENTS An awareness of requirements may influence the creation of ideas.

10: EVALUATION Does an idea fulfil the requirements; what are its advantages and disadvantages? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Lesson 1 Yes No and Po “Po,” a device for showing that an idea is being used creatively without any judgment or immediate evaluation.

INTRODUCTION Po is a new concept, an artificial word used to indicate that we are operating outside the judgement system. Usually, we judge whether something is right or wrong, true or false, useful or useless, appropriate or inappropriate. The purpose of judgement is to keep us within the channels of our experience. As soon as we move out of a channel, judgement pushes us back by deciding that we are out of the channel. Po indicates that an idea is not offered as true, accurate, or the way things are, but in a creative sense - to open up new ideas and new ways of looking at things. Creativity seeks to discover new channels, and this is impossible if the judgement system is operating all the time. It is perfectly true that the final idea, the one that is acted upon, must be judged as correct and useful. But if judgement operates at every step, then we might never get to any creative ideas at all. With humour we operate outside the judgement system. If a person starts a funny story about an elephant in a tree you do not stop him/her and say that you do not believe elephants ever go up trees. You accept that in humour things are not to be judged but to be treated as ideas.

The same thing applies in obvious fantasy. No one asks for the species identification of Humpty Dumpty.

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But outside of humour and obvious fantasy we do not have a way of indicating that an idea is put forward not to be judged but with a creative purpose that is to be treated as an idea. Po was designed to fill this need. It is a way of showing that humour or fantasy is involved even when this is not obvious. The word itself is derived from poetry; where strange ideas may be put together in order to achieve an effect. Such ideas cannot be judged on a strictly factual basis. It is also derived from supposition and hypothesis, where an unproven idea is put forward in order to stimulate further thinking. So po is a device for showing that one is operating outside the judgement system. It must be emphasised that po is not just an inability to judge something. We have expressions like “perhaps,” “possibly,’ “may be,” or “don’t know” for the occasions when we are unable to judge or choose not to. Po is a deliberate indication that one is operating outside the judgement system by intention and not through inability to judge. When people put forward a statement covered by po it is offered as a provocation or creative stimulus in order to start up some new ideas or new ways of looking at things. When people use po as a response they are indicating that they will treat the ideas as a statement deserving thought and do not intend to judge it just yet. This ability to use ideas outside the judgement system is the basis of the whole of creativity. Unless the point is understood very clearly, creativity is impossible. Po is merely a convenient device for crystallising the point so that it can be understood and used. No one has to go around muttering po for ever after. A little deliberate muttering at first is very useful. After that the attitude can take over. Throughout the lesson the students should be encouraged to say “po” in a definite manner - even to shout it.

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An understanding of po and silent, internal acceptance is not enough. Example:  THE LESSON ITEMS Open class. The teacher reads through the items and asks the class as a whole to respond by shouting yes, no or po. It should be done at a fast pace, without stopping to question why one student responds differently from the rest. The last two items clearly are not meant to be true, so the teacher watches the reaction to these and can open a brief discussion on what the response should be. This can end with a remark like: “We need something to indicate when an idea is not meant to be true.” 1.

Say yes, no or po to the following:



Five plus six equals twelve.



The Second World War started in 1943.



Ice floats in water.



Girls are usually smarter than boys.



Holidays are more fun than school.



The cow jumped over the moon.



The bug-eyed monsters from Mars have landed.

 A discussion on judgement and non-judgement. Teachers must make a clear distinction between the case where people would like to judge but do not have enough information (so they say “perhaps,” “may be,” or “don’t know”) and when they do not want to judge (so they say “po”). Reference should be made to the drawing on the student’s notes, which shows “yes” and “no” in stable boxes, but “po” is in a rolling circle and the po sign indicates movement. It is necessary to explain that po is artificial but is derived from poetry (putting together ideas in a stimulating way which might not be accurate), suppose (putting forward a tentative, unproven idea), and hypothesis (speculative explanations). 2. 2.  Judgement; when you judge something to be true or right you say: «yes». When you judge something to be untrue you say: «no». (When you are unsure, you can say «maybe» or «don›t know».)

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Non-judgement; Sometimes you may not want to judge an idea but to treat it creatively as a fantasy or suggestion or way of looking at things, so you say: po. The word po comes from poetry, suppose, hypothesis, etc. 3. Which of the following are yes statements which are no statements, and which are po statements? •

For one hour every day, shops should cut prices by 10%.



Supermarkets lose thousands of dollars through shoplifting.



More people would shop at night if shops stayed open later.



Shops are there to make money for their owners



Shop assistants are always very polite.



You could press buttons for the things you wanted and then collect them all at the end.



For many people, shopping is a sort of hobby - they really enjoy it.

Groups or open class. Groups can be allowed three minutes to work through all the items and then indicate in turn which ones they have given a yes, no or po. Some discussion may be allowed on why some groups have given po to one item rather than another. The teacher must emphasise that po is not the same as “not sure” or “don’t know.” In an open class the item can he tackled in the same way as the first item: taking each statement in turn and getting the whole class (or named individuals) to give a yes, no or po. Suggestions: Po: For one hour every day shops should cut prices by 10%. Po: More people would shop at night if shops stayed open longer. Po: You could press a button for the things you wanted and then collect them at the end. Po: For many people, shopping is a sort of hobby - they really enjoy it.

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NOTE: it does not really matter to which statements po is applied. The procedure is not a strict categorical one. It is enough that the students realise that po can be used instead of “its right” or “it’s wrong.” 4. Emphasise the two-step operation: •

Do I want to judge this?



Do I want to treat it creatively?

These are the questions students should ask themselves. It may seem that if the answer to the first question is negative then po would be used automatically, but this is not so, for it may be a “don’t know” situation. Po should he used only when there is a deliberate intention to treat the idea creatively. 5. Choose which of the following statements to give a yes, no or po. •

No one wants to work hard any more.



Most intelligent people go to college.



Politicians are just people who are good at getting elected.



Many students think they are smarter than they really are.



Every other week should be a vacation.



Working in a factory can be made more interesting.



One day people will be able to eat leaves and grass.



A rock singer does more for society than ten miners.

Treat this item in the same way as item 3 was treated, or else in an open class with rapid-fire answers. In fact, any one of the statements can be treated as a po statement if someone wishes. If something is put forward as a provocative statement it merits a po, if put forward as a fact it merits a yes or no. This can be the basis of a discussion.

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6. Make up a deliberate po statement about: cars, school food, hair. Open class or groups. Po statements on all three are fashioned and then read out. Any provocative, fantasy or speculative statement can qualify but not a descriptive statement. Suggestions: •

Po: cars should fly.



Po: cars should last a lifetime.



Po: all cars should be painted yellow.



Po: cars should eat their passengers.



Po: school food should be so tasteless that you would not notice you had eaten it.



Po: the more food you eat the more it increases in amount.



Po: students should cook their own food.



Po: hair should never need cutting.



Po: you should be able to alter the length of your hair from moment to moment by willpower.



Po: hair should change colour in the winter.

  7.

Po is used to show yourself and other people that you are not judging an idea but are treating it creatively as an idea and as a way of looking at things.

Item seven is a summary of the lesson. It can be read aloud and if there is time a discussion can be started. The main point is to treat po as a practical tool, not a philosophical point.

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Lesson 2 Stepping stones The use of ideas not for their own sake but because of other ideas they may lead to.

INTRODUCTION This lesson logically follows the first lesson. To use an idea creatively means to use it to develop some new ideas. In other words, the idea is not judged but it is used as a “stepping stone” to get to new ideas. Suppose we were considering the problem of factories that pollute rivers and make life difficult for those further downstream. We could say, “All factories should be downstream of themselves.” This is a preposterous idea, and in the judgement system it would be instantly dismissed as ridiculous. But we say, “po: all factories should be downstream of themselves,” and then use the idea as a stepping stone. Very quickly we get to the idea that in order to make a factory downstream of itself, all one would need to do would be to reverse the position of the inlet and outlet pipes to the river. We could legislate that inlet pipes must be downstream pipes only, and so each factory would get a sample of its own wastes and thus realise what it was doing. It does not matter how closely the new idea is related to the stepping stone that was used. Once used, the stepping stone can be forgotten. A stepping stone can be set up deliberately by saying anything unlikely or outrageous. The simplest method is to reverse the situation, turn it inside out, upside down, or back to front (e.g., “po: cars should control traffic lights”). But there is another use for stepping stones. In one’s own thinking one often comes up with an idea that seems to be wrong. Instead of rejecting it at once, you can use it as a stepping stone. Page 14

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Other people often come up with ideas that seem to be wrong. Such ideas can be used as stepping stones rather than rejected at once. It does not mean that such ideas have to be accepted in the end. They are used briefly as stepping stones to see if they lead to anything interesting and then they can be rejected. It is a matter of inserting the stepping stone phase before the rejection phase. The Stepping Stone is a method for getting out of the channels of thinking formed by experience in order to increase the chances of finding new channels. The general attitude involved is a very open one. It is the attitude of treating any idea not only for its own value but in terms of what it may lead to. The previous lesson introduced the idea of statements which were not to be judged but to be used provocatively in a creative fashion. This lesson is concerned with the use of such statements as a stepping stone towards a new idea. The operation is to take a statement and to see where it can lead.

Lesson Items 1.

A stepping stone is something you move on to, not because you want to stay there but because you want to get somewhere else.



Ideas can be used as stepping stones in order to move on to new ideas.



The drawing on the notes shows the process of stepping onto an idea, not in order to stay there but in order to move off again. You do not look at what is right or wrong in a statement but at what is of interest, and toward the new ideas that are suggested.

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2. Look at the statement: “Po: both teams should be able to win a basketball game at the same time.” You could say this statement is silly, ridiculous or impossible. But because we have used po, the statement is to be used creatively as a stepping stone.



From the statement we can go on to the new idea of treating each half of a basketball game as a separate game (then both sides could win).



An example of the use of a stepping stone. If a basketball game is split into two games then clearly each side can win that game. The teacher must avoid getting bogged down in semantic arguments such as “it is no longer one game, so strictly speaking each side does not win.



“There is no attempt to justify the stepping stone or even to fulfil its statement - merely to get to a new idea. Once you have arrived at the new idea the stepping stone is forgotten.

3. Which of the following statements do you think could be used as a stepping stone to get some new ideas about shoes?

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Shoes wear out much too quickly.



Shoes are good to eat.



High heels are bad for the ankles.



Fashion affects shoes too much.



Shoes should have voices of their own.



Everyone should wear the same size shoe.

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Some of these are descriptive statements and others are provocative and can be used as stepping stones. The item can be done on an open class basis with the teacher asking named individuals or calling for volunteers. It can also be done on a group basis with a group separating the statements into “stepping stone” and “descriptive.” Suggestions: po: shoes are good to eat. Po: shoes should have voices of their own. Po: everyone should wear the same size shoe. 4. Emphasise the deliberateness of the double operation:

A. What can I use as a stepping stone?



B. Where can I move to from the stepping stone?

The students must be definite about what they are using as a stepping stone. This may involve rephrasing in a more definite manner an idea that comes up in a vague way. 5. You are asked to tackle the problem of traffic congestion in cities. Use the following stepping stone: “Po: cars should have square wheels.” Group or open class. Students are allowed 4 minutes to develop ideas. In accepting the ideas, the teacher should encourage and praise the more creative ones. Suggestions If cars had square wheels there would be no cars and no problems. This is not a good use of the stepping stone - it is too direct and produces no new idea.

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Square wheels would mean a bumpy ride. Perhaps we could have lots of bumps on the road, with more bumps on the more popular roads to discourage their use. A very good stepping stone use.



Square wheels would require a special road. Perhaps people who lived in the town could have special wheels on their cars and people from out of town would not be able to drive in town (e.g., Very thin wheels for use in town). Another good use.



Square wheel cars could not move by themselves but could be moved on conveyor belts which would determine where the cars could go in the town.

The important point is that the final idea should be new and interesting not that it should justify the stepping stone. 6. You are trying to design a new TV program. Use the following stepping stone: “Po: everyone should be in the dark” Similar to the previous item. Probably best as group work. A group can produce one or several ideas. Suggestions: •

Blind people are always in the dark, so people could be blindfolded, put in a room and told to find out everything they could about the room.



Interviews could start in the dark so you would listen to what people had to say first before reacting to their appearance.



A panel game in which people are “in the dark” about some crime and have to find out clues by careful questioning.

7. •

Making Stepping Stones You can apply po to ideas which turn up anyway, instead of rejecting them.

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You can deliberately say something unlikely or outrageous.



You can turn things back to front, upside-down or inside-out, etc.

Explanation of how stepping stones are made. They can be fashioned from ideas that turn up in thinking or discussion. They can be statements which are deliberately unlikely or outrageous. Or you can turn something upside-down, inside-out, back-to-front, etc.

8. Make up three deliberate stepping stones which might be used to generate some new ideas for designing chairs. A deliberate exercise in creating stepping stones. This can be done on an immediate open class basis with students offering suggestions. The teacher should encourage way-out suggestions rather than tame ones. Suggestions: po: chairs should always collapse when you sit on them. Po: chairs should be placed on the ceiling. Po: chairs should follow you around the room. Po: chairs should talk to you. Po: chairs should stick pins in you when you sit in them.

9. Make up a stepping stone and then use it to design something that could be used in place of tests. Group or individuals (5 minutes).

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Students first create a stepping stone and then use it to reach a new idea. Emphasise that stepping stones must be deliberate and sufficiently provocative. Suggestions: po: students should examine their examiners. This could lead to: “Students could be asked to choose examination questions and to explain why they chose those questions.” Po: students should decide their own examination results. This could lead to: “A self-rating system in which students rated themselves in different areas. Then they could take a test in one area and their accuracy of selftesting would be revealed.” Po: everyone should obtain exactly equal marks in exams. This could lead to: “If everyone got the same marks in each subject because the questions were easy, then the number of subjects a student takes could make the difference.”

10. An outrageous idea can be used not for its own sake but as a stepping stone in order to get to a new idea.

Item ten is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and then discussed. The important point is not to be too timid about the stepping stone.

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Lesson 3 Random Input The input of unrelated spurious ideas into a situation may change the situation.

INTRODUCTION

In thinking about a problem one often finds oneself going over the same ground again and again. Indeed the harder one tries to concentrate the more one finds oneself stuck with the same ideas. What seems to be necessary is some outside stimulus that will get the mind working along a new line. Clearly it is not much use making an effort to choose an outside influence because that influence would only be chosen to fit the existing ideas. To be of any use the outside influence must be unexpected, unconnected or random. The random input technique involves the deliberate introduction of something that is unconnected with the situation. Using po, the random input is held in the same context as the problem to see what new ideas are triggered. In practice the simplest random input is a random word. Such a word can be chosen in a truly random manner by using a table of random numbers and a dictionary, but there are simpler ways, such as stabbing a finger at a newspaper and choosing the nearest noun. The random word acts as a parcel of concepts that are brought into the situation in order to open up new lines of thinking. Suppose we are looking for new ideas on windows. We say “window po cheese” and see what ideas are triggered. The first idea may be that the holes in cheese are always irregular whereas windows

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tend to be regular. Perhaps rounded, irregular windows would be more aesthetically pleasing. Cheese has a strong smell. Perhaps we could have a little strip of something that smelled quite strong which we would place on the window. If there were enough ventilation in the room the smell would be imperceptible but if ventilation were poor the smell would get stronger and we would open the window The lesson is concerned with the deliberate use of a random word. As before, the attitude involved is much wider and again it is one of the basic principles of creativity: being able to use accidental or unconnected inputs. If you look only at what you are looking at, how are your ideas ever going to change? One may have to look at things which seem to have no relevance and even at things which cannot possibly have any relevance in order to trigger new ideas. You may concentrate harder and harder on a problem but be unable to get any new ideas. That is because your concentration only reinforces the ideas you had before. In order to get some new ideas you may have to bring in something from outside. This cannot be something you choose, for it would then fit in only with the existing ideas. So it must be random - that is to say it has no connection with the problem being considered. But once it has been brought into the context the random input is used as a stimulus.

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

Cigarettes po soap. What does this mean? What does soap have to do with a cigarette?



It means that someone has brought in soap as a random input in order to trigger some new ideas about cigarettes.



Soap suggests freshness, and freshness suggests spring, and that means flowers.

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Perhaps every cigarette should have flower seeds in the filter so when it is thrown away a flower will blossom from it and therefore make parks more beautiful.

Example. There is no obvious connection between cigarettes and soap. Soap is used only as a random input. But this random input opens up a new line of thinking and a new idea that otherwise would have been very difficult to reach.

2. Random You cannot get new ideas by looking harder at the old ones, so you bring in something which is random or unconnected with the situation. The drawing on these notes shows thinking proceeding along the usual track until something random is brought in and leads thinking off in a new direction. It must be stressed that the input must be random. It is no use using an input which is closely related. It is no use saying “cigarettes po paper.” The drawing in the notes suggests how thinking proceeds in a certain direction. Then a random input is brought in. This leads thinking off in a new direction - toward the new input.

3. You are trying to invent a new detective character called James Cooper. In order to get some new ideas, you use a random input and say: •

“James Cooper po ice cream.”



From this might come the idea that he ought to have a youngster to help him (youngsters like ice cream) or perhaps he could be a youngster?

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Ice cream might also suggest a very fat person (eating too much). Perhaps the detective could operate an ice cream stand.

What other ideas are triggered by this random input “ice cream”? Another example of the stimulus effect of a random input. The class may be asked to suggest other ideas that might be triggered by this input of “ice cream.” Suggestions: •

The detective might be an ice hockey player.



The detective might be very perceptive (different ice cream flavours).



The detective might be very soft hearted (ice cream melts).



He might divide up the case into little portions and tackle each one of these in turn.



He might appear to be messy and stupid but underneath he is actually very bright.



His nickname might be Jimmy.

4. You are asked for some new ideas about police officers and you use the random input “canary.” “Police officer po canary.” What ideas can this trigger? Group or open class. Four minutes allowed. Different ideas are put forward. In each case it must be stated how the idea arose from the random input. Ideas which arose independently are not accepted.

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Suggestions: •

Perhaps police officers should wear very bright uniforms to increase their deterrent effect. And from time to time other people should wear these uniforms and so apparently increase the number of police officers.



Police officers should have different notes on their whistles to indicate: warning, need - help, watch-it, I’m coming, etc.



From the idea of talking birds: police officers should have little transmitter microphones which they could leave in suspicious places and then listen in from a distance.

5. Emphasise the double operation: A. What can I use as a random input? B. What is triggered by the random input?

As with stepping stones, the process must be clear-cut and deliberate. The random word is deliberately isolated and then it is used. The deliberateness of the process is important. Otherwise ideas just drift along with only a nod towards the random input.

6. Someone is trying to invent a new food and uses the random input “window.” What ideas can be got from “food po window”? Group or open class. Allow four minutes. As before, the teacher insists on hearing the step from the random input to the new idea.

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Suggestions: •

You can look through a window. So the new food would have no taste or colour of its own but you could add whatever taste or colour you liked.



A window lets in light or air or both as you wish. The fat content of a food should be alterable as you wish by just adding something.



Windows are high on the walls Perhaps we could grow a sort of fungus in clouds and then harvest the fungus when it fell to the earth in rain.



Windows have frames. This new food would have a hard crust that was nice to eat and the inside would not matter so much.

7.

What ideas can you get from “book po orange”?

This item can be omitted if there is not enough time. Otherwise treat it the same way as item 6.

Suggestions: •

Oranges have segments. Perhaps books should be put together in segments that could be pulled apart quite easily as one wished



Oranges can be squeezed to give juice which can be drunk more quickly than eating the whole orange. All books should have “juice” sections where the book is summarised for quick reading.



Oranges are round and have no beginning or end. Perhaps books could be written so that you could start anywhere you liked and they would still make sense.

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8. You can find a random word by using any word that comes to mind as you look around you.



You can also close your eyes and put your finger down on a newspaper and then use the noun nearest your finger. Or you can write out a number of common words on pieces of paper and then put them in a bag and pick one out.



Methods of finding a random word. It does not matter which method is used so long as the word is random. It is no use trying a word that comes to mind when you are considering a problem.



For instance “book po ink” is useless, but “book po kangaroo” could be useful.

Each student could write down five common words (nouns) on slips of paper. The teacher could collect these and put them in a box as a random word source picking one out at random when required. 9. You are asked to invent a new type of school in which students will learn much more. Find a random word and then use it to trigger some new ideas. Group or open class as for items 6 and 7. Time allowed is four minutes. The actual suggestions will depend on the random word used by the groups or individuals. Teachers will find that many of the random words are too close to the situation and they can comment on this. Suggestions: •

School po toothbrush: Very short periods of definite learning three times a day, with students left to explore subjects or do anything else for the rest of the time. The periods get shorter or longer according to the learning effort of the students.

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School po matchstick: From matchsticks in a box. Students could work in several very small groups, each one on its own and arranging its own teaching, sometimes joining with other groups. Each group of students would be responsible for its own learning.



School po chimney: The chimney is usually at the top of the house. A school could have the top students teaching those at the bottom. A school could have every student involved in both learning and teaching.

10. To trigger new ideas you may have to bring in something that is not connected with the subject but is random. Below is a summary of the lesson.

This can be read aloud and can form the basis of a discussion.

The important thing is that the random stimulus be truly random.

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Lesson 4 Concept Challenge The testing of the ‘ uniqueness” of concepts may lead to other ways of doing things.

INTRODUCTION This is the third of the three basic principles of creativity. The two previous principles were provocative. This one is more analytical. Concept Challenge involves looking at accepted ideas, things that are taken for granted, adequate ways of doing things, and challenging them. This challenge is not an attempt to prove them wrong but a challenge to their uniqueness. Does it have to be like that? Is that really the only way of doing things? Why do we go on doing it like that? Can we think of any alternative here? It may well be that the established idea remains better than any new idea that is produced. This does not matter. What does matter is the ability to challenge accepted concepts. If the challenge fails then the concept is reinforced because there is now a reason for using it apart from inertia or tradition. If the challenge succeeds then there is a better idea. In theory, Concept Challenge sounds easy but in practice there are two difficulties. The first difficulty is in isolating a particular concept to be challenged. It is not really much use having a broad challenge that challenges everything in sight. A challenge, like a gun, must be aimed rather precisely. So there must first be an effort to isolate the concept that is to be challenged. The second difficulty is to distinguish “challenge” from “criticism.” Criticism involves time spent attacking the concept and showing why it does not work. Challenge involves looking around for alternatives and other ways of doing something.

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For instance, if we were challenging the system of interest payments on money that had been deposited we could isolate the concepts of “uniformity” and challenge that. “Why do interest rates have to be the same for everyone?” From that we might go to the idea that interest rates should be higher for older people. Thus a person aged 30 would get 10%, a person aged 40 would get 11% and a person aged 70 would get 14%. The extra interest would come from tax rebates or direct subsidy. The point would be that younger people could work but older people often have to live on investments. It would also be an incentive to saving. As before, the principle is a very broad one. It involves an attitude of mind that is able to question or challenge anything that is taken for granted. But it must be emphasised that this is a positive attitude of mind, not the negative anti-everything attitude. It is a challenge to uniqueness, not criticism. Many things are accepted or taken for granted. A new idea or a new way of doing things can often be obtained by challenging something that is taken for granted and asking: “Why does it have to be done this way?” The purpose of this lesson is to develop the operation of challenging concepts. It is important to realise that the process is not one of criticism but of challenging the uniqueness of a concept, i.e. ‘Is this the only way of doing it?”

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

The drawing on these notes shows arrows puncturing balloons. The balloons represent concepts, ideas, accepted ways of doing things, etc. Each arrow is the word “why” which is used to challenge a concept in order to see whether it is

the only way of doing things. It is best to start with a reference to the student note cover illustration which shows some arrows puncturing balloons. The balloons represent the concepts or ideas that are taken for granted. The arrows represent the question “why?” Which is used to challenge the uniqueness of the concept: I.e. “Why does it have to be like this?” Page 30

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2. Why does a plate have to be round? A girl was asked to design a new plate, so she challenged the idea of “roundness” and as a result she designed a plate that was long and narrow and stretched out toward the middle of the table - when you finished eating at one end you turned it round and started at the other. An example of the effect of challenging a concept. It is not a matter of deciding whether the round plate is or is not better than the suggested long plate. It is a matter of challenging roundness as a concept. The new idea that turns up may in some cases be better and in others worse than the challenged idea. What matters is the ability to challenge concepts.

3. Challenge When you challenge a concept, you are really asking the following questions: •

Is it necessary?



What alternative ways might there be?



It is only after challenging the existing way that you start looking for other ways.



Further explanation of what is meant by challenge.



“Is it necessary?”



“Is it the only way?”



“Why must it be done like this?”

4. Challenge

the

concept

of

“fashion”

in

clothes

and

entertainment. Open class discussion. Individuals volunteer their challenges or the teacher may ask individual students. Suggestions: Instead of fashion there could be a range of possibilities from which people could choose what suits them.

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Fashion is a way of reviving interest in clothes or entertainment - perhaps what is wanted is change, not fashion. It could for instance be predictable change.



Fashion means being ahead of, or adhering to, the general trend perhaps there could be anti-fashion, which moves in exactly the opposite direction.

5. Emphasise the double operation: A. Which concept shall I pick out? B. Why must things be done like this?

The deliberate nature of these questions is even more important than usual. Unless you isolate a specific concept the challenge becomes pointless: after all, you have to shoot at a specific balloon, you cannot aim at balloons in general.

6. In each of the following areas, pick out five Concepts which you would like to challenge: •

Advertising



Home life



School buildings.

Group- work. The group looks at each of the areas and picks out five concepts which it would like to challenge. Time allowed is five minutes. The teacher should note whether the concepts are real concepts or just vague attributes. If the latter, they should be expressed in a concept form.

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Suggestions: Advertising: •

The concept of persuasion.



The concept of maximum exposure.



The concept of “image.”



The concept that people are easily fooled.

• The use of exotic people in advertisements. Home life: •

The concept of authority.



The concept of total obedience.



The concept that parents always know best.



The concept of dependence (for money, etc.).

• The lack of privacy. School Buildings: •

The concept of order.



The concept of usefulness rather than beauty.



The concept of cheapness.



The concept of modernity.



The concept of closed classrooms.

7.

Pick out and challenge three different concepts listed in the

area of “sports” and give alternative ways of doing things. This can be done as group work or as individuals in an open-class discussion. Four minutes are allowed for group work. In an open discussion the teacher invites comments.

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Suggestions: •

Why does there have to be competition? Perhaps all competitive sports should be anonymous so that skill alone is appreciated.



Why are there so many spectator sports? Perhaps everyone under thirty should have to play in a sport rather than watch.



Why do teams always stay the same? Instead of two fixed teams there could be a pool of players all mixed together and then the two sides are chosen randomly from among these.

8. A man has a difficult problem because he and his wife have just had a new baby and they need all the money he can earn in order to pay the new expenses. But his coworkers are going on strike. Although he does not agree with the strike he knows that he must support his coworkers. In this problem situation, pick out and challenge any concepts you wish. Group work. Time allowed is four minutes. Can also be used as an open class discussion item. Suggestions: •

Why should his coworkers not support him by means of a special strike fund?



Why should all strikes be a matter of principle? Perhaps in some strikes those who disagree could stay at work.



Why is it a question of strike or not strike? Could he perhaps strike with the others but go back if it lasted too long?

9. Suggest improvements in the local bus service by picking out and challenging any two concepts.

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Group or individual work. This time it is not just a matter of picking out concepts to challenge but of suggesting alternatives and improvements. Time allowed is three minutes. Suggestions: •

Why do buses have to run on a fixed schedule? Suppose the buses were distributed along the route and each one left as soon as it filled up?



Why do buses have to stop all the time? Perhaps minibuses could take people to central points and then the big buses would operate only between central points without stopping.

10. Instead of taking things for granted, you can pick out and challenge any concept to see whether it is the only way of doing things. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is to focus on a concept and to challenge its uniqueness.

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Lesson 5 Dominant Idea In most situations there is a dominant idea. In order to be creative one must find and escape from it.

INTRODUCTION A dominant idea is an idea that is so dominant that it is difficult to think of any other ideas. All thinking on the subject is captured by the dominant channel and other possibilities are ignored. For instance the dominant idea in the postal service is that “it should be as fast as possible.” This is achieved at a high cost. If we escaped from this dominant idea we might find that reliability and predictability were perhaps more important. A reliable three-day postal service would for most purposes be better than an erratic one-day service. In almost all situations there is a dominant idea. Often it is very obvious, sometimes it is implicit. Different people may see different ideas as being dominant and sometimes there may be a cluster of ideas that are all equally dominant (for example in the postal service where another dominant idea might be that all people have to be served). The important thing is not to argue about which the dominant idea is, but to recognise an idea which dominates the situation. Once it is recognised it is not too difficult to escape from it. There is a relationship between Concept Challenge and Dominant Idea insofar as a dominant idea is also a concept to be challenged. But whereas a concept may play any role in a situation, the dominant idea controls the situation. Once the dominant idea is isolated then the procedure is the same as for concept challenge. It is this isolation of the dominant idea that is the subject of this lesson.

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It is quite easy to find oneself thinking very hard within an area and never to challenge the area itself. That is where the effort to find the dominant idea in a situation can sometimes change the whole situation and the thinking about it. The purpose of the lesson is to develop the habit of trying to spell out this dominant idea. One’s thinking may be very much influenced by a dominant idea without there ever being a conscious awareness of the idea. Once the dominant idea is spelled out, it becomes much easier to escape its domination and to come up with a new idea.

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

The dominant idea in the design of a bed is that it should be comfortable.



The dominant idea in running the railways is to provide a transport service.



The dominant idea in football teams is to win games.



The dominant idea in schools is to get students through tests.

Examples of dominant ideas can be read aloud by the teacher or someone in the class simply as an illustration of what is meant by a dominant idea. If there is a discussion as to whether there are other dominant ideas in a situation it may be pointed out that different people may see different ideas as dominant. The judgement is subjective. What matters is that students pick out for themselves the dominant idea in a situation. 2. Escape In the drawing on these notes the dominant idea is shown as the main road or highway along which thinking moves. When one is travelling along a main road it is not easy to notice the side roads. But in order to find new ideas, it may be necessary to escape from the main road, from the dominant idea.

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Reference is made to the drawing on the notes, which shows the dominant idea as the main track or highway along which thinking proceeds.



The side road is not easily seen; since its opening is small, but if taken it can open out into a wide and useful road.



So escape from the dominant idea in thinking can lead to other useful ideas

3. If we escape from the dominant idea that a bed should be comfortable, we might come up with the idea that it should put one to sleep and this may involve some special sleep machine.



If we escape from the dominant idea that football teams should win games, we might find that they start paying more attention to their fans (encourage youngsters, help with training, take part in community affairs, etc.)



If we escape from the dominant idea that railways are supposed to provide transportation, we might find them offering entertainment: discotheques, bars, TV, movies, etc.



What other ideas are to be found if we escape from the idea that schools are for getting students through tests?



What other ideas are to be found if we escape from the idea that medicine is to cure illness?)

This item shows how escaping from the dominant idea can open up new ideas. With the last two examples the students themselves have to suggest the different ideas. This item is best done as an open class discussion.

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Suggestions: •

If we escape from the dominant idea that schools are intended to get students through tests we might consider that schools are to give students something to do while they grow up and learn from each other and the world. So the emphasis would be on keeping students occupied and in contact with the world.



If we escape from the idea that medicine is to cure illness we might consider the idea that medicine is to keep people happy and doctors might then spend more time keeping their patients happy than just curing them

4. Emphasise the double operation: •

What is the dominant idea?



Can I escape from it?

The important step is to recognise the dominant idea. Once it is recognised it is usually not too difficult to escape from it and to suggest an alternative idea. 5. What is the dominant idea in each of the following areas? •

The problem with vandalism.



The design of computers.



Industry as a whole.



Choosing a career.



Writing a thriller.



Designing clothes.

This item involves group work taking about four minutes, at the end of which the groups say which ideas they have picked out as being dominant. This can also be done on an open class discussion basis, taking each item in turn.

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Suggestions: •

The problem of vandalism: that there is no way of preventing it.



The design of computers: that they should be fast and accurate.



Industry as a whole: to make money.



Choosing a career: that it is a very important choice.



Writing a thriller: to build up suspense.



Designing clothes: that people should want to wear them.

6. A lot of modern buildings are very ugly. You are asked for some new ideas that will make them better looking. Can you find the dominant idea in the present attitude and then escape from it to find some new idea? This is best done as group work, allowing four minutes. The groups are expected to define the dominant idea and then to show how they escaped from it.

7.

A 14-year-old boy has a problem. He finds school very boring and prefers to be outside playing with his friends. At the same time he knows that he needs qualifications to get a good job. But this does not make school any more interesting.

What is the dominant idea here, and can escaping from it help him solve his problem? This is an open-class discussion. Students are asked for their ideas and their solutions.

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Suggestions: •

Dominant idea: that you should always do what is most interesting.



Escape: he does enough interesting things outside of school and in school is prepared to do things which at first may not interest him. He tells himself that as he gets better at them they will become more interesting.

8. In most situations there is a dominant idea. In order to find new ideas, you may have to detect the dominant idea and then escape from it. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and can be the basis of a discussion.

The important point is to spell out the dominant idea in a deliberate manner - even when one is sure one knows what it is.

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Lesson 6 Define The Problem An effort to define a problem exactly may make it easier to solve.

INTRODUCTION

This is a difficult lesson. It is easy enough to say “define the problem” but much more difficult to do. No instructions are given as to how problems should he defined, nor is any attempt made to indicate that a problem has been defined satisfactorily. The important thing is that students realise the importance of defining the problem and make an effort in that direction. The lesson is meant to suggest to the students that they should always strive towards a more exact definition of the problem. It is often difficult to distinguish between what is a more exact definition and what are simply alternative definitions. The distinction does not really matter. The most important thing is that the students ask themselves the question: “What is the real problem here?” For the same reason, it does not matter too much if the definition of the problem comes to include the cause of the problem. For instance, in defining the problem of delinquency, someone may say that the real problem is that children come from homes which do not put a high value on education. This is a quite different definition from “the problem is that children find it possible and preferable to stay away from school.” Different people will certainly define problems in different ways. These different definitions are a subject for discussion. The definition of a problem is not entirely subjective. It is possible by discussion to work towards a definition that is more exact than others.

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People may still see the problem in different ways because their perception will be different; nevertheless, it is worth striving for a precise definition so that most people will accept it. The exact definition of a problem is not just a matter of tidiness or semantic precision. It has a purpose. An exact definition of a problem very often suggests new approaches and sometimes even a solution. The general principle here is that if one is involved in a problem-solving situation, one should make an effort to define the problem exactly. Some creative situations are not problem-solving ones, and an effort to define such situations exactly might actually inhibit ideas. This is an important lesson. It is easy to know what the problem is in general terms but more difficult to define the problem exactly. Yet it is from such an exact definition that solutions and new ideas often arise. This is not to suggest that there is only one exact definition of a problem, for different people may define the problem in different ways. Nevertheless, an exact definition is more likely to lead to an idea than is a vague generality.

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

A supermarket had a problem because there was so much shoplifting that it was going to be necessary to raise the prices on merchandise. The problem was defined in the following ways:



There is too much shoplifting.



There are too many dishonest people around.



Too many shoplifters are getting away with it.



People think it is easy to shoplift here.



Shoplifters do not know that there is a high risk of getting caught.

The definition “too many shoplifters are getting away with it” led to the installation of hidden detection devices and plain-clothes detectives. This did not make much difference.

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The definition “shoplifters do not know that there is a high risk of getting caught” led to the use of obvious detection devices (like TV cameras) and uniformed detectives. There was also publication of the number of people caught. This approach was much more successful. The above example shows how the problem may be defined in different ways. It also shows how different definitions can give rise to different solutions. Just saying that there is too much shoplifting is too vague to be useful. When the problem is narrowed down or defined more exactly, a course of action is at once suggested. 2. Define The drawing on these notes shows a large vague problem area. Inside this is a more exact definition of the problem. Inside this again is a still more exact definition. The way the problem is defined can make a big difference to the way it is solved. More exact definition of a problem means narrowing it down, focusing more sharply. Reference may be made to the drawing on the notes, which shows a large, vague problem area within which is a better defined problem, and within that a problem that is defined more exactly. 3. There is the problem with the homeless and the people who simply cannot cope with society. Which of the following definitions do you think is the best definition of the problem?



Society has become too complicated.



Some people will never be able to compete on their own.



There is no simpler society in which these people could cope.



The problem is one of accepting that there are always going to be people who cannot cope.



The problem is the one of regarding such people as a problem instead of as a part of society.

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This can be group work (3 minutes) or an open-class discussion. The aim is to find the definition that seems to be the most exact. The teacher must be careful to insist on the definition of the problem, not on the causes behind the problem. Suggestions: The problem is one of regarding such people as a problem instead of as a part of society. (This seems to state in an exact way what the total problem is rather than the reasons for it, as some of the other definitions do).

4. Emphasise the double operation: A. What is the real problem here? B. How can it be best defined?

It may seem that the two questions say the same thing. They do not. The first question tries to get at the real problem, e.g., it is our attitude toward the homeless that is the problem. The second question is concerned with the definition or statement of the problem so that it can be tackled and communicated.

5. Which of the following is a good definition of the ‘right price’ for handmade furniture?



The problem of finding the right price at which to sell handmade furniture.



The problem is to find out what people expect to pay.



The problem is to get people to appreciate the amount of work involved.

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The problem is to find out how much more could be sold at a lower price.



The problem is to attract the right buyers who can pay more.



The problem is that other furniture is much too cheap.

This can be group work (3 minutes) or an open-class discussion. In an open-class discussion, individual students can put forward their preferred definition and then state why they prefer it. Suggestion: The problem is to attract people who can afford the higher priced furniture and then to fix a price that matches what they are prepared to pay. (This may require a marketing effort to establish the real value or prestige value of such furniture. It might also have a higher re-sale value.)

6. How would you define the problem of choosing a career? Individual students think about this one for about 2 minutes and are then asked to give their definition. Suggestion: The problem is one of lack of information about the jobs, the future and oneself.

7.

A father is upset that his daughter never obeys him. How would you define his problem?

This is an open-class discussion with volunteered suggestions which are then considered. Suggestions:

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The problem is one of obedience.



The problem is one of respect.



The problem is one of communication.



The problem is one of knowing whether it matters. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

8. A problem may not be what it appears to be at first. An effort to define a problem exactly may make it easier to solve. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is the effort to define and redefine the problem so that an exact definition can lead to best ideas.

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Lesson 7 Remove Faults The assessment of faults and their removal from an idea.

INTRODUCTION This is one of the easier lessons. When someone is asked to improve on something or to redesign something, he or she usually tries to rectify obvious faults. This lesson simply underlines that process and formalises it. The first operation is to list all the faults and the second operation is to try to remove them. This is more precise than just thinking of a fault and then trying to do something about it. As with other CoRT lessons, the formality and deliberateness of the effort are important. Faults may be obvious, as in a child’s toy that has sharp corners. Such faults are easy to spot and to condemn. At other times a fault may be a matter of omission. It is much harder to spot something that is not there, unless one already has in mind something that could be there. For example, few people would complain that a car lacks a device for communicating with other motorists (other than turn signals), because this is not something most people have thought about. Removing faults may he easy if they are the result of carelessness or thoughtlessness. On the other hand, it may be very difficult if the fault is such an essential part of the design that the whole design may have to be altered. In that case the fault-remover may find a major redesigning job on hand. On the whole, removing faults is a rather limited form of creativity. It is rare to reach a fundamentally new idea simply by removing the faults in an existing idea.

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Nevertheless, the process is a useful one, because it does improve things. Furthermore, the fault-removing process may have to be applied to new ideas or suggestions which cannot he accepted until their faults are removed. In this case the fault-removing may make a big contribution to the emergence of a really new idea. As with many other processes, one person’s fault may be another person’s advantage. For instance, one person may regard as a fault the uniform yellow colour of school buses because he/she might prefer buses to look more interesting. Another person may take an exactly contrary view and say that different coloured buses are difficult to recognise. As with the other processes, it is a matter of recognising that some faults would be accepted as such by everybody but others are subjective. The general principle of fault-removing is obvious enough. The important thing is to make a deliberate effort in this direction. Care must be taken, however, to see that this relatively easy path to creativity does not exclude the other methods. It is easy to complain about things. It is easy to pick out faults. The lesson is concerned with picking out faults and then trying to remove them.

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

These are some of the faults mentioned by a group of students who were looking at the local bus service:



They do not run often enough.



The routes are badly planned.



The fare is too high for short journeys.



They are usually dirty.



They do not run to the hospital.



The drivers are usually very rude.



There are too few stops.

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The faults in this example are read through; the subject in question is the local bus service. Some of the faults are things which are there (e.g., “usually dirty,” “drivers are usually very rude”) and others are things which are not there (e.g., “do not run to the hospital,” “too few stops”).

2. List some of the faults that are to be found in a zoo. This is an open-class discussion listing some of the faults to be found in a zoo. The teacher may, if needed, list the faults on the blackboard as they are suggested. Suggestions: •

Animals are too cramped; they do not get enough exercise.



Animals are upset by people teasing them.



In an open zoo, animals are too far away to be seen.



There is no natural mating or selecting of mate.



There is no interaction of animals as in the wild.



There is not enough information on the animals.

3. Faults A fault is something that is wrong, something that is not as it should he, or something that can he complained about. A fault may be something that is missing or a fault may be something that is there but should be removed. Refer to drawing on notes, which shows removal of faults to produce a square. In one case a piece is removed and in the other a gap is filled in.

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The distinction between these two types of fault is not especially important so long as students remember to look for things that are missing and not just things that are wrong.

4. What faults are there in the classroom? First give the things that are missing and then the things that should be taken away. This is group work (4 minutes). At the end of this time, each group gives its list of faults. It may also be done by individuals, who are given the same amount of time to write their own lists. Suggestions: (depends very much on the particular classroom) •

Too small



Too bare



Ceiling too low



No scope for artistic expression of students



Desks uncomfortable



Bad acoustics



No point of interest or focal point.

5. Emphasise the double operation: A. What are the faults? B. How can they be removed? It is probably better to list all the faults first and then to try to remove them rather than attempting to remove each fault as it is thought of.

6. Pick out any two faults in the coinage system and suggest how they could be corrected. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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This is group work (4 minutes). Could also be done with individuals who are given time to make their own list of faults. An attempt must he made to correct the faults. Suggestions: •

Faults in the actual denominations used.



Faults in the physical characteristics (too heavy or bulky, too small, not easily distinguishable, etc.)

7.

Someone picks out the following five faults in the design of a car. You are asked to correct these faults. How would you do this?



Too easily damaged and too expensive to repair.



Causes too much pollution.



There is nothing to prevent a drunken person from driving.



Very dangerous in a crash.



Takes up too much road space in towns.

This can be group work or open class discussion. In group work, time allowed is four minutes. Suggestions: •

Too easily damaged and too expensive to repair: make the panels easily replaceable and of a flexible rubber type material.



Too much pollution: use a battery system, or hydrogen engines.



Nothing to prevent a drunken person from driving: put in a rather complicated puzzle which the driver has to solve before the car can start (involving some manipulation).

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Very dangerous in a crash: a better protective air-bag to surround the passengers.



Takes up too much road space: make cars much smaller or much thinner.

8. Pick out the three most important faults of parents and suggest how they could be corrected. This is an open-class discussion with suggestions taken from individuals. At the end the students can vote on the three faults they consider the most important and also suggest how they can be corrected. Suggestions: •

Parents have forgotten the things that are important to youngsters. (Corrected by getting parents periodically to say what they think their children regard as important.)



Parents feel their children are going to get into trouble. (Children should ask their parents exactly what trouble is feared.)



Parents do not give children enough money. (Children should devise ways of earning money by doing useful things.)

9. One way to get an improvement is to pick out all the faults in the existing idea and then try to remove them. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is to list the faults deliberately and then to tackle them.

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Lesson 8 Combination By examining the attributes of seemingly unrelated items new items may be created either by fusion or by

combination.

INTRODUCTION Combination is another basic approach to creativity. Things which have existed separately are put together to produce something that has a value greater than the sum of its parts. Sometimes a combination may be a simple addition like combining a bicycle with a generator to produce electricity in a power blackout. At other times different principles are combined as in the combination of the hovercraft principle with a lawn mower. Very many famous and successful inventions have relied on this combination process. Someone comes along and puts together things which no one has ever thought of putting together before. The process is a relatively easy one to use because there is something to work with - in contrast to trying to pull an idea out of the air. Sometimes two things are put together deliberately and then an attempt is made to make sense of this combination. This process is used at times during the lesson. In a way this is creating a deliberate stepping stone and then seeing what can be got from the situation. How does one know what to combine? This is a difficult question. Sometimes the combination attempt is almost random. At other times the separate things may be very useful in their own right and so they are brought together to see if there will be added usefulness. Often there is not. For instance, a Victorian invention sought to combine a mouse trap and a cheese grater - without great advantage to either. On the other hand, the combination of a tiny flashlight and a key ring has definite advantages when one is trying to find a keyhole in the dark.

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Combination is a useful exercise because it is relatively easy and yet can produce some very interesting ideas. Putting two (or more) things together makes one think very hard about the nature and purposes of both of them. The general principle involved here is that new things are quite often a combination of old things. As in cooking, one way to create a new idea is to bring together things which have existed separately and see if anything useful can be obtained by combining them. For instance, the first automobile was made by putting the newly developed gasoline engine into a tricycle .

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

Putting together the idea of house and car resulted in the mobile home.



Putting together the idea of fish and sausages resulted in the fish stick.



Putting together the idea of meat and bread resulted in the hamburger.



Putting together the idea of telephone and TV resulted in the videophone.



Putting together the idea of bicycle and gasoline engine resulted in the motorbike

The above examples of combinations; the teacher can read through the list. It may be argued that in some cases the idea was a development (e.g. hamburger from sandwich) rather than a combination. This may or may not be so. It does not matter so long as the nature of combination is explained. Students can be asked to supply further examples of combination.

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2. What new idea can you get from putting together the idea of a school and a hotel? This is group work. Time allowed is 3 minutes. Each group in turn then gives its ideas. Suggestions: •

During the winter many large hotels at seaside places are quite empty. Perhaps they could be used as winter schools.



For half the day the students would earn money by staffing the hotel and during the other half they would do lessons.



A second shift of students would do the opposite.

3. What new idea can you get from putting together the idea of a hair dryer and a vacuum cleaner? This can be group work (3 minutes), or also can be used as an individual thinking item with the same allowance of time. Suggestions: •

To heat a room you let the hair dryer blow into the vacuum cleaner, which then blows the warm air into the room.



The vacuum cleaner could be used to hold up the strands of hair that would then be dried by the hair dryer - better than combing.

4. Putting Together Sometimes combination involves combining different things into a single new thing and sometimes it means putting things together to solve a problem. The idea of “putting together:” Sometimes this simply means adding things together and at other times there is the combining of the old things into something entirely new. Page 56

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Reference is made to the drawing on the notes, which shows three separate things being combined first in the addition way and then the fusion way. 5. A small boy falls into a fast flowing river. You can only use two of the following items to rescue him. Which two would you use? Umbrella, football, rope, fishing rod, bicycle. Putting things together to solve a problem: Open-class discussion of different ideas put forward by students. Suggestions: •

Tie the rope to the football and fling this to boy and then pull him in.



Cycle downstream to get ahead of the boy and swim out with the rope.



Use the fishing rod to cast the rope to the boy.



(The umbrella would not serve to slow the boy down since it would move as fast as the water.)

6. Emphasise the double operation: A. What can I put together? B. What is the result?

Sometimes things are put together to solve a problem and sometimes things are put together to see what would happen. The important thing is that after the combination there should be something more than just the sum of the parts.

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7.

Put all the following items together and make a story that includes them:

Lame dog; policemen; piece of chewing gum, two nurses in uniform.

This is an Individual thinking effort. Time allowed is 3 minutes. The story should not just include the items but include them in a way which uses them. Suggestions: The two nurses were burglars in disguise. They caught a dog and put a piece of chewing gum under one of its feet so that it would limp. One of them asked the police officers to hold the dog while he treated its foot. The other sneaked into the building which the police officers were supposed to be guarding.

8. Put any two of the following things together to get something new. How many different pairs can you treat like this? Roller skates, trash can, ladder, broom, tent, paintbrush, garden hose This is group work (5 minutes). Any two items can be put together even if the same item is used more than once. The combination must show some useful purpose at the end. Suggestions: •

Roller skates and trash can: trash can that can be pulled instead of being carried.



Garden hose and paintbrush: car washing device.



Roller skates and ladder: to make it easier to push a ladder up a wall.



Tent and garden hose: turn tent upside down and make a paddling pool for children.

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9. It is often possible to get something new by combining together two or more old things. Sometimes these are just added together and sometimes they are fused together. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is to make a deliberate effort to combine things rather than just wait until they fall into place.

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Lesson 9 Requirements An awareness of requirements may influence the creation of ideas.

INTRODUCTION Sometimes ideas arise and then go in search of a problem to solve. A classic example is the invention of the laser, a wonderfully powerful optical device. Yet this device is still looking for an important problem to solve. It does have many uses but none of them of an importance to match its own technological achievement. But most of the time, ideas arise in response to the need for an idea in a situation. It may be a definite problem situation or it may be a situation in which a new idea or improvement would be very welcome even though no actual problem has been stated. When ideas arise in connection with a situation, that situation has certain requirements of its own. Those requirements may be wrong or they may sometimes be unnecessary or unnecessarily restricting; nevertheless, they should be considered. For example, someone setting out to design a new medication would have to bear in mind a variety of requirements: should be safe even in large doses; must not cause undue side effects; must show a real advantage over other drugs; must not combine in a harmful way with other drugs that might be used at the same time; must not affect the foetus during pregnancy; must not be so expensive that no one could afford it; must not change its characteristics if stored. This example is a rather special situation, but any situation has its own requirements. At what stage are requirements taken into account? It might be thought that the idea comes first and then it is modified to fit the requirements. It might also be that it is only at the judgement stage that the requirements are brought into contact with the idea.

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In fact requirements should be considered at the beginning since they will help to shape the idea in a creative way. For instance, if one of the requirements in redesigning a bicycle is that it be very cheap, then attention might be focused on a simpler method than spokes for the wheels or on using a rubber band in place of the chain. Keeping the requirements in mind and allowing them to shape the idea does not mean that they have to constrain it at every stage. This would inhibit the development of really new ideas. Sometimes the ideas put forward are po ideas and therefore do not have to be judged by the requirements The order of importance of the requirements is worth noting. Not all requirements are equally important. Sometimes an idea may satisfy the important requirements and fail to satisfy other requirements. If all are treated as equal there is no way of telling whether such an idea is worthwhile. The lesson is concerned both with listing the requirements and with giving them an order of priority. The general principle involved is that ideas do not exist in a vacuum but are connected with a situation which has its own requirements. Some ideas and inventions exist in their own right. But most of the time, ideas and solutions have to fit some situation - they have to meet some requirements. These requirements are not just things that are brought into the open after the idea has been produced. The requirements actually shape the idea. Thus the requirement that the solution must not cost too much would Shape the idea for solving a traffic problem (it would be no use talking of expensive bridges, etc.). The purpose of this lesson is to get the students to look for the requirements in a situation.

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THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

A designer is about to design a new child’s toy and he keeps the following requirements in mind:



Toughness



Attractiveness



Simplicity



Cheapness

Has the designer left any requirements out? This is an example of the type of requirements that might have to be met. The teacher can read through the list. Some requirements have been left out deliberately so that the teacher can ask the class (open-class discussion) to suggest requirements for the toy designer. Suggestions: •

Safety



Interest (as distinct from attractiveness)



Ease of manufacturing



Right size for children

2. An inventor comes up with a wonderful new idea: a bicycle made of wood. Surprisingly the idea is turned down by the manufacturers because it does not meet the requirements of a bicycle. Which requirements do you think it failed to meet? This is an open-class discussion. The students volunteer reasons why the wooden bicycle was turned down. These reasons should be in the form of the requirements it did not meet.

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Suggestions: •

Not strong enough



Not safe enough as it might splinter in an accident



Could not be produced by mass production methods



Offered no real advantage over existing bicycles



Not light enough

3. Shaping Requirements include all the things that are needed in a situation. The drawing on these notes shows how the different requirements shape an idea, a solution or an invention. The requirements exert a pressure so that things are done in a certain way. Reference is made to the drawing on the notes, which shows how the requirements exert a pressure to mould the idea. The requirements are in fact a creative influence and not just part of the judgement of an idea.

4. List the requirements in each of the following situations:



A new uniform for the police



Employing a new teacher



A new rock group

This is group work (5 minutes). Each of the items should be tackled. Suggestions: •

Police uniform: strong, weatherproof, distinctive, dignified,



Protective against blows and knife thrusts,



Difficult to catch hold of, warm in winter and cool in summer, comfortable to wear for long periods.

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New teacher: knows the subject, can teach, suits the particular school, will get along with the other staff members, not likely to want to move soon, will gain respect of students.



New rock group: recognisable style, hard workers, no internal personality problems, likely to stay together, not too expensive at first, attractive personalities.

5. An I l-year-old boy is caught stealing a bicycle. He is taken home to his parents for punishment. What should the parents do? What are the requirements of the situation? This can be group work or open-class discussion (3 minutes). The teacher should emphasise that the requirements of the situation are being asked for - not what the parents should do. Suggestions: •

Find out the truth of the matter.



Find out why their son stole the bicycle.



Decide what treatment is going to make the most impression.



Speed in decision as to what to do.



Retain their son’s respect.

6. Emphasise the double operation: A. What are the requirements here? B. What is the order of importance?

Not all requirements are equally important.

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The second question asks the student to put the requirements in order of importance, to determine priorities.

7.

Some of the requirements in running a newspaper are listed below. Put them in order of importance:



It should make money.



People should want to read it.



It should inform and educate people.



It should be accurate and tell the truth.



It should not give only one side of the question.



It should carry a lot of advertising.

This is group work (3 minutes). Differing orders of importance can be discussed. Suggestions: •

It should be accurate and tell the truth.



It should make money (at least enough to survive).



People should want to read it.



It should not give only one side of the question.



It should inform and educate people.



It should carry a lot of advertising.

8. You are asked to design a totally new sport. What do you think the requirements would he for it to become popular? Give these requirements in order of importance. This is group work (4 minutes). The groups should not describe an actual sport but give the requirements for it to catch on, in order of importance.

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Suggestions: •

Easy to play with enjoyment



Competitive element



Definite end point or goal



No very special apparatus required.



Played out of doors.



Interesting for spectators.

9. When a very tall building catches fire, the firemen have a problem in rescuing people who are out of reach of the ladders. If you were tackling this problem, what do you think the requirements would be? Put them in order of importance. This is group work (3 minutes). The groups are being asked for the requirements of the situation, not suggestions of actual solutions. Suggestions: •

Must be usable on a building of any height.



Must be safe to use.



Must be able to cope with a large number of people.



Must be easy and straightforward to use.



Must not cost too much if it is to be installed in every tall building.

10. An idea that does not meet the requirements of the situation is not much use in that situation. It is useful to be aware of the requirements and to allow them to shape the idea. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is to be aware of the requirements while thinking up the idea.

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Lesson 10 Evaluation Does an idea fulfill the requirements; what are its advantages and disadvantages?

INTRODUCTION This lesson continues directly from the preceding lesson. An idea may be interesting and it may be creative, but is it a good idea, is it useful, does it work? One of the objections made to creativity is that it is great fun inventing fantastic new ideas but that usually they are of little practical use. The Evaluation lesson is concerned not with creativity but with judgement. Ideas are to be judged without any regard to their creativity. They are to be judged on the grounds of whether they would work or not. It is suggested in the lesson that the evaluation process is a two-stage process. The first stage involves looking at the requirements of the situation and seeing how the idea fits these requirements. There may be many points at which the requirements are satisfied, and there may be points at which the idea actually makes matters worse. If a priority list of requirements has been set up, then an idea is judged to be good if it satisfies the most important requirements. The more requirements that are satisfied, the better the idea. The second stage is examining the idea to show its advantages and disadvantages. This is a more general process than looking at the requirements. Obviously any advantage or disadvantage can be expressed as a requirement, but this is rather artificial. For instance, the suggestion that all cars should be painted yellow might have the disadvantage that police would have difficulty tracing stolen cars.

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This could be expressed as not meeting the requirement that “police work should not be interfered with” but this is artificial and unhelpful. Looking at the advantages and disadvantages is really doing a PMI which also brings in points of interest. The consequences of an idea may come into requirements (e.g., a new engine for a car must not cause pollution) or into the PMI stage. The simple rule is that if something is not actually stated when the list of requirements is drawn up then it should come into the PMI stage. That is why it is so important that the PMI operation be done in addition to seeing whether the idea fits the requirements. It must, of course, be remembered that an idea which does not pass the evaluation test may yet be modified to produce a good idea. But that is not the function of evaluation. Evaluation looks at the idea as it is and points out where it has failed. The general principle involved in evaluation is that ideas should fulfill some purpose. It is not enough that an idea be creative, it should also be “good,” according to whatever criterion of goodness is being used in that particular context (e.g., art, engineering, social planning, etc.). Occasionally, a creative idea will at once make sense and be seen to work, but most of the time there will have to be an evaluation of the ideas that are produced. Evaluation means looking at the value of the idea - not so much in itself but in relation to the situation. A valuable idea will fit the requirements and will also offer advantages over the existing wall of doing things. It is rare for an idea to fit all the requirements, but it should at least fit the most important ones.

THE LESSON ITEMS 1.

Some students are very bored at school, and as a solution it is suggested that anyone may leave school after the age of 14 so long as he or she can read, write and do simple arithmetic.

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Is this a good solution? •

It meets the desires of the students who want to leave.



It meets the desires of the schools that may be glad to be rid of difficult students.

But what about the future needs of the students who leave and the needs of society in general? This is an example of evaluation of a solution to the problem of bored students. The example is shown to fit two of the requirements. But does it fit the other two? This can be done as an open-class discussion. The emphasis, however, should be on the evaluation of the idea. At the end of the discussion, the students should be asked to decide whether this is a good idea or not. 2. A town has a very bad traffic problem since there is only one bridge over the river and all the traffic has to use it. To solve the problem there is talk of building a wide new road through the town and a new bridge over the river. Is this a good solution? This can also be done as an open-class discussion. The method or process of evaluating the idea should be kept in mind. For instance, if students say they do not think it is a good idea, they should be asked their reasons and these should be rephrased in terms of whether they meet the requirements or not. Suggestions: •

The bridge may not ease the traffic but only attract new traffic; hence it may not meet the requirement of reducing traffic congestion. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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The cost of the bridge may be very high and it may benefit only through traffic from other areas, hence it may not meet the cost requirement.



The bridge would require that new roads be built, which will disrupt the town and make some people homeless, hence it would not meet the requirement of minimal interference.

3. Fit Evaluation means examining ideas or solutions to see which one fits because when it fits well, like a key in a lock, it will work. The solution or idea has to fit the requirements of the situation. The idea of “fit” is treated like the idea of a key fitting a lock and so opening it.

4. Which of the following is the best solution to the problem of boredom?



More entertainment (TV, COMPUTER GAMES, CINEMA, etc.)



Harder work



Learning a craft or hobby



Playing a sport



Doing useful work helping others

This can be group work (3 minutes), or also be done as an open-class discussion. Suggestion: The best solution might be “learning a craft or hobby” because it meets the following requirements:

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Something you can do whenever you want to do it.



You can do it for as long as you like.



The better you get, the more interesting it becomes.



There is a sense of achievement.



It does not depend on other people.

5. The government needs more money, so it decides to raise income tax. Is this a good idea? This is group work (4 minutes). In this example it is a matter not only of meeting requirements but of looking at consequences. Suggestions: •

Taxes are already high, so raising income taxes more will be difficult.



Taking more money from the wealthy would not actually produce much money.



People would be upset by it and personal incentive would be reduced.



It would be fairer than raising taxes on goods. (So it meets the requirement of fairness but does not meet the requirement of acceptance or of producing much more money).

6. Emphasise the double operation: A. How does it fit the requirements? B. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Regarding the requirements, one wants to know which requirements are met and which ones are not.

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Looking for the advantages and disadvantages is the same as doing a PMI. For instance, the consequences may be taken into account here, as well as the advantages over the existing way of doing things or alternative solutions, etc. It is important to realise that looking at the advantages and disadvantages is not the same as seeing how well the requirements are met.

7.

A brother and sister are at school. Their mother becomes ill and so the girl has to go home and look after her instead of continuing her education.

The boy goes on to technical college (even though he is not as smart as his sister). Is this a good solution? Say where it fits the requirements and where it does not fit, and do a PMI. This is an open-class discussion. It is worth trying to list the requirements of the situation first, considering the proposed solution and seeing whether it fits them, and then considering the advantages and disadvantages. Suggestions: Requirements: •

That the mother is looked after (this is met).



That the children’s education continues (this is not met).

PMI: P: •

One of them will eventually have to support the mother, possibly in addition to a family.



The boy might not be capable of looking after his mother as well as the girl.

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M: •

It is unfair to the girl who might have benefited more than the boy from further education.

I: •

It depends a lot on what the girl feels and on how long the illness is going to last.



Is there any possibility of someone else looking after the mother?

8. An inventor invents a splendid new cloth that never wears out. When it gets a bit worn you put it in a bucket with some special stuff that renews it completely. Is this a good invention? At what point does it fit requirements and at what point does it not? Do a PMI on it. This is group work (4 minutes). Again it is a good idea to have the requirements listed and see where these are met. A more general PMI then follows. Suggestions: Requirements: •

Advantages over existing product (many)



Acceptability to public (probable)



Safe, reliable, easy to produce, etc. (assumed)



Effect on company producing it (good)



Effect on textile industry as a whole (disastrous)



Effect on society (probably bad)

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PMI:  P: •

Saves natural resources



Saves expenditure on clothes



More cloth and clothes to go round

M: •

Boredom with same clothes



Textile workers would be out of work



Less cotton and wool required, so the effect on producer countries would be bad.

I: •

Would any company want to make it since in the long run they would do themselves out of business, especially if rival companies took it up?



Perhaps there could be something in between - a fabric that lasted longer than at present, but not for ever.

9. Evaluation means judging an idea to see whether it is going to work. This means looking at the requirements it has to fit, and also looking at the advantages and disadvantages of it. Below is a summary of the lesson. This can be read aloud and discussed.

The important point is to judge whether or not the requirements of the situation have been met.

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TEST MATERIAL CREATIVITY The test material has three purposes which are described below. The presentation of material in this section does not exclude teachers from using similar material which they have made up for themselves. There may be many situations in which teachers can use a local or topical problem. Obviously the material in this section, as in the lessons, has to be suitable for a very wide range of schools. For that reason the problems have to be set in general terms. As an alternative to generating their own material, teachers may sharpen up some of the items presented here by giving them a local flavour. For instance, an item may concern the reorganisation of the local bus service. The teacher can put this in the context of the local bus service calling it by name, etc.

A word of caution is necessary about the choice of item. Many students will declare that they prefer to think about very immediate problems and are not interested in remote problems. There is a danger in the teacher following this inclination too closely. Students often prefer to think about those items which do not really require thinking about but can be tackled by a parade of experience or opinion or prejudice. It is the more remote items that actually get a student to think. When students have built up confidence in their thinking they will be prepared to tackle any item - which is what skill in thinking is all about. The best tactic is to give a mixture of immediate and remote problems. The test material serves the following purposes:

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ALTERNATIVES Tile test material provides an alternative source of material for use in the actual lesson situation. If teachers are not happy about some item in the Lesson Notes, they can substitute an item from the material given here. If a lesson is spread over several periods, the teacher can find here the additional material needed.

EXERCISE As students acquire confidence in their thinking skill and especially in the use of some of the creative techniques, they will want to get their teeth into something. The material provided here can offer an opportunity to do just that. Short “exercise” periods of 5 to 10 minutes can be slipped in at the beginning or end of a lesson. Items may also be used for homework in those schools which have a tradition of homework.

PROGRESS Development of skill is very gradual. In a knowledge subject a sense of achievement is much easier since students can see that they have covered a certain section of the material: day-to-day progress is easy to follow. But with the CoRT lessons, changes in skill are gradual, and from one day to the next, students may be quite unable to detect a change in their skill. Indeed, experience has shown that students are unable to detect a change in their thinking skill that is quite obvious to the teacher. So a short progress test from time to time gives students the opportunity to see how their skill is developing. The speed and confidence with which they tackle the items provide some feedback. In addition, teachers can collect the students’ work and then treat it in the same way they might treat an essay except that the emphasis is on the thinking, not the language element.

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PROCEDURE There should be a written output. This can be in essay form, note form or paragraph form. Note form or paragraph form makes it easier for students to organise their thinking and for the teacher to assess that thinking. Timing is flexible. It may vary from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. In the longer periods there may be one item, a choice of items, or three items all of which have to be tackled. Too wide a choice of item should be avoided, since that makes thinking too easy. One of the purposes of the CoRT lessons is to get students to think about things they feel that they cannot think about.

INVENTIONS For this section of the material, students would be asked to invent a device which could carry out the following functions: 1.

Paint ceilings without the use of a ladder.

2. Harvest a field of corn completely automatically. 3. Provide an instant voting system so that everyone could vote simultaneously on some issue (this should not cost too much). 4. Something to replace profits as a measure of efficiency in an organisation. 5. Something to replace the zipper. 6. A way of building houses quickly and cheaply. 7.

A tunnelling machine.

8. A way of getting on and off trains without their having to stop. 9. A new type of wall decoration. 10. A method of crowd control in riots.

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DESIGN For this section students would be asked to improve or redesign existing items to show some advantage.

1.

A blackboard.

2. A desk. 3. Glasses. 4. A supermarket. 5. TV panel games. 6. Books. 7.

Cars.

8. City streets. 9. A cow. 10. Teachers.

PROBLEM-SOLVING For this section students would be asked to offer solutions to the following problems.

1.

As the cost of medicines, treatment, wages, etc. continue to raise, the cost of hospitals and health care is going to get very high. What suggestions can you make to reduce costs?

2. It is often very difficult in an interview to tell if someone is going to be suitable for a job. For instance, the personality of the person may play too great a part and ability may not be recognised. What solution can you offer for this problem?

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3. Packaging and other materials create a great amount of trash. For instance, the trash per capita in New York is four times as high as it is in London. What can be done about this problem?

4. Airports have to be put somewhere. But they take up a lot of land and the noise of the planes is always going to disturb people. Is there a solution to this problem?

5. The time will come when no one wants to do the jobs that are hard and dirty (trash collection, sewer inspection, mining, chemical work, etc.). What will happen to them? How can this problem be solved?

6. There is a great deal of rowdiness, violence and vandalism at some football games. How would you approach this problem?

7.

Lots of used paper is wasted because it is not worth anyone’s while to collect it in small amounts. How can you solve this problem?

8. A boy moves up into a class where he is the smallest and youngest. A bully in this class makes life miserable for the boy. How can you solve this problem?

9. A group of students is not interested in anything to do with school and they set out to wreck the lessons. How would you solve this problem?

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10. Some people believe that their thinking is so good that they do not need to learn anything about thinking. Yet it is obvious that their thinking is not as good as they imagine. How could you convince them of this?

FICTION 1.

Creativity is concerned with ideas, not just machines and problem solving. Below are some items which require the use of creativity in the fiction area.

2. Make up a story which includes the following things in a meaningful way (i.e., each thing must really play a part in the story): a soldier, a mouse, a can of beer, a bomb.

3. A spy has to communicate with a man inside prison. No letters can be written and nothing can be passed by hand. What different methods of communication might be used here?

4. A cartoon character is always doing good things by mistake. He sets out to do something selfish but by mistake it turns out to be good. Invent an episode which ends up with everyone on the street having a free box of chocolates.

5. Invent a detective character that has a new approach to crime detection.

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6. A dog is the hero of the story. Somehow he is responsible for stopping a bad car crash. Make up a story which explains how. 7.

Make up a story in which each of the following things plays an important part: tennis net, six football players, a newly opened pedestrian bridge over the main street, a diamond.

8. Make up a story which shows how an individual woman prevented the building of a new road through a densely populated part of the town.

9. A hijacker threatens to blow up a plane unless he is given a huge amount of money. Make up a story in which the hijacker is outwitted and captured.

10. A man invents a high-pitched whistle which makes it impossible for people to concentrate on what they are doing. Invent a story in which he uses this whistle.

11. A window-cleaner, a gardener and a plumber get together to decide how they might pool their talents in order to create a successful business. Make up a story describing one of their attempts.

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 5

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CORT 5 – INFORMATION & FEELING THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING



OVERVIEW



FOREWORD AND AUTHORS NOTES



A MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE



PRACTICE AND PROJECT ITEMS



STANDARD LESSON FORMAT



THE TEN CORT 5 LESSONS

1.

Information (FI & FO)

2. Questions (FQ & SQ) 3. Clues (CS & CC) 4. Contradictions (Co & FCo) 5. Guessing (SG & BG) 6. Belief (BP & BO) 7.

Ready- Mades (RM-H & RM-S)

8. Emotions (EM & EG) 9. Values (VH & VL) 10. Simplification & Clarification (SF & CF)



THE TEST MATERIAL (Is common for CORT 1, 2, 5 & 6.)

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OVERVIEW Information and feeling underlie all thinking Thinking depends on information and is strongly influenced by feeling. CoRT 5 deals with information processes, such as questions, clues, guessing, belief, ready-made opinions and the misuses of information. It also deals with emotions and values. The aim of CoRT 5 is to encourage a definite awareness of these influences not to change them. The students are also trained to recognise what information they have, what they still require and how to use information. The techniques used in each lesson are designed to develop detachment and observation.

FOREWORD In our work at the Cognitive Research Trust we have noticed what we call the “Everest effect” which occurs especially among gifted children. They are accustomed to being presented with complex and difficult problems and being asked to sort out a mass of information. They become good at this type of thinking. They cope with the complex task just as a climber copes with Mount Everest. But when the same students are given a simpler task in which they have to search for information rather than just react to it, they flounder. They have become skilled at sorting information but not at generating it. In real life much of our thinking is concerned with assessing the information given and trying to get more. At times we even have to guess. In most business situations it is very rare for more than thirty per cent of the required information to be given - and yet decisions have to be made.

The CoRT 5 Thinking Lessons are concerned with practical information: with eliciting information and with assessing it. Some of the lessons are concerned with making the student aware of different aspects of Page 2

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information. For example, the lesson on shooting questions and fishing questions clarifies the difference between these two types of questions and encourages the student to use each type deliberately in order to elicit information. The lesson on ready-mades illustrates the substitutes that are often offered in place of personal thinking.

The whole thrust of the CoRT lessons are toward the broadening of the cognitive map in any situation. Some lessons offer tools for exploring the map. Other lessons illustrate features that can then be recognised on the map. The purpose of clarifying and broadening the cognitive map is to enable thinkers to find their way more easily to their chosen destination - through making the destination more obvious and through showing alternative routes to it.

Ultimately, values and emotions strongly influence the outcome of our thinking. The purpose of thinking is to arrange the world in our mind so that we can apply values and emotions effectively. There is, however, a huge difference between applying values and emotions, instead of thinking, right at the beginning, and applying them at the end when thinking has clarified the cognitive map. Whether we like it or not, we apply our emotions to the results of our perception. If we apply our emotions almost immediately without doing any perceptual work (that is to say, thinking) then we apply our emotions to prejudices, clichés, and stereotypes. David Lane, Director of the Hungerford Guidance Centre in Hungerford, England, found that teaching CoRT Thinking Lessons to disturbed and violent children has a remarkable effect. Instead of responding with a violent cliché they acquired the habit of spending some time thinking about the situation. As a result their reaction was less impulsive and more objective.

There are those who feel that deliberate efforts to train thinking skills may destroy spontaneity of feeling. This has not been our experience. In any case there are some situations we need to feel about and others we need to think about. Spontaneity of emotions may be wonderful in the first type of situation but disastrous in the second type.

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The CoRT Thinking Lessons are not designed to change value systems. If people with tunnel vision or limited eyesight are given eyeglasses they can see more broadly and more clearly. They then react appropriately to what they see (which is equivalent to the cognitive map). The glasses do not direct the people’s gaze nor do they create values that are not there. The people wearing the glasses continue to use their original value system. The CoRT lessons are essentially concerned with the thinking involved in perception. If we can improve perceptual skills then we apply our value system to this broader view of the world. It is also useful if we are aware of the values that we use in any thinking situation; CoRT 5 also concerns itself with this awareness.

AUTHOR’S NOTE Many years of experience with these materials have taught me that teachers will want to use these Teacher’s Notes in two distinct ways. The first is as a guide to the specific lessons. The second is as an introduction to the subject of teaching thinking in general and also to the particular method used here. The teacher should if possible read the sections CoRT 5 Teaching Method and Standard Lesson Format before starting the lessons. However, once this background material has been read it becomes of less importance than the actual guidelines for running the individual lessons. It is for this reason that the background material follows the instructions for the lessons in this book. As an additional aid to teaching the lessons, teachers are referred to the section A Model Lesson Sequence. Edward de Bono

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A MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE 1.

Introduce the TOOL or SUBJECT of the lesson using the student’s notes (A).

2. Carry out an open-class example by setting a task and asking for individual responses. Repeat the tool as often as you can. Make sure it is seen as a TOOL or OPERATION.

3. Divide the class into groups of 4, 5 or 6. Choose a practice item from the student’s notes (B). Allow about three minutes.

4. Get feedback from the groups, for example by getting one suggestion from each of the groups.

5. Repeat the process with another item. Repeat practice items in this manner.

6. Use the Operation points in the student’s notes to reinforce the process.

7.

If it is customary to give homework, then use one of the project items for this purpose.

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AN EXAMPLE We can take the example from the first CoRT 5 lesson: Information: Fl & FO

TEACHER: John will you stand up please?

STUDENT: Which John do you mean?

TEACHER: I meant John Smith - but I left out his surname, didn’t I? Now, John Smith, I want you to give me verbal instructions on how to get from this classroom to the front entrance of the school. Suppose I were a stranger and did not know the way. I want the rest of you to listen carefully and see if he leaves anything out.

STUDENT: You go out of the door and then you turn right and go down the corridor until...

TEACHER: Has he left anything out? Anyone?

(It then transpires that he has or has not left anything out. If he has not, the teacher might repeat the exercise with a different student giving instructions to a blind man.)

TEACHER: When we give instructions we have to be sure to put in all the information that is needed. That is what this lesson is about. We look at something and we try to find all the information that is given. Then we try to find all the information that has been left out. For convenience we call the information that is given FI and the information that is left out FO . So if I ask you to do an FI & FO it just means make a list of all the information that is given and all the information that has been left out.

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(Depending on the age of the students the teacher would ask them to read through the first section by themselves or would go through it with them. This should not take very long.)

TEACHER: We now have an example. There is the message: “I shall catch the 9 a.m. flight to Chicago on Monday. Please meet me at the airport.” Suppose a detective or a spy overheard this telephone conversation. What could he/she do about it? First we go through all the things that are given in the message, the information that is in, or FI.

(The teacher then goes through the list and asks if any student wants to add anything, e.g., that the voice is male or female.)

Next we do an FO. We list all the information that we would like to know but which seems to have been left out.

(The teacher then goes through this list and again asks students for any further suggestions.)

Now the FO list could be reduced in two ways. If we already knew something about the person that should reduce it. We could also find some things out by checking airline schedules, etc. as a detective would. Are there any other ways we could reduce the FO list? Accepts suggestions.) (The teacher now divides the class into groups and moves on to the practice items, choosing two or three from the list according to the class and the time available).

Comment The two initial illustrations used here are intended only as examples of what teachers might themselves use. The illustrations should be simple and direct and should involve something immediate and local.

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PRACTICE AND PROJECT ITEMS

On the following pages are sets of lesson notes to accompany the CoRT student’s notes. In practice, teachers should read through the lesson notes before the lesson and mark the items they are going to use.

The practice items have been carefully designed to be usable across a broad range of ages and abilities. Naturally, a higher degree of thinking skill is demanded from the more able student even if the practice item is the same.

Teachers are encouraged to modify the items and to adapt them to local circumstances or news items.

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STANDARD LESSON FORMAT Since the format differs for each of the six CoRT sections the teacher is urged to read carefully both this section and also the teacher’s notes relating to the lesson that is about to be taught.

The CoRT 5 format differs considerably from the “flow” format used in CoRT 4. In fact the CoRT 5 format is most similar to the format used in CoRT 1, in that the lesson is divided into very definite sections:

1.

INTRODUCTION

2. PRACTICE 3. OPERATION 4. PROJECT Each of these sections should be tackled in turn. It would be wrong to turn the lesson into a general talk session about the theme of the lesson. Such general talk sessions might seem very interesting and informative at the time and indeed they may be more interesting to some students than working through the lessons. But at the end there is little that is definite in the student’s minds; there is little to transfer to other situations. The main aim of the CoRT approach is to provide something definite and deliberate which can be noticed, attended to, and practised. That is exactly the opposite of a general drifting session. At times the artificially created labels or categories might seem unnecessary because they are so obvious. Students, and teachers, may complain that there is no need to give something an artificial name and set of initials if it is obvious. On the contrary, it is very often necessary to make something obvious “unobvious” enough to get the attention it deserves. Things that seem obvious are very often taken for granted with the result that nothing happens. Perhaps the main fault of thinking is the mind’s hurry to use answers that are simple, obvious, and immediate and require no thought. Into this category come such things as prejudices, ready-made opinions, egocentric ideas, narrow vision and most of the faults of thinking. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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The process covered in each lesson is divided into two definite and distinct “boxes.” The purpose of this division is simple. If you wanted someone to take a closer look at all his/her friends you could ask that person to do so. But that would be difficult to do and it probably would not be done.

However, if you asked the person to divide all his or her friends into “extrovert” and “introvert,” then that would be easier to do because it is a much more definite task: there is something to be aimed at, some judgement to be made. Of course in making this judgement the person has to examine all the friends closely. It is this process of examining the friends closely that is important, not the final boxes that are used. The boxes are only a means to get something examined closely. In exactly the same way the two boxes used in the lessons are a device to get the students to examine and use the process that is central to the lesson.

TIME

Some schools try to get through the lessons in 35 minutes. The lessons were designed to make it possible to do this because it was realised that the school schedule is crowded and were the lessons to require a longer time they might never be tried. In most cases it would be rather difficult to get through an entire lesson in this time. In fact most schools use a longer period, a double period or two separate periods. Those teachers, who cannot use more than 35 minutes, should cut down on the Practice section, using only two of the items and choosing those items which can be done more quickly than the others. The Introduction section should not be cut down. The Operation section is used as a summary of the lesson. The Project section is designed for those schools that give homework or project work for the students to work on in their own time. When a double period is allocated to the lessons the project item(s) can be worked through in the latter part of the lesson.

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If the lesson is a short one the important point is to use at least two practice items and to emphasise the process very strongly. This is because if only one practice item is used the students may forget about the process and feel that the lesson is all about the content of that one item (for instance, that the lesson is about travel agents if the practice item happens to be about travel agents).

INTRODUCTION The Introduction section explains what the lesson is about. The important point here is to use lots of examples and illustrations rather than philosophical definitions. Experience has shown that teachers who get tangled up with philosophical definitions lead both themselves and their students into confusion. Many of the distinctions made in the lessons are not watertight from a philosophical point of view. They are chosen from a pragmatic and operative point of view: providing something to do rather than a way of describing things.

The attention of the students should be drawn to the student notes illustration which is, in each case, a caricature of the process used in the lesson. For instance in the first lesson the students notes illustration shows a book with chunks missing (chewed out by a mouse). The book represents information: some of it is there but some of it is missing. The lesson is about listing all the information that is given and listing all the information that is missing (that is left out or that we would like to have).

The teachers should read through and elaborate upon the descriptions given in the student’s notes. Teachers can paraphrase them or add to them as they wish. Then comes the examples which should be dealt with clearly and succinctly. It is a mistake to spend too much time discussing the examples, or trying to extract deep meaning from them. In many cases the examples may be less than perfect, in which case it is better to provide another example (or ask the students for an example) rather than spend time showing why the example is faulty. In some lessons the last line of the introduction summarises the introduction or adds points to it.

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PRACTICE If possible all of the practice items should be worked through. Teachers may, however, choose to use only two items if they are giving a 35 minute lesson. They may also substitute one of the items listed under the Project section and use it as a practice item if they consider it more suitable for their class. At all times teachers may - and indeed are encouraged to put in items of their own which may be more interesting or relevant to their own class.

As usual the practice items should be worked through quickly in a crisp manner without spending too much time on each. As usual the big danger is that the class gets bogged down in discussing the content of one practice item and spends the whole lesson on this. The only way to focus attention on the thinking process that is the subject of the lesson is through using it, as an applied skill, on different practice items. The temptation to get bogged down on one of the practice items is very great: the students find it more interesting; the teacher finds it easier to do; it is more like what happens in other subjects. Nevertheless in the CoRT Thinking Lessons a deliberate effort must be made to move on to other practice items, otherwise the lesson will lose its thrust and become a general discussion session.

GROUP WORK

AS usual in the CoRT Thinking Lessons the students should work together in small groups (four, five or at most six). The group discusses the practice item and comes to some conclusion. At the end of the time allotted, the group spokesperson is asked by the teacher for the conclusions of the group. This use of the group spokesperson does not preclude individuals from offering their own comments or responding to questions asked by the teacher. The purpose of the group work is to allow each student more discussion and consideration time on each item than would be possible on an individual basis. The purpose is not to arrive at a group consensus; however, for the sake of convenience, a spokesperson is asked to give the group’s views.

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INDIVIDUAL WORK

Some schools feel awkward with the group format and prefer to keep to their routines of individual work even in the CoRT Thinking Lessons. This is possible with small classes and especially with classes of able students. The danger is that the less able do not get drawn into the situation at all: they do not volunteer answers; they find it difficult to get going on the items; they end up paying little attention to the purpose of the lesson. Individual work can be useful when a written output in note form is requested from each individual. This is possible with the more able students and can serve to give them a greater sense of achievement than the verbal output of group discussion.

TIMING

The teacher’s notes suggest a time for each of the practice items. Often this time may seem very short indeed. There is something of a dilemma here. If the time is too short the students hardly get started and they resent being moved on from a matter they have only just got into. They may spend so much time trying to decide what has been requested that they have no time left to practice the item. On the other hand with a longer time allotted very few items would be tackled and the lesson could easily become a content lesson centred on one of the items. With a longer time, students do not concentrate so much and if they run out of ideas they get bored and distracted into other areas. On the whole it is best to be crisp and brief and to maintain a fast pace that moves quickly from one practice item to another. This rapid move from item to item may be resented by the students but is less resented if the teacher, through repetition, keeps the emphasis firmly on the process and invites the students to demonstrate their skill in using the process on as many items as possible. To use a skiing analogy the students must be encouraged to practice their skill in skiing rather than to stand around discussing the landscape (i.e., content).

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SUGGESTIONS

As in other CoRT Thinking Lessons a number of suggestions are given in the teacher’s notes as answers to the practice items. These are not to be treated as final or even as correct answers. They are there for teachers to have something to say should they not be able to think of anything at the moment. They are there as suggestions as to the sort of answer that might be given for that item. Teachers may at times want to work through the practice item with the class in order to use it as an example of the thinking process being considered. In that case they would assign the item and then work through the answers. It must be emphasised that the suggestion not be offered as the “right” answer that has to be achieved. Because thinking is an open-ended subject teachers may disagree with the suggestion. At times the suggestion may actually be wrong or insufficient. In such cases teachers should provide a better answer of their own. There is little point in turning the lesson into a careful criticism of the suggestions. That is easy enough to do but has little value in teaching as such.

OPERATION This section is a departure from the usual CoRT lesson format. It is intended as a summary of the lesson. It is meant to be a crystallisation of the process into four steps or stages. It provides an easy point of reference if a student or teacher wants to review the lesson. Finally the section offers deliberate operations which the student can use in other areas including work in other subjects. This section is not meant as a discussion section. The teacher simply goes through the operations as they are listed or asks a student to do this. The operations are noted for future reference or use. The teacher may elaborate or explain the operations but they are not meant to be discussed because a discussion would confuse more than help.

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PROJECT The Project section has several purposes. It provides projects for those schools which give project work or require students to work something out for themselves between lessons. It provides extra practice items when a double period is given to the lesson. It provides a choice of alternative items for the practice section. In general the items in the Project section ought to be done in greater depth and detail than the practice items. This follows, because the time allotted may be very much longer (for instance 30 or 40 minutes instead of just 3 minutes). The project items should be worked out by individuals rather than groups. The output will usually be written but may take either essay or note form.

The purpose of the project work is to allow students to apply the process learned during the lesson. The practice items used in the lesson itself are intended as illustrations of the process. The project items are intended as an opportunity for the use of the process. In commenting upon the project work the teacher should pay special attention to the use of the process rather than the content or literary style. Usually one of two project items will be chosen. The choice may be made by the teacher or the individual student. When there is enough time two project items may be requested.

As with the practice items teachers may at any time insert a project item of their own instead of those given. There may be some matter which is especially relevant to the class. The school, the district or some point in time. The project items inserted in this way may also come from other subject areas (e.g. history, literature, social studies, humanities, science, etc.).

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Information Information and feeling underlie all thinking. Thinking depends on information and is strongly influenced by feeling. Module 5 deals with information processes, such as questions, clues, guessing, belief, ready-made opinions and the misuses of information. It also deals with emotions and values. The aim of this Module is to encourage a definite awareness of these influences - not to change them.

1: INFORMATION

Analysis of information and appraisal of its completeness. What desirable information is missing?

2: QUESTIONS Skilled use of questions. Purpose and direction of questions. Open-ended and closed types.

3: CLUES Clues, deduction, implication. Maximum extrapolation of given information. Putting things together.

4: CONTRADICTIONS False jumps, false conclusions and other incorrect uses of information.

5: GUESSING The use of guessing when information is incomplete. Good guesses and bad guesses.

6: BELIEF Credibility. How we value our information. Proof, certainty, belief, consensus, authority, media, experience, anecdote, etc

7: READY-MADES Usual substitutes for personal thinking- stereotypes, cliches, prejudices, standard opinions, etc.

8: EMOTIONS AND EGO The way emotions are involved in thinking. Usual emotions and egoemotions (having to be right, trying to be funny, face- saving, etc.).

9: VALUES Values determine thinking and acceptability of the result. Appreciation of the values involved rather than trying to change them.

10: SIMPLIFY AND CLARIFY What does it boil down to? What is the situation? What is the thinking about? Page 16

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Lesson 1 Information Analysis of information and appraisal of its completeness. What desirable information is missing?

FI & FO: Information-In and Information-Out.

INTRODUCTION Information is what we know about something. We know how many students there are in the class; we know their names; we know who is president of the United States; we know how many days there are in a year; we could know something about John F. Kennedy; we could know the names of the players on the football team. Sometimes we have all the information we want but at other times some of it seems to be missing. You ask someone to go and buy a copy of the book War and Peace. Sometime later the person comes back and asks, “Which type of book did you want, the hardcover or the soft cover?” This information had been left out of the original instructions. This lesson is concerned with extracting all the possible information from what we know or are told (directly, from a book, from TV, etc.) about a situation. It is also concerned with noting - in a deliberate manner - all the information that has been left out. It is obvious that we cannot really know what has been left out because we may not know what should be there (in the example of the War and Peace book you could not say that the information about the sort of book had been left out unless you already knew there to be a hardcover and soft cover version). So by “information that is left out” we mean: information that seems to be missing; information that we should very much like to have; information gaps.

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What is missing here?



What has been left out?



What would we like to know?

If we regard any information we are given then we can look to see what we do have and what seems to be missing. Information-in means the information that is given or the information that is included. We abbreviate this to FI (Information-In). Information-out means the information that has been or seems to have been left out. We abbreviate this to FO (information-Out). Doing an Fl & FO means listing the information that is given and listing the information that we would like to have. Listing in this sense can mean a physical list or a mental list. What we know about something is called information. Sometimes we get the information for ourselves and sometimes it is given to us. The information we get or are given tells us things we want to know but also leaves out things we would like to know.

Information-in (FI): •

The information that is included;



The information that has been put in;



The information that has been given;



What we know.

Information-out (FO):

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The information that has been left out;



The information that is missing;



The information that we would like to know;

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Doing an FI & FO means looking to see exactly what information has been put in and what has been left out.

Example: “I shall catch the 9 a.m. flight to Chicago on Monday. Please meet me at the airport.

Information-in (FI): The information that is actually given includes: 1.

The person will be travelling to Chicago on Monday.

2. The person will be outside of Chicago for at least some time on Monday. 3. There is a flight that the person can take to Chicago (the person can get to an airport). 4. There is a 9 a. m. flight. 5. The person expects the flight to be operating. 6. The person has decided to travel by plane.

Information-out (FO): The information that has been left out. 1.

Who the person is.

2. The date of the Monday. 3. Where the person will be travelling from. 4. The airline that will be used. 5. The actual time of arrival. 6. To whom the message is addressed. The teacher can use the plane example given in the student’s notes. The message “I’ll catch the 9 am flight to Chicago on Monday. Please meet me at the airport” can arrive as an anonymous text message or a telephone message taken by someone else.

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If we list the information that is contained in this message (FI) we could obtain something like the six points listed in the student’s notes. Of course there may be many other points but it is not worth pursuing every single point in order to make the point clear. If we wanted to meet the person as requested in the message then we do need more information. Some important things have been left-out of the message. We can do an FO and list all the things that have been left out - the things we should like to know. A list of six such things is given in the student’s notes. It is also suggested in the student’s notes that the addition of one or two points of information could greatly reduce the FO list.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: The students work as groups. Allow 1-2 minutes. This is an easy problem if you happen to use the correct approach. 1.

A driver is trying to find a town called Hartford. He does not know the way and when he gets to a ‘Y’ junction he finds that the sign indicating the road to Hartford is lying beside the road.

Do an

FI & FO on this and see if there is anything the driver can do.

Suggested points:

FI •

One of the two roads does lead to Hartford.



The village or town from which the driver has just come should be indicated on the sign.

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One of the arms of the signpost does show Hartford. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved



There is a fixed relationship between the road to Hartford and the road along which the driver has been driving.

FO •

Which is the road to Hartford?



Which way should the signpost be pointing?



From this, one can see that the solution is simple.



The driver holds up the signpost so that the correct arm points back down the road he is on, to the town he just came from.



He now sees which arm points to Hartford and he takes that road.

Teachers Notes: This can be a very quick item so the students can work as individuals or as groups. 2. A hunter sets out from his home to shoot a bear. He walks three miles due South and then turns West and walks another mile before he sees a bear. He shoots the bear and misses. By now he is a bit frustrated so he turns and walks due North again until he reaches home.

What colour was the bear he missed? It does not seem that enough information has been given and yet it has. In a sense it is a trick question but it serves to make the point that more information may be given than appears at first sight. The answer is that the bear must have been white because it must have been a polar bear because the only place the hunter could have started out from was the North Pole - otherwise he could not have reached home just by walking North again (anywhere else he would have missed by a mile).

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The teacher will probably need to illustrate the hunter’s path with a diagram on the blackboard. The teacher should not get diverted into a discussion of the North Pole.

Teachers Notes: Students work in groups for 4 minutes. The groups are asked to list the FO points - that is the information that appears to have been left out and which the traveler would really like to have. 3. In a travel agent’s advertisement you read the following: “An exclusive holiday in the Bahamas. The hotel is near the sea. You can sail and water-ski. Two weeks including travel. “What information has been left out? What else would you like to know? Suggestions; •

The actual price of the holiday



What does the word “inclusive” really include? Does it include tips, transportation to the airport etc? What does it not include?



Just how near is the hotel to the sea? A few yards? Half a mile? A mile?



Is the sailing and water-skiing included or charged for separately? Are there enough boats or is there just one sailing boat and skiing boat for everyone? Do you have to be an expert or is instruction available?



How many days out of two weeks are actually spent at the resort? On what day of the week and at what time is the departure (and return)?



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This list can, of course, be added to.

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The teacher should, however, draw the line at extending it indefinitely, especially with facetious remarks like what colour are the bedspreads, what would we eat for breakfast, etc

Teachers Notes: Students work in groups for 4 minutes This time the groups are asked to list both the FI and the FO points in getting a report from the groups afterwards the teacher can ask each group to give only those points which have not already been given (to avoid tedious repetition). 4. You see an advertisement for a job. “Wanted men or women to train as assistant store managers. Age 16-40. Three weeks’ vacation a year. Free lunches and free uniform. Competitive rates of pay with bonus.” Do an FI & FO on this.

Suggested points:

FI •

Job is open to men or women



Age range 16 to 40 years



Three weeks’ vacation



Free lunches and uniform



Competitive rates of pay with bonus



(guessed) Chances of promotion seem slight if age range is so wide and for the same reason responsibility cannot be very great.

FO •

Does the pay vary with age?



What are the promotion prospects?



What is the competitive rate of pay and what is the bonus? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Is experience required or is training available?



Does the three weeks’ vacation have to be taken all at once and at a certain time of the year?



How many days a week?



What are the hours of work?



What type of store is it?



Does the person have to wear the uniform?

As before teachers have to beware of the addition of an unending stream of FO items They should accept as many as they can and then make an arbitrary cut off in order to move on. Alternatively, they can ask for the 5 to 10 most important items (i.e. doing an FIP from CoRT 1)

OPERATION 1.

Put down all the information that has been given (the information-in).Do an FI.

2. Put down all the information that has been left out and that you would like to have (the information-out). Do an FO.

3. Examine the information-in to see if you can find anything that will reduce the information-out.

4. Do an FI & FO every time you are given information or when you have to collect it for yourself.

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This is explained as a practical procedure that may be followed when someone is asked to do an FI & FO on the subject The four points on the student’s notes should be read through. These are not discussion points and time should not be given to discussion as this can confuse the issue. Attention should be drawn to item 3, which suggests that the FI list should be examined carefully to see if anything there might shorten the FO list.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: These two items can be given to the students for them to work on as individuals. The output should be in essay or note form. The work can be done in the latter part of a CoRT lesson if this has been assigned a double period, otherwise it can be assigned as homework. One or other of the items is chosen whether by the teacher or by students. The items could be used for open class discussion. The task here is to do an FI & FO on the setting up of a children’s playground. To simplify the matter the two questions could be: •

What information would you collect?



What information would you like to collect but which might be difficult or impossible to collect?

1.

You want to set up a children’s playground in the town.

A. What information should you collect? B. What information is likely to be left out?

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Suggested points:

FI 1.

Number of existing playgrounds

2. Whether these are adequate 3. Good or bad points about existing playgrounds 4. Number of children in the area 5. How far children have to travel to go to a playground 6. Possible sites 7.

Access and travel facilities to site

8. Cost of sites 9. Planning and other permissions 10. Attitude of parents to proposed playground

FO; 1.

What the children themselves want, especially those who might themselves use the playground

2. Which children will use the playground? 3. What will happen to the playground after it has been set up - will it attract destructive children, etc.? 4. The effect of population shifts in the town 5. How parents will react to the playground, will they take their children there or not? 6. The amount of support and co-operation from the local authorities in the short-term and in the long-term? Teachers Notes: This is another FI & FO task but the emphasis should be on what the students know at this moment and not what they think they will know eventually.

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7.

Do an FI & FO on the information which you now have about the careers open to you when you leave school.

Suggested points: •

Possibilities and opportunities,



Less obvious careers,



Changes in careers,



Overcrowded careers,



Pay and promotion prospects,



Travel,



Areas of work,



Environment of work (office, factory, field studies),



Training and qualification required,



Knowing where to find information or whom to ask, etc

 

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Lesson 2 Questions Skilled use of questions. Purpose and direction of questions. Open-ended and closed types.

FQ & SQ: Fishing Questions and Shooting Questions

INTRODUCTION This lesson follows on directly from the preceding lesson. The best way we have for finding out the information that we think is missing (FO information) is to ask questions. What time does the movie start? When do the holidays begin? What is on television? Can I borrow your X-Box? Are you going to Spain for a vacation? Did you steal the bicycle? The lesson is concerned with drawing attention to the asking of questions. No specific guidelines are set up for asking questions but a distinction is made between two types of questions: The fishing question

(FQ) and the shooting question (SQ).

The cover of the student’s notes illustrates in a caricature fashion the difference between fishing questions and shooting questions. The character is aiming directly at a bird with a question mark which has replaced the arrow in a bow and arrow. He knows what he is aiming at. Alongside is a fishing rod with the fishing hook replaced by another question mark. In this case the hook (supposedly baited) is dangling in the water and any fish may come along and get caught. It is a matter of casting the hook into the water and then waiting to see what happens. This is quite different from “aiming” with the question.

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Fishing Questions (FQ) are exploratory. We do not know the answer. We may roughly know the area of the answer (for instance if you ask who is captain of the football team, you do not expect to be given the name of a rap artist). Sometimes we know this more exactly (for instance: “Which of you three broke the window?”) and sometimes we know it hardly at all (for instance: “Why do some students who are intelligent do badly at school?”).With an FQ we are exploring and trying to find things out. With a Shooting Question we are not exploring but checking up on something. An SQ always has a “yes” or “no” answer. In other words the question can always be put in a way that could be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” So in a shooting question we know what the answer might be and we are just checking to see whether or not it is so (Is that your book? Is your name Peter? Are you his brother? Did you bicycle to school this morning?). A shooting question is specific and aimed. Of course there are times when the same effect can be obtained with either FQs or SQs. “How did you get to school this morning?” and “Did you ride your bicycle to school this morning?” In such cases it is more efficient to ask an FQ since this requires only one question whereas an SQ might have to be used for each possibility. (Discussion of this point should be reserved for the most able students and the others should check on specific points.) To begin with, in most situations you have to start with FQs because you cannot know all the possibilities and you need to collect information. When you have collected a lot of information you may want to start narrowing down the possibilities and this is where SQs become useful. For instance, in a crime you might first find the suspects and the suspected time of the crime. Then you would check with SQs whether a suspect was doing what you had thought he/she might have been doing. By crosschecking the answers to the SQs you might find out who has been lying. Asking a question is the best way of getting information. Sometimes you are just looking for information and do not know what answer you might get. At other times you want a yes or no answer.

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Fishing questions (FQ): When you go fishing, you put some bait on the hook and throw the hook into the water. You do not know what you might catch. In a ‘fishing question’ you do not know what the answer is going to be. You are ‘fishing’ for information. Examples: “Who wants to play football?” “What are sausages made out of?” “Why do we have examinations every year?” Shooting questions (SQ): When you go shooting, you only shoot when you have seen something you want to hit and have aimed at it very carefully. You may hit or you may miss, but you know what you are aiming at. In a ‘shooting’ question you know what you are aiming at. You use shooting questions to check up on things. The answer is a ‘yes’ or a ‘no. Examples: “Were you at school yesterday?” “Do you like math’s?” “Is that your bicycle?” When asking a question, you should always try to get the greatest amount of information from each question. You should also know what sort of question you want to ask. If you start by doing an FI & FO, you will know what questions need to be asked. The examples given in the student’s notes can be read through. There is nothing special about these examples and the students may be invited to offer some of their own. As usual the teacher should be wary of philosophical discussions. It is obvious that in many cases a fishing question could be turned into a shooting question so the philosophical distinction may be difficult to sustain. The simple practical point is whether the question can be answered with a “yes” or “no.” The lesson can be linked with the preceding lesson by using an example on which an FO is done and then asking some questions to reduce the FO.

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item is a very quick one and can be done as an openclass discussion. The teacher can go through the questions one after another and the students indicate whether they think the question is an FQ or an SQ. Alternatively the teacher can ask different individuals in the class to decide whether a question is an FQ or SQ. The item can also be used for group work, in which case the group goes through all the questions and lists those which are FQs and those which are SQs.

Item 1. •

Which of the following are fishing questions (FQ) and which are shooting questions (SQ)?

1.

“Do you know who the heavyweight boxing champion of the world is?”

2.

“Who is the heavyweight boxing champion of the world?”

3.

“Who broke the window in the corridor?”

4.

“If you saw somebody breaking a window on purpose, would you report that person?”

5.

“What were you doing yesterday evening?”

6.

“Did you watch TV yesterday evening?”

7.

“Would you like a holiday today?”

8.

“What would you do if you had a holiday today?”

9.

“How much money would I earn in that job?”

10. “Would I get an increase in wages each year?”

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Suggested points: 1.

(SQ);

2. (FQ); 3. (FQ); 4. (SQ); 5. (FQ); 6. (SQ); 7.

(SQ);

8. (FQ); 9. (FQ); 10. (SQ) The simple test is whether the question can be answered with a “yes” or “no”. Sometimes we do answer an SQ as if it were an FQ; for instance for question 1. We could actually give the name of the champion and for question 10. We could actually state the rate of wage increase. Nevertheless, both these questions can be answered with a yes or no.

Teachers Notes: This item is best done on an open-class basis with the students firing questions at the teacher who has chosen one of the words in mind (or written it down on a slip of paper). The item is a sort of “twenty questions” exercise. As each question is asked the teacher can comment on it and even ask the questioners why they chose that question. The best sort of questions is those that exclude a large number of items: for instance, “is it or has it been at any time a living thing?” The worst sort of questions is those which ask about one specific item at a time: for instance, “Can you read it?” (Referring only to the book).

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Item 2 •

The teacher is thinking of one of the following things.

Potato, rifle, soap, toothpaste, matchstick, football, cow, politician, pig, exam, ambulance, frog, betting, accident, cheese, ring, fog, police, hippopotamus, snails, rose, bee, pencil, cornflakes, TV, teeth, bus. What question could you ask to find out which it is? Try to find out in as few questions as you can.

Suggested points: Since teachers may choose any item, there cannot be a single set of questions. Ideally each question should divide the available choices into half. Teachers may choose to answer the questions only with a “yes” or “no” (making them SQs) or they could give broader answers, e.g., when would you use it? Answer: Once a day in the morning (cornflakes).

Teachers Notes: This cans also be done on an open-class basis with individuals suggesting the kind of questions that might he asked. Alternatively the groups can work on the item and produce at the end a list of perhaps 10 questions which they would want to ask. It is best if teachers themselves choose the career that is to be the subject of the interview. This should he appropriate to the classroom situation. The item can also he repeated with another choice of career or some of the groups may be asked to work on another career so that comparisons in the questions can he made.

Item 3 •

You are a boss and you are interviewing somebody for a job (the job is as a driver, a teacher, or a bank clerk - choose one).

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What questions would you ask? Think of four FQs and four SQs. Suggested points: (Supposing the career was as a driver) 1.

Do you have a driving license for a car (bus, truck etc.)?

2. How much experience do you have? 3. Have you ever had an accident? 4. Have you ever been in trouble with the police? 5. How is your eyesight, health, etc.? 6. Do you mind being on your own all day? 7.

Do you have a family, and would they mind your being away from home a lot (for a long distance truck driver)?

8. Why are you changing jobs? 9. How long are you likely to stay in this job? 10. What do you think are your best characteristics? (Or why do you think we ought to choose you?) Teachers Notes: This item can be treated like the previous one: either on an open class basis with individuals volunteering questions (or being asked for them by the teacher) or as group work with the group members agreeing on a set of questions they would ask. It might be best for the teacher to ask for a specific number of questions to ask the elderly woman and to ask the suspect (e.g., five each).

Item 4 •

Walking home in the evening after a visit to a friend, an elderly woman is mugged in the street. Someone attacks her and hits her on the head and then steals her handbag which has some money in it. From the women’s description, the police pick up a young man and find that he has on him almost exactly the same amount of money that has been stolen from the elderly woman.

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As a police officer you question both the woman and the suspect.

What questions would you ask the woman?

What questions would you ask the suspect?

Suggested points:

(To ask the woman) •

Did the attacker approach from in front or from behind?



Did you get a good look at him or was it dark?



Can you describe something about him?



Did he talk to you, can you recognise his voice?



Can you tell me exactly what he took?

(To ask the suspect) •

Can you tell exactly what you were doing this evening?



Can anyone confirm what you were doing?



Did you go anywhere near the street (of the mugging)?



Where did this money come from?



Have you seen this woman before?

Many other variations and improvements are of course possible.

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OPERATION 1.

Decide whether you want to explore the situation (FQ) or to check on something (SQ).

2. If you do not know what to do, as FQs first. Then, when you have some ideas, ask SQs to check up on them.

3. You always use an SQ when you want a yes or no answer.

4. Since you cannot know all the possibilities, it is necessary to use FQs from time to time to open up new ideas. This is explained as a practical procedure to follow when you want to ask questions about a situation. The specific use of SQs and FQs is given in this section. This four-step operation can be applied to any subject area including the traditional school subjects. As mentioned before this section is not a discussion session. There may well be better ways of expressing the different uses of SQs and FQs and there may well be criticisms that can be made, but at this stage such a discussion would only serve to confuse the student and diminish the impact of the lesson. It can be emphasised that often, there is an almost equal choice of FQ or SQ and at other times one type is much more appropriate. The important thing is to recognise the difference between the two.

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PROJECT ITEMS Teachers Notes: These items can be used toward the end of a double period CoRT lesson or as project work or homework. The items are treated in much greater depth and detail than the practice items used in the course of the lesson itself. The output would usually be in the form of an essay or notes (or the questionnaire itself in item 2). The work is done by individuals though group work is not excluded. The choice of item can be made by the teacher, the class or individuals for themselves. Item One



A gang of teenage vandals has been wrecking pay phones and breaking shop windows for no apparent reason. Eventually they are caught. The social worker is trying to find out why they behaved in this way. What questions should she ask?

The task here is to set out the sort of questions the social worker should ask. Some of these may be SQs and some may be FQs. With the more able students there should be a brief explanation of why each question is being asked. Suggested points: The question may refer to the following subject areas: •

Why do they do it?



Is it fun?



Who is the leader?



What else is there to do?



Is there a fear of being left out of the gang?



Boredom; parents, home life and school;



Are they bored with TV? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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What would they like to be doing in the evening?



How did it all start?

Teachers Notes: These items can be used toward the end of a double period CoRT lesson or as project work or homework. The items are treated in much greater depth and detail than the practice items used in the course of the lesson itself. The output would usually be in the form of an essay or notes (or the questionnaire itself in item 2). The work is done by individuals though group work is not excluded. The choice of item can be made by the teacher, the class or individuals for themselves. Item Two



Devise a questionnaire of twelve questions to ask shoppers to find out how shopping can be improved.

This item asks for a specific questionnaire of twelve questions which could be asked of shoppers in order to see how shopping could be made easier and more attractive for them. Suppose the city government were building a new shopping centre or something like this. As before, there should be some explanation of why the particular questions have been chosen. Suggested points: 1.

How far do you have to come to shop?

2. How do you get there (transportation)? 3. Do you like to do all of your shopping in one place? 4. How many times a week do you go shopping? 5. What do you enjoy most about shopping?

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6. What do you find most difficult about shopping? 7.

What do you do with your children when you go shopping?

8. Would you like a place to rest or have some coffee? 9. Do you prefer big stores or lots of little shops? 10. What do your friends find most difficult about shopping? 11. If it were possible would you like everything delivered to your house? 12. Is shopping an enjoyable part of your day? As usual there are many alternatives or improvements that can be made to this list, which is only a suggestion.

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Lesson 3 Clues Clues, deduction, implication. Maximum extrapolation of given information. Putting things together.

CS & CC: Clues Separately and Clues Combined

INTRODUCTION Most people know what a clue is without being able to define it exactly. Clues are little pieces or points of information. There is usually a supposition that they are going to add up to something. There is an element of trying to find out about something and the pieces of information we get in the process are called clues. A piece of information about butterflies and another piece of information about aeroplanes and another piece of information about hamburgers would not be considered clues unless we suspected there was a whole plot, crime or scientific law which embraced all these three. Clues have to do with finding out. This lesson is linked to the preceding lesson because questions are used to find things out. We may have to ask questions to get clues or check on them. The answers to questions are almost always clues - since questions are asked to find something out. Clues are not restricted to crime and detection, though this setting provides the clearest explanation for most people. We can also look for clues in history, geography, science, literature and most other subjects. The purpose of the lesson is to encourage students to pick out clues and to consider the use of clues As with all the other lessons in this CoRT S section two categories or “boxes” are provided. Both have to do with the use of clues. The instruction to “do CS & CC” means, “pick out the clues and then consider them separately and finally together.”

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Clues Separately (CS) mean examining each clue as with a magnifying glass to try and find out all the things it could possibly mean. This is important. If we always look at a clue to see what it could mean in terms of our hypothesis then we will always miss the chance of changing to a better hypothesis. So the separate examination of the clue must always be in isolation: just as one might examine a butterfly in detail and in isolation. Clues Combined (CC) means examining all the clues together to see what they add up to. The CC always follows the CS. When the clues that have been examined separately are put together, two things can happen. Some of the possible meanings of the separate clues become much more important and can easily add up to information that was not contained in any clue on its own. The second thing that can happen is that some of the possibilities found for the individual clues become rather unlikely (though they should not be totally discarded). .

The notion of moving toward finding something out is essential to the consideration of clues. CLUES A clue is a single piece of information that can suggest a lot of things if you make the effort to find out what it might mean. When you put separate clues together you can get even more information.

Clues separately (CS) You examine each clue as if with a magnifying glass in order to extract the maximum amount of information from it. You should try to think of all the possible things that it could mean. Example: A watchdog kept in a house was not heard to bark during the night of a burglary.

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Examined by itself, this clue might suggest: •

The dog was asleep.



The dog was drugged.



The dog knew the burglar, since it did not bark at him.



It was only a fake burglary carried out by the dog’s owner for some reason.

Clues combined (CC) You take the clues that have been examined separately and you see what happens when you put them together. Some possibilities might be eliminated and others might be strengthened. Example: In the burglary mentioned above, the following additional clues were found: •

The jewellery in the house had just been insured.



The owners had reported seeing a prowler to the police.



The neighbours had often complained in the past about being awakened by the dog barking – but not on that night.



The burglar had not bothered with some valuable but uninsured silver.

Taken together the clues suggest that it might have been a fake burglary by the owner in order to collect money from the insurance company. The first thing to do is to find the clues. Then you consider them separately. Finally you consider them together.  There could be a lot of discussion or disagreement about the example given in the student’s notes. No doubt several other explanations are possible.

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The teacher should not encourage such discussion since the example is meant only as an illustration, and discussion at this point will be confusing and philosophical. The fact that the dog was not heard to bark has been picked out as a clue (not doing something can be just as much of a clue as doing something). Some of the many possible meanings of this clue are listed (CS). We are then told in the next part of the example that there are some further clues. These clues taken together (CC) with the dog not barking suggest that the owners insured their jewelry, complained about the prowler to set a false trail and then faked the burglary to collect the insurance on the jewelry. Since the dog knew its owners very well it did not bark. Of course this explanation is not proved but the clues seem to add up to it.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This is something of a trick question. Its purpose is to show how the interpretation of a clue may not be obvious at first but becomes obvious in hindsight. The students should work in groups if only because the item would be spoiled in an open class situation if one person happened to know the story before. Allow 2 minutes, at the end of which each group gives its explanation. Item One. •

Every morning a man goes to his office which is in a skyscraper. He usually get out of the elevator at the eighteenth floor, says good morning to the receptionist and then walks up the stairs to his office on the twenty-fourth floor.

From these clues can you suggest anything about this man?

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Suggested points: The overall explanation is that the man was a dwarf who could reach no higher in the elevator than the button to the eighteenth floor. So he had to get out at the eighteenth floor and walk up the rest of the way. If, however, he was not alone in the lift he could ask someone else to press the button for the twenty-fourth floor and this is why he did not always follow the same routine. (Of course other explanations are possible and cannot be excluded: for instance he might well have fancied the receptionist and so made a point of stopping at her floor to say good morning).

Teachers Notes: This item can be done as a group item (time allowed is 4 minutes) in which case each group lists the possible meanings of the clue (CS). It can also be done as an open class discussion with each new possibility added to the list of possibilities. The teacher should stick to the information given and should not answer questions designed to get more information. Item Two. •

A gangland murder has been committed and the body is found on a beach near where the primary suspect has a summer cottage. The police raid the suspect’s town house and in the cuffs of one pair of trousers they find some sand from the beach. It is midwinter.

Examine this clue on its own and list the possible things it could mean.

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Suggested points: (The sand in the cuffs could mean...) 1.

Although it is January the man had not had those trousers cleaned since he had been at his cottage in the summer.

2. The sand is not actually unique to that beach but was similar to sand used in concrete mixing and the man had got it into his cuffs on a building site or visiting a friend, etc. 3. The sand was deliberately planted in the cuff by the murderers who wanted to frame him. 4. The man had indeed gone to check up on his cottage after a storm (he had to clear the sand from the door) but he had nothing to do with the murder. As usual, further explanations are possible and should be accepted. Teachers Notes: A group item (time allowed is 4 minutes). Each group tries to fit the clues together after doing a CS on each clue. Their task is to say which of the three suspects it is most likely to be and why they think so. They can also suggest some other type of suspect. No information is allowed beyond what is given in the student’s notes. At the end of the allotted time each group names its suspect and says what it thinks happened. Item Three. •

A man is going abroad. When he gets to the airport, he suddenly finds that he has left his passport at home, so he hurries back to his house. He finds that there has been a burglary. His TV has been stolen. Some money lying on the table has not been touched. The private papers in his desk have been scattered on the floor. The refrigerator door is open but no food has been taken. The bath has four inches of warm water in it. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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The police think it could have been one of the following: •

A professional burglar



His brother with whom he had had a quarrel



A TV addict who wanted to watch the world heavy weight fight.

Do a CC and consider the combined clues. Which one of these suspects seems most likely? Or is it someone else?

Suggested points: 1.

The warm water suggests the intruder has left quite recently and perhaps suddenly.

2. The open refrigerator door suggests the same and might suggest the intruder was hungry and about to prepare a meal. 3. The stolen TV is puzzling because a professional burglar would have taken the money as well and a burglar leaving in a hurry would hardly carry a TV set. 4. The scattered private papers could suggest a burglar looking for money, or a check book but they could also suggest the brother looking for documents. 5. The final conclusion seems to be that it was the brother who was about to settle down (have a snack and a bath since he felt at home in the house) to go through the papers when he was disturbed. 6. First of all, however, he took the TV set since this was the thing he would be least expected to take. Other explanations are just as likely and acceptable provided they make some sort of sense.

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Teachers Notes: This can be done as group work (time allowed is 2 minutes) with a final conclusion at the end of the time or as open-class guessing and discussion. Item four.



A TV panel is trying to find out the job of a mystery guest, who can answer only yes or no to its questions.

From the following answers, can you guess what job he does? Do you work alone? - Yes Do you work with paper? - Yes Do you work in an office? - No Is your work visible to a lot of people? - Yes Are you an artist? - No Do you use a ladder? - Yes

Suggested points: 1.

The man’s job was to put up posters or billboards. That is why he worked with paper but not in an office.

2. His work was visible to a lot of people but he was not an artist.

3. He worked on his own and used a ladder to put up the posters. (as before, there can be other solutions provided they are shown to make sense.)

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OPERATION 1.

Make a definite effort to pick out each clue.

2. Examine each clue separately and list all the things it could mean. 3. Combine the separate clues. See which possibilities seem likeliest. 4. Look for further clues to help you choose among the possibilities. 5. The practical steps to be taken when carrying out a deliberate CS & CC are explained. The four steps should be read through. It is emphasised that they are not discussion points. In addition to being an actual operating procedure they serve as a summary of the lesson. Note that picking out the clues in the first place is part of the process, as is looking for further clues to enable you to choose between possibilities.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: This item can be worked on in greater depth and detail than the practice items in the lesson itself. It can be used as project work or homework or given during the latter half of a long lesson. This will provide an opportunity for applying the process learned in the lesson (as distinct from just practising it). The output is usually written, in the form of an essay or notes. Students work on their own but group work is not excluded. The item chosen from the two projects may be decided by the teacher, the class or each individual. Since the items are relatively short both can be attempted.

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Item One



There is a road accident in which a motorcyclist is killed. The witnesses tell the following stories:

Witness A: I was crossing at the pedestrian crossing when I saw the motorcyclist coming right at me. He swerved to avoid me and crashed into the traffic island... Witness B: I saw a bread truck stopping at the pedestrian crossing for someone to cross. The motorcyclist tried to pass the truck and then crashed into the traffic island. Witness C: I heard a crash and ran out of my shop and almost tripped over a tray of bread. I ran to see if I could help the motorcyclist but the truck driver got there first. What do you think happened? Who, if anyone, was to blame? From the evidence given by the witnesses the task is to reconstruct the event - to say what actually happened. In saying what happened one can indicate blame. Various alternative possibilities should be discussed before being dismissed and the reasons for choosing one alternative as being more likely than the others should be indicated.

Suggested points: 1.

The bread truck had indeed stopped just before the crosswalk but not to let someone cross the street. It stopped so the truck driver could get down and deliver a tray of loaves. It was this tray that dropped on the pavement at the time of the crash which nearly tripped witness C.

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2. The truck driver got there before witness C, because he was already out of his truck. The motorcyclist seeing the parked truck and the driver delivering bread did not know someone was crossing so he passed the truck. Suddenly he saw the pedestrian and had to swerve. He lost control and crashed into the divider. The truck driver was at fault for illegally parking so close to the pedestrian crossing. Teachers Notes: This item can be worked on in greater depth and detail than the practice items in the lesson itself. It can be used as project work or homework or given during the latter half of a long lesson. This provides an opportunity for applying the process learned in the lesson (as distinct from just practising it). The output is usually written, in the form of an essay or notes. Students work on their own but group work is not excluded. The item chosen from the two projects may be decided by the teacher, the class or each individual. Since the items are relatively short both can be attempted. Item Two •

A mysterious illness suddenly develops all over the country. It affects only people who have been on holiday recently in sunny places. Not all the victims have been to the same resorts.



Mysteriously, all the patients have red hair. Can you make anything of these clues? What questions would you like to ask?



This is a very difficult problem. It is difficult to reach the suggestion given below. This does not matter so long as the students do a good CS & CC on the clues. They may well suggest another

explanation. The emphasis is on doing a thorough CS & CC rather than on reaching the answer.

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Suggested points: 1.

The illness affects redheads who have been to sunny places.

2. It could be that only redheads were sensitive to the infection that existed in these sunny places. But would there be a similar infection in all these sunny places at the same time? 3. It is more likely to be something to do with the sun and redheads. 4. Redheads do not tan easily and so they tend to burn in the sun but this illness is not just sunburn or it would not be called an illness. 5. One explanation is that the redheads had all taken a special pill which was meant to make them tan easily but something had gone wrong and the side effects of this pill caused the illness.

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Lesson 4 Contradictions False jumps, false conclusions and other incorrect uses of information. LESSON TITLE…… Co & FCo: Contradictions and False Conclusions

INTRODUCTION This can be a difficult and confusing lesson if the teacher gets bogged down in fine philosophical distinctions. It is best to teach the lesson by illustration and example rather than by definitions. The lesson is linked to the preceding lessons which were concerned with generating and examining information. This lesson is concerned with two main faults in information and the use of it: contradiction and false conclusions. Wherever information is provided (either by one’s own efforts of investigation or by someone else as in a book or argument), we are concerned with the validity of that information. As we shall see in a later lesson, we can sometimes check things for ourselves but at other times we have to believe the eyewitness, authority or the experts. Although we often cannot check the validity of each piece of information we can easily check the way it is used. For instance, if we see that two opposite things are both said to be right, then we know there is a contradiction. We can also tell when something is said to follow directly from something else and we can show that it need not do so: this is a false conclusion. Contradictions (Co) may be obvious or they may be hidden. The principle of a contradiction is quite clear: two opposite things cannot both be right at the same time.

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The witnesses say John K. Sutton was driving his car when the accident happened. John K. Sutton says he was at home watching TV. Both cannot be right: there is a contradiction. There should not be much difficulty in explaining what a contradiction is. Trouble can arise, however, when one person believes something to be a contradiction and another person sees no contradiction. For instance, one person may say that to talk of an honest thief is a contradiction, but another person may claim that a thief may be dishonest in some circumstances and honest in others or honest according to his/her own principles (e.g., stealing only from the rich). False Conclusions (FCo) are more difficult to explain than contradictions. A false conclusion may be what is known as a non-sequitur, which means that one thing does not follow from the other. For instance the statement “children like candy so children are extravagant” is a non-sequitur. Both statements “children like candy” and “children are extravagant” may be correct but the second one simply does not follow from the first. Another example might be: “football players are big, so football players must be stupid”. This sort of false conclusion is fairly easy to spot. The test question is: “Why does the second statement follow from the first?” A much more difficult type of false conclusion to spot is where the second statement might follow from the first one but does not necessarily do so. It might even be very likely that the second statement follows from the first but it does not have to follow. The statement “Dogs and cats fight, so as we already have a dog you must not bring a cat into the household” is quite reasonable but you cannot exclude the possibility that this dog and this cat will not fight. The difficulty arises because in practical terms you can never be absolutely sure about anything so we accept something probable as being true. In absolute terms most conclusions are false but in practical terms we accept conclusions based on a high degree of probability as being true. The trouble arises when the degree of probability is lessened and then we have to decide whether a conclusion is valid or false. There is no easy way around this dilemma except to say: “that conclusion may be false because . . . (and then explain why - for instance ‘not every cat fights with every dog”).

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Information is not always correct. Sometimes two pieces of information contradict each other. The conclusions we draw from the information may also be false. Doing a CO & FCo means looking for contradictions and false conclusions. Contradiction (CO): There are two points. The second point contradicts the first point. Both cannot be right at the same time. Example: December 21st is the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. December 21st is the longest day of the year in the Southern hemisphere. False conclusion (FCo): There are two points. The second point is supposed to follow as a conclusion from the first point but the connection is actually false. Example: If December 21st is the shortest day in the Northern hemisphere it must also be the shortest day in the Southern hemisphere. If two points cannot both be true there is a contradiction. If one point does not follow as a conclusion from the point it is supposed to follow there is a false conclusion. An example of a contradiction is given in the student’s notes. December 21st is said to be the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. December 21st is also said to be the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. Since the same day cannot be both the longest and the shortest at the same time and place there must be a contradiction. In the second example December 21st is said to be the shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere and it is therefore concluded that it must also be the shortest day of the year in the Southern hemisphere. This conclusion is false because December 21st is the first day of summer in the Southern hemisphere and the longest day of the year there. The second statement seems to follow from the first but it is a false conclusion.

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done as group work (time allowed is 3 minutes) or as an open class discussion. The groups have to decide whether there are any contradictions and whether these are real or apparent. This item could well lead to an involved discussion but this should be avoided in the interest of focusing on the process rather than the content.

Item One. •

The leader of a political party promises to increase everyone’s wages and to keep prices down.



He also promises to lower taxes and to increase government spending especially on schools and hospitals. Are there any contradictions here?

Suggested points: 1.

It seems a contradiction to promise both to increase wages and to keep prices down since prices have to reflect wages.

2. It may, however, be argued that it can be done by decreasing profits or increasing productivity. 3. It also seems a contradiction to promise both to increase government spending and to reduce taxes, which provide the money for the government to spend. 4. It may, however, be argued that a more efficient use of the money could make it possible. 5. This is not strictly true since “government spending” means the money spent, not what is achieved, and so to spend more money the government must raise more money. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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6. The contradiction remains unless a government source of money (e.g., borrowing) is used instead of taxation. Teachers Notes: This item can be done as group work (time allowed is 4 minutes). The groups examine each statement and if they find the conclusion false they must explain why it is said to be false. The item can also be done on an open-class basis: •

Is this a false conclusion?



Why do you think it is a false conclusion?” Item Two.



In each of the following statements, a conclusion is reached.



Which of the conclusions are false and why?

1.

Most people want to get married - so young marriages should be encouraged.

2. It takes five hours for a plane to fly from London to New York, so it must take five hours for the plane to fly from New York to London. 3. If all private cars were banned from cities, then people would have to walk everywhere. 4. Democracy means that a politician is elected by a majority of voters, so the government of a country must have more supporters than opponents.

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Suggested points: 1.

It does not follow that young marriages - or any marriages - should be encouraged. In fact, a case could be made for discouraging marriage to slow population growth.

2. It does not follow that the return journey from New York must take the same time. If there is a strong wind blowing in one direction (which there usually is) the two times will be very different. 3. This does not follow at all. They could use public transportation, bicycles, and roller skates, or anything else. 4. This may be true in some countries but does not have to be true. For instance in the British system a party may get a large majority in Parliament and still have many fewer supporters than the opposition parts (because it may win by a small majority in the seats it wins and lose by a large majority in the seats it loses). Teachers Notes: This item can be done in a manner similar to the preceding one, as group work (4 minutes are allowed). The group members decide which statements are contradictions and explain why. If this is done as an open-class item the teacher puts each statement to the class and asks the students whether they consider it to be a contradiction and if so to explain why.

Item Three. •

Are there real contradictions in the following examples? If so, what are they?

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1.

One arm of a signpost says 6 kilometres to Paris and the other says 7 kilometres to Paris.

2. We must be kind to animals, so we must stop people in cities from keeping dogs. 3. As a leader I must follow the wishes of my supporters. 4. People should be allowed to spend their money as they like but they should not be allowed to buy better medical care than poor people. 5. If school children had an extra three-month vacation each year, the teachers would like it because they would have longer vacations and smaller classes. Suggested points: 1.

This need not be a contradiction: one road may go directly to Paris and the other may make a small detour to another town on the way.

2. Since dogs may be miserable in cities for lack of exercise it may be a kindness to prevent city people from keeping dogs. So there may be no contradiction. 3. Leaders are supposed to lead, not follow, so there appears to be a contradiction. It may be argued, however, that leaders should put together the wishes of their followers and lead on that basis (in which case they would be leading them in a practical sense but not in terms of ideas). 4. This does seem to be a contradiction unless one excludes medical care from the things on which “money can be spent.”

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5. This also seems to be a contradiction because the classes would be smaller only if at any time some of the students were on vacation but not the teachers. It might, however, be possible for the teachers to have somewhat longer vacations but not as much as the students. Teachers Notes: An item which can be done as a group (time allowed is 3 minutes) or an open-class discussion considering each statement in turn. Which of the conclusions are false and why? Item four. •

1.

Which of the following are false conclusions?

A big box of cornflakes costs twice as much as a small box so it does not matter whether you buy a big box or two small boxes.

2. Students know what is best for their education so they should be allowed to choose the subjects they want to take. 3. A man who does physical work is working harder than a man who just tells others what to do - so he should get paid more. 4. Medical evidence shows that smoking is dangerous to health, so cigarettes should be made very expensive to discourage people from smoking them. Suggested points: 1.

The conclusion is correct only if the big box contains twice as much as the small box and so long as there are no other reasons (convenience etc.) for choosing one size or the other. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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2. The conclusion is correct if one accepts the basic statement that students know what is best for their education. 3. If one accepts the statement that physical work is harder than mental or organising work the conclusion may still be false because it does not necessarily follow that hard work should be paid more than “important” work. 4. If one accepts that making cigarettes expensive would discourage people from smoking, the conclusion is correct provided one accepts the medical evidence and the government’s right to discourage people from harming their own health.

OPERATION 1.

Pick out the different points that are made.

2. Try to find contradictions among them. 3. If one point is supposed to be a conclusion based on another point see if that conclusion is false. 4. Note that some conclusions may be true under certain conditions but false under others. As before, this is the practical procedure for carrying through a Co & FCo. Note that the first step is to separate the different points that are being made. Step 3 suggests testing all conclusions to see if they are valid. Step 4 is very relevant to practice item 1 and may be referred back to this item if it was done. This is not meant to be a discussion session. Confusion must be avoided at all costs.

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If you are not sure whether something is a contradiction or false conclusion it is easy enough to say “That seems to be a contradiction (or false conclusion). Can you explain why it is not?”

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The Project section is meant as a source of alternative practice items and also as an opportunity to apply the process learned in the lesson. The students work on the items at a greater length (10 minutes to 45 minutes) and usually as individuals. The output is in note or essay form. Both project items may be attempted or one may be chosen by the teacher or the students themselves. The main emphasis must be on the process learned in the lesson, not on the content of the items.

Item One •

Discuss whether there is a contradiction in the following statement:



“People must be free to express themselves and do what they want to do.



They must also be protected against those who try to interfere with freedom.”

The task is to show whether there is a contradiction in the given statement. This may mean considering the circumstances under which a contradiction exists and the circumstances under which it does not exist. The points should be elaborated upon with examples and situations.

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Suggested points: 1.

How far does one person’s freedom interfere with the freedom of others?

2. Does freedom to play your radio in the park spoil other people’s freedom to enjoy peace in the park? 3. At the same time, protecting a person’s freedom may mean restricting it. For instance drafting of soldiers in war time restricts their freedom in order to protect it in the long run. Teachers Notes: The Project section is meant as a source of alternative practice items and also as an opportunity to apply the process learned in the lesson. The students work on the items at a greater length (10 minutes to 45 minutes) and usually as individuals. The output is in note or essay form. Both items may be attempted or one may be chosen by the teacher or the students themselves. The main emphasis must be on the process learned in the lesson, not on the content of the items.

Item Two •

What do you think of the following conclusion?



“No one wants to do the dangerous or dirty work (mining, sewers, rubbish collection) so those who do such work should get paid more than anyone else.”

A statement is followed by a conclusion. The task is to discuss both the statement and the conclusion. Is the conclusion valid? Is it the only possible way of doing things?

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Suggested points: 1.

If it is true that no one wants to do the dirty or dangerous work it is valid to suggest that one way of making such work more attractive might be to increase the pay.

2. This does not necessarily mean that such workers should be paid more than anyone else but enough to attract workers. 3. Is the pay meant as a reward for the dirty work or to get people to do it?  

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Lesson 5 Guessing The use of guessing when information is incomplete. Good guesses and bad guesses.

SG & BG: Small Guessing and Big Guessing

INTRODUCTION Most people know what guessing means. But the word “guessing” is usually applied only to situations like: guess my age, guess the weight of the cake (county fair), or guess what number from 1 to 10 I am thinking of. These are “shot in the dark” guesses. There is a small chance that we may be right. The outcome of the guess is not very important. In fact, “guessing” is very much broader than this. We have to guess most of the time, for it is difficult to get enough information to be absolutely sure about anything. We often act as if we were sure because we have no other choice; nevertheless, we may be making a supposition or guess. We guess that the supermarket will have sugar. This is a very reasonable guess, and we would hardly call it a guess, and yet in a time of sugar shortage many people found that the supermarket had run out of sugar. The purpose of this lesson is to have a look at “guessing.” We guess when we do not have enough information to be sure. Sometimes we are forced to make a guess: for instance, we may try to find out all we can about a job; but in the end we have to make a guess as to whether or not we shall like it. At other times we make a guess because we want to: for instance, if we bet on a horse in a race. There is nothing wrong with guessing provided we know that we are guessing and provided we try to get as much information as possible on which to base the guess.

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Guessing is wrong when we use it haphazardly instead of getting information (through laziness) and when we expect our guesses to be right - not realising they are only guesses. The distinction made in the lesson is between Big Guessing (BG) and Small Guessing (SG). This is an important distinction but like all distinctions based on size or degree it is difficult.

How big is big? How small is small? We can easily distinguish a very big guess (choosing the winning ticket in a lottery) from a very small one (guessing that the sun will rise tomorrow morning) but in between there may be guesses which some would call small and some would call big. It is necessary to be practical about this and to have some simple rules.

Small guess (SG); When you are much more likely to be right than wrong. When you will be right unless something unexpected happens, or if there are strong reasons behind your guess.

Big guess (BG): You are just as likely to be wrong as to be right (the odds on your being right are even or worse). There are no strong reasons for guessing one way or the other.

In practice we might call the small guess (SG) a forecast, a supposition, an estimate or all expectation - but really it is a guess. The big guess (BG) we would call a guess, a gamble or taking a chance. The difficulty is that reasons that are apparently strong and sound enough for making a guess may turn out to be false. That difficulty cannot be avoided. At least one should be able to spell out the reasons and examine them. When there is little or no information it must be a big guess. The more information we collect the smaller the guess becomes. This is the main reason for making the distinction: to encourage the collecting of information that will reduce the size of the guess.

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GUESSING When you do not have enough information about something, you may have to guess. The more information you get, the smaller your guess and the more likely you are to be right. But there are times when you just cannot get all the information you need and you have to guess. At other times you may guess because you want to. Small guess (SG): You can never be sure about the future. Anything you say about the future has to be somewhat of a guess. It is more likely than not that something will happen; it is a small guess (SG). If your guess will be right, unless something very unusual happens, then it is a small guess (SG). If you can give good reasons for your guess, then it is a small guess - unless those reasons are false. Example: It is a small guess that the sun will rise tomorrow. It is a small guess that the 10.30 train will run tomorrow (there could be strikes, an accident or a bad storm but these would be unusual). It is a small guess that you will live for at least another twenty years. Big Guess (BG): When you have no good reason on which to base your guessing, it is a big guess (BG). When you are just as likely to be wrong as to be right, it is a big guess (BG). When the odds are even or worse, it is a big guess. Example: I am thinking of a number from 1 to 5 - you would have to make a big guess to tell me which number it might be because there is no reason why it should be one rather than the other. A thief makes a big guess when he guesses that no one will ever catch him. The important thing is to know when you are guessing. You should then tell yourself whether it is a big guess (BG) or a small guess (SG) depending on how likely you are to be right.

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The examples given in the student’s notes are of extreme cases of big and small guesses. Unless something very unusual happens the sun will rise tomorrow. The 10:30 train will probably run although there are a number of possible things that might stop it. A student is likely to live for another twenty years but a fatal accident is a possibility. The examples of big guesses include choosing a number from one to five and choosing the Cup final winner at the beginning of the season. The thief guessing that he will never be caught is a less clear cut case because it depends on crime statistics and how much thieving he does.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This can be done as a group item (time allowed is 3 minutes). The members of the group examine each of the given guesses and decide whether a guess is a SG or a BG. They also try to find circumstances under which the nature of the guess would change. The item could also be done as an open class discussion with the teacher going through the guesses one by one and getting the opinion of the class.

Item One. •

In each of the following cases, what sort of guess is it likely to be?



Are there any circumstances under which the type of guess would change?

1.

Picking a horse to win a race.

2. Guessing an answer to a history question you do not know (for instance the battle of Hastings). 3. Guessing the weight of a cake at a country fair.

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4. A paper aeroplane is thrown at the teacher, who guesses it was thrown by the usual troublemaker and so sends him out of the class. 5. Guessing the effect of a rise in the price of bread. Suggested points: 1.

Picking a horse is a BG. You may think you know a horse very well or have inside information but in most circumstances it remains a BG.

2. Guessing the date of the battle of Hastings is a BG (unless you did know it at one time and have forgotten it). 3. Guessing the weight of the cake is a BG, but if you were very experienced with cakes and if you only had to be the nearest to win then it would be a smaller guess. 4. Whether the teacher’s guess is a BG or SG depends on how many other troublemakers there are in the class. For one class it may be a BG and for another it may be a SG. 5. The effect of a rise in the price of bread should be a SG. We know how much bread people buy and we also know how much money people earn. It should be possible to predict what will happen. We should also know what happened the last time the price of bread was raised. Teachers Notes: This can be done as a group item (time allowed is 5 minutes). At the end of the time the group has to say what it would do in each case and how effective this would be. They also have to state when they would guess. The item can also be done as an open class discussion going through the situations one by one.

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Item Two



In each of the following cases, you can guess or get more information.



Which would you do?



At what point would you have to guess?

1.

A girl reads all the information she can get but still cannot decide among three careers: a teacher, a computer analyst and a doctor.

2. A man tells you about a get-rich-quick scheme which involves buying a share in a hot dog stand and then renting the stand out. He invites you to join him and lend him money. 3. A star football player has had three bad games. His manager wonders whether to use him in the next game, as it is a vital one. Suggested points: 1.

The girl could ask people who were doing these jobs; she could seek vocational guidance; she could try one or other of the jobs; but in the end she would have to guess which suited her best.

2. You could ask to examine his figures and talk to people who had tried out the scheme but it still remains a big risk scheme and it would require a big guess to join it. 3. The manager has no choice but to guess and it is a big guess whichever way he guesses (to play the man or not).

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Teachers Notes: With this item the task set for the students is different. They are asked to suggest the alternatives from which the guess is to be made (in other words, the possibilities). The item is done as a group item (time allowed is 3 minutes) but could also be done as an open class discussion, with the teacher collecting a list of possibilities. The students may then be asked what further information could be obtained to reduce the size of the guess. Item Three. •

All the students in a certain class do very well in a final exam. But all of the answers seem very similar.



The principal has to guess what might have happened.



What are some of the guesses he might make?

Suggested points: 1.

The students had somehow cheated and had helped each other with the answers.

2. By luck the students happened to have done this work recently and thoroughly. 3. Their teacher had made a very good guess in anticipating the examination questions. 4. Someone had possession of the examination paper in advance. 5. They had a very good teacher with unusual views on the subject (that is why the answers appeared so similar). There may be various other suggestions which should be accepted if they are reasonable.

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Teachers Notes: Group item (time allowed is 4-5 minutes). The students are asked to state whether the guess in each case is a big one or a small one. Put more simply this means: Is the police officer more likely to be right than wrong? If so it is a small guess otherwise it is a big guess. There may well be different opinions. The more reasons there are to back up the guess the less of a guess it becomes. Information always make a guess smaller. The groups should give their reasons. Item four. •

As a police officer you are trying to control vandalism in a small town. You make the following guesses.



What sort of guesses are they (BG or SG) and which of them are likely to be right?

1.

You increase the number of policemen on foot patrol and guess that this will deter the vandals.

2. You publicise in the press and on TV the severe punishments that can be given to vandals and guess that this will frighten them. 3. You offer rewards to young people for reporting vandals and guess that this will lead to more of them being caught. 4. You suggest punishing the parents of the vandals who are caught and guess that this will make parents warn their children.

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Suggested points: 1.

This seems very reasonable (SG) since more police officers in the streets means fewer isolated spots.

2. This seems a big guess (BG) since it may make the thieves think them-selves braver and in any case they may believe they are not going to get caught. 3. This seems another big guess since young people would not want to report their friends and might be frightened of doing so. 4. This seems another big guess (BG) since parents may have little control over older children.

OPERATION 1.

Decide whether a guess is required because you have to make a guess or because you want to.

2. Estimate whether it is a big guess (BG) or a small guess (SG). 3. See what further information can help to make the guess smaller. 4. Look at the consequences (C&S) of guessing wrong and decide whether you want to guess at all. Listed here are four practical procedures which can be carried through when making a guess. Guesses are often necessary. The important thing is to realise it is a guess. What sort of guess it is, what can he done to reduce the size of it and the consequences. These are summary points rather than discussion points.

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The danger is that a discussion on how the points could be put in a slightly better way may draw attention away from the points themselves. The points can, however, be paraphrased or elaborated with examples so long as it remains clear what point is being made.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project items are done by individuals working on their own and producing the answers in an essay or note form. In this case the note form may be more appropriate. The project items can be done at the end of double period lesson or can be given to the students for them to work on in their own time. The teacher may decide which of the two items is to be tackled or leave the choice to the students. Item One



List all the guesses one has to make when choosing a career.



Which of these are big guesses (BG) and how can they be made smaller?



The information upon which one bases the choice of a career is bound to be somewhat inadequate. A whole range of guesses is usually involved.



Many of these guesses can be reduced by further information. The students are asked first to list the guesses and then to show how they can be reduced in size.

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Suggested points: 1.

The careers available.

2. The qualifications required. 3. The suitability of a career to one’s own talents and temperament. 4. Changes in the career by the time one qualifies. 5. Changes in the career over one’s working life. 6. Crowding of the career both at the time of qualifying and later in life. 7.

The place where one might be required to work.

8. The working environment and the people one works with. 9. Pay and promotion prospects. 10. Reliability of information. 11. Reliability of personal advice from those within the career. 12. One’s own capabilities, etc. Teachers Notes: The project items are done by individuals working on their own and producing the answers in an essay or note form. In this case the note form may be more appropriate. The project items can be done at the end of double period lesson or can be given to the students for them to work on in their own time. The teacher may decide which of the two items is to be tackled or leave the choice to the students.

Item Two •

A school principal finds that the teachers in her school are always resigning. Can you guess why this is? Can you think of some alternative reasons? What further information would help?

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Before looking for information it often helps to have some suppositions, guesses or hypotheses since these can guide the search for information. The students are asked to suggest some hypotheses (or guesses) as a basis for gathering more information. They should also suggest what further information would be useful and how it might be acquired.

Suggested points: 1.

The school is in a difficult area and the students are hard to teach.

2. It is difficult for the teachers to find houses in that area and so they move to where houses are cheaper. 3. The teachers prefer to work in smaller schools. 4. The teachers intend to stay only for a short while in the first place - just to enlarge their experience. 5. The teachers do not like the atmosphere of the school. 6. There are personality problems and the teachers do not like the principal. 7.

Teachers come when they are young and then they marry and leave because their spouses prefer to live elsewhere.

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Lesson 6 Belief Credibility. How we value our information. Proof, certainty, belief, consensus, authority, media, experience, anecdote, etc

BP & BO: Belief Personal and Belief of Others

INTRODUCTION This lesson contrasts with the preceding one on guessing. When we know that we are guessing we also know that we may be wrong. Belief implies that we accept something as being true For the purpose of this lesson it is best to ignore weak or partial beliefs (things that in general we believe to be true) because these will be confusing and because they are already covered in the term small guess (SG). For this lesson a belief is something that we accept as being true. Again it is best to avoid philosophical discussions on the nature of truth. The practical definition of accepting something as being true is “acting upon it as if it were true.” Sometimes we may hold our beliefs until they are challenged and proved to be wrong. At other times we may continue to insist that our belief is right even though all the evidence indicates that it must be wrong. This lesson is concerned with the origin of our beliefs. Where do they come from? Why do we hold them? Why do we believe something to be true? No attempt is made to show that one type of belief is more valid than another. It is enough that a person should be aware of the origin of a belief. Even if the best one can say is “I believe this because I want to” or “I believe this because it suits me to believe it” that is still much better than holding a belief to be true and not ever looking to see on what it is based (it is quite useful to realise that a belief is based only on self-interest or on one person’s evidence.)

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On what is this belief based? That is the basic question. The answer provides the two “boxes” for this lesson. Belief Personal (BP) is based on personal experience, feeling or proof. I was there. I saw it. I heard it for myself. I did the experiment. I want to believe it. In BP one does one’s believing for oneself. One may collect a lot of information from other people. For instance detectives may collect all their information from other people and then come to their own personal belief about who committed the crime.

Belief of Others (BO) means that instead of people doing their believing on their own they take over the beliefs of others. In practice this means accepting something “on authority.” There is nothing wrong with accepting things on authority. It is impossible to check out everything for oneself. Some people are indeed experts because they have specialised knowledge or experience. To accept the validity of atomic energy you have to accept as true what the atomic scientists say. Authority comes in many forms: experts, teachers, parents, books, TV, newspapers, etc. Often this authority comes from one’s peers or friends or a person who is personally known to be reliable. Consensus or “what everyone knows” is a very common source of BO. Sometimes the consensus is a genuine consensus across a population but at other times it simply reflects the beliefs of a few people in one particular situation that are wrongly taken to be a sample of the rest. It must he emphasised again that the purpose of the lesson is not to attack beliefs or to encourage the doubting of everything. The purpose is to encourage the students to be aware of the sources of their beliefs.

When you accept something as being true you believe it. Sometimes belief is based on what you have seen for yourself, or on your own experience and on your own feelings (BP). At other times your belief is based on what other people say or think. This can be because they are in a position of authority or because you could not check things for yourself.

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Belief-personal (BP): This is when belief is based on your personal experience or feelings. “I want to believe it”; “I feel it must be true”; “I have no reason to doubt it”; “I tried it out for myself”; “I did the experiment.” Examples: “I believe my dog is the most intelligent dog in the world.” “I saw the python swallowing the small deer whole.” Belief of others (BO): This is based on what other people think or say - when you accept other people’s word for something. “I trust him”; “He should know”; “I read it in a book”; “I saw it on TV”; “The scientists say so”; “He wouldn’t be where he is if he did not know more than I do.” Examples: “The experts say that we will all run out of oil by the year 2020.” “Everyone one knows that carrots help you see in the dark.” A belief may be strong or weak depending on how vigorously it is defended and how easily it can be changed. One of the BP examples given in the student’s notes refers to direct personal experience (I saw it) and the other to a more general personal experience (I know my dog - and in any case I want to believe it). The examples given for BO depend on the authority given by “experts” or “everyone knows.”

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This is rather a difficult item since in many of the examples the belief may be BP if looked at from one angle and BO if looked at from another angle. The groups should work on the items (time allowed is 4 minutes) and decide in each case whether on the whole the item is BP or BO. The difficult ones can be argued out in an open class discussion.

Item One. •

In each of the following examples, is the belief of the BP type or of the BO type?



1.

On what evidence might it be based?

The world is round.

2. 2 + 2 = 4 3. America is the most powerful country in the world. 4. Intelligent people have good memories. 5. Store owners are out to make as much money as possible. 6. Teenagers are better at dancing than adults. 7.

You won’t get a good job unless you do well at school.

8. A human being has walked on the surface of the moon. Suggested points: 1.

Basically our acceptance that the world is round is a BO. We could, however, say that our own experience with things disappearing over the horizon or the pictures taken of the earth by astronauts had made it more a BP. Arguable.

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2. 2 + 2 = 4. Originally we were told how the number system works (BO). Now the belief is personal (BP). 3. The power of America is a BO since what we read and hear about the economics, military strength, resources, etc., of America derives from other people. Suppose it were all propaganda? 4. The better memories of intelligent people is likely to be a BO (everyone knows) but it could be a matter of BP if you happened to know several intelligent people who appeared to have better memories than other people. 5. Personal experience of store owners is probably very limited so this is a BO no matter how reasonable it may seem. 6. The dancing ability of teenagers may be a matter of personal experience (BP) or the experience of others (BO). it just depends whether the person with that belief has had the experience himself or herself. 7.

BO if you accept what everyone including parents and teachers tell you. BP if you look around you. On the whole, BO since your classmates have not left school yet.

8. The person walking on the moon is BP insofar as you have seen it on TV or in the papers. You do of course have to believe (BO) that the TV picture was not faked. Teachers Notes: Group work (allow 3 minutes) or open-class discussion with a list emerging from the discussion - possibly through a voting system. A voting System could also be done by individuals in the class - each giving 1-9 points to the different sources mentioned (one point for the source the students believe least, nine points for the source they believe most). The teacher adds up the points and the one with the most points is placed at the top of the list. Page 80

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Item Two. •

Each of the following sources tells you that smoking is bad for you. Which of them are you likely to believe most?



Put them in order; the one you world believe most at the top and the one you would believe least at the bottom of the list.

1.

Father,

2. Mother, 3. Teacher, 4. Your friend, 5. Article in newspaper, 6. A TV news reporter, 7.

Your own doctor,

8. A doctor on TV, 9. A tobacco company. Teachers Notes: This is best done as an open-class discussion taking each of the beliefs in turn. The teacher tries to explore the basis for each of the beliefs. The teacher may have to put it in the form: “Assuming someone held this belief, on what do you think it would be based?”

Item Three. •

1.

What sort of thing would make you believe one of the following?

Employers are greedy and only interested in making money.

2. Union leaders are always selfish.

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3. Intelligent people always score highest on tests and learn the most. 4. The most successful people do not always do well at school. Suggested points: 1.

The profits keep going up; they don’t pay enough; everyone knows that business is there to make money; they don’t care about the environment; the prices are too high.

2. They always want more for their members; they don’t care if strikes put other people out of work; they realise that higher wages mean higher prices for everyone else; everyone knows that the purpose of a union is to look after its members. 3. The brightest students do best on tests; Tests must be there to test something and the students who do the best don’t always work the hardest; if you are not bright you cannot learn things easily. 4. My friend told me about a man who left school early and is now a millionaire; I read in a paper somewhere that the richest men did badly at school; I don’t believe school teaches you the things you need in life. Teachers Notes: This is difficult item. The task is to try to change each of the beliefs indicated. The groups can work out an approach for each of them (time allowed is 5 minutes) or the teacher may pick two of the examples for the groups to work on. This item can also be done as a drama situation with one student adopting personally one of the beliefs and the other trying to argue the student out of it.

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Item four.



If you wanted to change the beliefs of a person who believed each of the following statements, how would you go about it?

1.

“Everyone knows that capital punishment for every murder would reduce the use of guns in robberies.”

2. “My friends and I believe that the world is going to end in two year’s time.” 3. “I knew a French person who always smelt of garlic and I believe that all French people smell of garlic.” 4. “I believe that I usually know better than my parents because they are out of touch.” Suggested points: 1.

Why do you believe that capital punishment for murder would reduce the use of guns in robberies? A thief does not expect to have to use his gun.

2. Why do you believe the world is going to end in two years’ time? What is the evidence. Have you worked it out for yourselves or has someone told you so? Lots of people have expected the world to end at different times and all have been wrong. 3. Perhaps the French person you knew was exceptional. Perhaps he/she was the only French person who smells of garlic. Perhaps a few French people smell like garlic. How can you he sure that only French people smell of garlic?

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4. What makes you think your parents are out of touch? In what areas do you think you know better? Your parents have had more experience than you have. Can you give an example of an occasion when you were right and they were wrong?

OPERATION 1.

Is your belief based on personal experience (BP) or on the experience of others (BO)?

2. How strong are the reasons behind the belief? 3. How useful, important or necessary is the belief? 4. What would be needed to prove or disprove a belief? 5. The Operation section outlines practical procedures for carrying through a BP and BO - four basic steps which can be followed one after another. Each step can be read aloud to the class and elaborated upon with examples. The steps should not, however, be made the basis for a discussion. There probably are better ways of putting things but the danger of confusion and leaving the student without anything concrete to refer to is more important than the pleasure of critical discussion.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project items may be done at the end of a lesson which has been allocated two periods or they may be done in the student’s own time as project work.

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The students usually work on their own and their output is in the form of an essay or notes. The choice of item may be made by the teacher or left to the students. The important point is that something definite should come out of it. The students should apply the process examined in the lesson.

Item One •

What are your strongest beliefs and on what are they based?



Give three.



This can be a difficult item and is probably best avoided with younger children.



Instead of the strongest beliefs the teacher can ask for any three important beliefs.



The important thing is not whether they are justified or not, but that the student put down as clearly as possible the basis for the beliefs - no matter what it might be.

Suggested points: The basis must depend on the actual beliefs chosen and it could include: habit. upbringing, parents, books, what my friends say, everyone knows, personal.

Teachers Notes: The project items may be done at the end of a lesson which has been allocated two periods or they may be done in the student’s own time as project work. The students usually work on their own and their output is in the form of an essay or notes. The choice of item may be made by the teacher or left to the students. The important point is that something definite should come out of it. The students should apply the process examined in the lesson.

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Item Two



In the three areas listed below, on which of the following would you most rely:



Your own experience;



What everyone says;



What you read in books or see on TV;



What your friends say;



What your parents say:

Areas: 1.

What you think about politics

2. How you behave 3. Planning your life. This is probably the more suitable of the two items for all but the most sophisticated students. The students treat each of the areas in turn: 1.

What you think about politics;

2. How you behave; 3. Planning your life. In each of these areas the student indicates the major influence from among those suggested.

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Suggested points: Area: What you think about politics Influence: •

What everyone says;



What your parents say;



What you see on TV.

Area: how you behave. Influence: •

What your parents say;



Your own experience;



What your friends say.

Area: Planning your life. Influence: •

What your friends say;



What your parents say;



What everyone says.

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Lesson 7 Ready Mades Usual substitutes for personal thinking- stereotypes, cliches, prejudices, standard opinions, etc.

RM-H & RM-S: Ready- Mades: - Help and Ready-Mades - Substitute

INTRODUCTION This can be a confusing lesson unless the teacher makes the points very clearly. A “ready-made” is a piece of thinking that is taken over from someone else rather than constructed for oneself. This “ready-made” may be strong enough to be a belief, in which case you accept as true what someone else believes. In this case there is no distinction between a ready-made and a BO as described in the last lesson (Belief of Others). It can be said that “ready-mades” are other people’s beliefs, judgements, and opinions. For the sake of simplicity the teacher can agree that in practice ready-mades are the same as BO. The essential difference between the two lessons is as follows. The BP & BO lesson looks at the source of beliefs: is it personal or is it borrowed from others? The “ready-made” lesson looks at BO beliefs and sees how they are used. This lesson is concerned with the use of the ready-mades. The emphasis is on use, not on where the beliefs might have come from. The student’s notes illustration shows a man trying on a variety of “opinion” coats from a rack.

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The opinions are ready-made and all he has to do is to choose one that fits him or that he likes. It then becomes part of him and he wears that opinion like he might a coat. This is a strong image and can help with the explanation of the lesson. Ready-mades are opinions that are already made and which a person puts on and wears as his/her own. The emphasis of the lesson is not on the validity of ready-made opinions but on their use. What do you do with a ready-made opinion? Two answers are suggested and form the basis of the lesson: You can use the ready-mades as a help (RM-H) in your own thinking. Obviously people cannot know everything or find out everything for themselves. We often have to use the information, belief or opinions offered by others. But we can use these as an ingredient in our thinking. Using these ingredients, we can still do our own thinking and may come to a different conclusion. The other use of a ready-made is when we use it not as a help to our thinking but as a substitute (RM-S). That is to say we take over the readymade thinking not as an ingredient but as the final product of thinking which means that we do not need to do any thinking at all for ourselves. This is now the same as BO. In practice there are questions which can be asked to sort out whether a piece of thinking is an RM-S or not: •

Have you thought that out for yourself?



Who said that?



Why do you say that?



Are you just repeating a standard opinion, an opinion held by your friends, or something you read somewhere?

It is much easier to recognise an RM-S than an RM-H. If the opinion or belief is taken over without alteration or consideration it is an RM-S; if there is any thinking about it then it is an RM-H.

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The difficulty arises when people take over a ready-made belief (RM-S, BO etc.) and then busily arm themselves with arguments to support that belief. It may be quite clear that the conclusion has not been reached by their own thinking even though their own thinking is now used to defend it. There is no easy answer since it is impossible to gauge at what point a person’s thinking started. In any case the intention of the lesson is not to judge and categorise other people’s thinking but to provide a structure so that a person can say to him/ herself: “Am I taking over this opinion as an RM-S or am I treating it as an RMH?” As with all other CoRT lessons the purpose is to draw attention to this area and develop an awareness of the thought process.

READY-MADES

Sometimes you are offered ready-made opinions or judgements. These have been made by one other person or they may be the opinions that seem to be held by a lot of people. There are times when you have to use such ready-made opinions because it is impossible to find out everything for yourself. There is nothing wrong with a ready-made opinion, provided you use it as a help (RM-H) to your own thinking and not as a substitute (RM-S) for your thinking. Ready-mades as help (RM-H): You use the ready-made opinion as a help to your own thinking. It may provide a starting point, an ingredient or something to examine. But you still do your own thinking. Example:”Everyone says that store owners make too much profit but I would like to see the figures for myself and also what the store owners say.” Ready-mades as substitute (RM-S): You use the ready-made opinion as a substitute for your own thinking. Instead of thinking, you just put on the ready-made opinion and wear it.

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Example: “Everyone one knows that store owners make too much profit and I think it is wrong because that is why prices are so high.” It is the use of the ready-made opinion that determines whether it is a help to thinking or a substitute for it. The two examples should be contrasted. In both cases there is the readymade statement “Everyone says that store owners make too much profit.” In the RM-H instance thinkers takes this as a starting point and decide that they would like to see the figures for themselves and also see what the store owners have to say. In the RM-S instance thinkers accept the statement as a conclusion and immediately blame the store owners for the high prices. The emphasis is on the use of the readymade opinion.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done as an open-class discussion on each of the examples or on a few of them selected by the teacher. The students are asked to decide whether the ready-made is being used as a help to thinking (starting point, ingredient, etc.) or as a substitute for thinking. The item can also be used for group work, in which case the group examines the examples and at the end of 4 minutes indicates which of them are RM-S and which are RM-H. Some discussion can be allowed but it should not take over the whole lesson. It is quite difficult to say whether it is an RM-S or an RM-H.

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Item One.



In each of the following, a ready-made opinion is used as a help to thinking (RM-H) or as a substitute (RM-S).



1.

Which is which?

“They all say the new teacher is a tyrant so we shall all have to lie low for a while”

2. “They all say the new teacher is a tyrant but I’ll wait and judge for myself.” 3. “I am not taking that job because Johnny says it is boring.” 4. “Johnny says that job is terribly boring so I had better ask someone of the others – or even try it out for a few days.” 5. “ This new productivity deal (more pay for every extra car made) is probably designed to make more profit for the owner but perhaps we ought to see whether it can benefit us as well.” 6. “Everybody knows that the owners are only interested in more profits so this new productivity deal must be bad for the workers.” Suggested points: 1.

It is accepted that the new teacher is a tyrant, so RM-S.

2. The speaker wants to explore the “tyrant” opinion, so RM-H. 3. Johnny’s opinion is accepted as fact, so RM-S. 4. Johnny’s opinion is the starting point to some thinking, so RM-H. 5. The new deal is worth investigating, so RM-H. 6. The new deal is accepted as automatically being bad for the workers, so RM-S. Page 92

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Teachers Notes: This item is best done as an open-class discussion with suggestions as to how the ready-made can in each case be used as a help to thinking rather than a substitute. It can also be done as a group item (4 minutes) with the group offering an RM-H use in each case. Item Two. •

In all the following examples the ready-made opinion is used as a substitute for thinking (RM-S).



1.

Can you suggest how it might be used as a help?

“The man on TV said that the country was heading for disaster so perhaps we ought to spend and enjoy all the money we have saved.”

2. “Landlords are all greedy and dishonest and are only interested in raising rents so I agree with the government freeze on all rents.” 3. “Mrs. Brown said there is going to be a sugar shortage so you should buy all the sugar you can.” 4. “My father said that I had no chance of passing the exams so I want to leave school as soon as possible to start earning some money.” 5. “Everyone knows that people from poor backgrounds never get good jobs, so what is the point of trying?” Suggested points: 1.

He said the country was heading for disaster - I wonder what he meant by that.

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2. How does the rent freeze affect the landlords who are not greedy and dishonest? How does it help housing in general? 3. Panic about a sugar shortage will surely create a shortage. That’s one opinion. 4. He may be right, If I don’t work harder at school. 5. Is it impossible or just more difficult? If it is more difficult you try harder but if it is impossible you stop trying. Teachers Notes: The emphasis with this item is in putting down some standard ready-made opinions about each of the people mentioned. Once this has been done then some of the ready-mades can be examined to see in what way they could be a help to thinking. The groups can work through the list producing one or more ready-mades for each of the people mentioned (3 minutes).

Item Three. •

Give some ready-made opinions which might be held about the following people.



1.

Can these ready-mades be useful in some way?

Doctors,

2. Japanese, 3. Rich girls, 4. Police officers, 5. Teachers, 6. Politicians, 7.

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Rock stars.

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Suggested points: 1.

Doctors: busy, overworked, smart

2. Japanese: hardworking, polite, and clever 3. Rich girls: spoiled, selfish, stuck-up 4. Police officers: Hardworking, tough, and honest 5. Teachers: Overworked, underpaid, knowledgeable 6. Politicians: dishonest, power-hungry, unreliable 7.

Rock stars: glamorous, rich, unhappy

Teachers Notes: Group item (allow 4 minutes) in which members of the group put together four ready-mades that the younger generation might hold about the older generation.

Item four. •

Below are four ready-made opinions which the older generation might hold about the younger generation.

1.

“They have no respect for their elders.”

2. “They don’t work hard enough.” 3. “They would behave better if they got spanked more often.” 4. “They think they know everything.”



Can you give four ready-made opinions that the younger generation might hold about the older generation?

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Suggested points: 1.

They don’t realise things have changed.

2. They don’t know how to enjoy life. 3. They think they are right about all things. 4. They never listen to your point of view.

OPERATION 1.

Be clear as to whether it is your own thinking or a readymade opinion.

2. If it is a ready-made opinion, are you using it as a help to your thinking (RM-H) or as a substitute (RM-S)? 3. Is the person you are listening to using ready-mades as a substitute for thinking? 4. If you have to use a ready-made opinion on some matter, is there just one such opinion or are there several differing ones? The Operation section lists practical procedures in connection with readymades which amplify the basic questions: •

“Is it a ready-made?



How are you using it?”



It is not terribly important to arrive at a definite conclusion, i.e., “This is an RM-S” or “this is an RM-H.”



What is important is the effort to look at ready-mades in this way.

A person who is able to look at ready-makes in this way is less likely to use them without question.

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PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The teacher may ask the students to tackle both the items or the teacher may choose one of them. The project work can be done at the end of a lesson (10-30 minutes) or in the students’ own time. The output is in the form of an essay or notes. In this case the note form is probably more suitable. The student puts down the ready-mades and then writes a paragraph on each.

Item One •

Write down any six ideas you have about industry.



Say which of them are ready-made opinions?



How would you use them in an RM-H way?

The students are asked to write down any six ideas about industry. The ideas should be as definite as possible and should have more to do with working in industry than the workings of industry. For each idea the student should write a short paragraph explaining where the idea has come from and how it can be used in a helpful way (RM-H). Suggested points: 1.

Industry is all about mass production and machines.

2. Industry is boring and repetitive. 3. There is no room for individuality 4. You are at the mercy of the boss who can fire you at will. 5. You get less money in industry than in government employment. 6. There is no personal satisfaction working in industry. The students should examine prejudices like these and question them.

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Teachers Notes: The teacher may ask the students to tackle both the items or the teacher may choose one of them. The project work can be done at the end of a lesson (10-30 minutes) or in the students’ own time. The output is in the form of an essay or notes. In this case the note form is probably more suitable. The student puts down the ready-mades and then writes a paragraph on each

Item Two •

A man of 65 marries a woman of 25.



A lot of people might use ready-made opinions about this (RM-S).



Put down as many as you can think of.



What effect will these opinions have?

In this project students are asked to put down the prejudices (RM-S) that might be expressed if a 65-year old man married a 25 year-old woman. Students are asked not for their own opinions but for the ones which other people might offer. It is possible that the event might be so ordinary that it would not excite any comment. It is emphasised that the students are being asked to look at what other people might say.  

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Lesson 8 Emotions and Ego The way emotions are involved in thinking. Usual emotions and ego-emotions (having to be right, trying to be funny, face- saving, etc.).

EM & EG: Ordinary Emotions and Ego-Emotions

INTRODUCTION Thinking is supposed to be free from emotional bias but of course it never is. This lesson is about the influence of the emotions on thinking. If a person does not like a new parking law his/her thinking about it will be different from what it would have been if the new law kept people from parking outside his/her own house. Sometimes we start out by liking or disliking something and our thinking follows our feelings. At other times we may start out by thinking about something and then decide that we do not like it and so the emotions seem to follow the thinking. This distinction can be a very fine one (do we think first or feel first?) and it is irrelevant to the lesson. What matters to the lesson is the emotional background to the thinking: if we feel in a certain way about something we are more likely to think in a certain way. It definitely is not the purpose of the lesson to try to free thinking from emotions. Emotions give value to the thinking. The purpose of the lesson is to encourage students to recognise the emotions that are involved either in their thinking or in the thinking of others. It is the same awareness that is central to all the CoRT lessons. Are we aware of the emotions involved? Can we look at them? How do the emotions affect thinking? Am I thinking this way because I am angry?

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A distinction is made in the lesson between the ordinary emotions (EM) and the so-called “ego-emotions” (EG). The ordinary emotions include anger, hatred, love, fear, joy, suspicion, jealousy, sorrow, remorse, etc. These are the emotions which we refer to as “feelings.” They may be pleasant or unpleasant. They are usually recognisable. The ego-emotions (EG) are concerned with protecting the ego. The egoemotions are concerned with status. The ego-emotions cover such things as pride, loss of face, needing to be right all the time, not being made to look a fool, being paid attention, etc. They are concerned with a person’s image of him/herself as a person. •

He/she is saying that because he/she is trying to be funny.



He/she will never admit he/she is wrong.



He/she has to criticise everything to show he/she is brighter.



He/she has to think it is his/her idea.

These are the sort of remarks which suggest an ego-emotion at work. We could summarise the effects of emotion on thinking as follows: 1.

Detached thinking: looking only at the facts (could be done by a computer).

2. Ego-emotion: the thinking is done by a person and that person affects the thinking. 3. Emotions: it is not just a person but a person with feelings and emotions and these affect the thinking. The drawing on the student’s notes shows the character with a choice of two masks: one for tragedy and one for comedy. This suggests that the feelings involved are something which we may wear temporarily and which change our nature during that time. The suggestion is that for the duration of the emotion we are not the same person but a happy person or a sad person and that, as a consequence, the thinking is done by a happy person or a sad person.

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The point is that the person’s thinking changes according to emotions.

EMOTIONS AND EGO Emotions are more important than anything else in thinking. Emotions usually come first and then the thinking is used to support and back up the emotions. Even when the thinking does come first, the emotions give it power. There are two sorts of emotion: ordinary emotions (EM) and those emotions which are concerned with a person’s view of him/herself, the ego-emotions (EG). Ordinary emotions (EM): Anger, hatred, love, fear, joy, suspicion, jealousy, sorrow, depression, remorse, sadness. The way emotions can affect thinking may be seen from the following comments on a political speech. •

From an admirer: “Fine speech. He said the things that needed to be said. An honest speech.”



From a critic: “The same old hot air. He never really said anything at all. We’ve heard it all before.”

Ego-emotions (EG): Pride, power, insecurity, drawing attention, the need to be right all the time, playing the funny man, feeling important, not being fooled. It is never a matter of trying to do without emotions but of recognising which emotions are affecting the thinking at the moment. In the first example the thinking about the political speech varies with the feeling of the listener. The person who likes the politician calls it a fine speech, whereas the opponent calls exactly the same speech “hot air.”

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The suggestion is that the person who already likes the politician has his/ her thinking biased by this, and similarly the person who already dislikes the politician will also have his/her thinking biased - but in an opposite manner. Example 2: (From the politician s speech): “You know you can trust me. I want every one of you to know that I am there if you ever want help. I want you to know that I take a personal interest in each of you.” This second example refers to the speech itself and indicates the feeling of “self-importance” on the part of the politician. This is an ego-emotion.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done as an open-class discussion with various students putting forward suggestions as to what might be said. Alternatively it can be done as a group item (3 minutes) in which case the group contrasts the father’s reaction in the two situations.

Item One. •

The bus breaks down and a girl is late getting home from school.



The girl explains this to her father.



In one case the father is pleased with his daughter since she has done well at school. What would he say to his daughter?



In another case the father is angry with his daughter because she stayed out too late the night before. What would this father say to his daughter?

Suggested points: 1.

“It was bad luck the bus breaking down. I am glad you got home alright. You did right to get a lift but you must be careful about lifts.”

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2. “The bus broke down? That’s a likely story - you don’t expect me to believe it, do you? I want to know why you are late and where you’ve been. And I want the truth.” Teachers Notes: A group item (allow 2 minutes) or an open-class discussion. The task is to fit one of the suggested emotions to the comments. In some cases, one or the other of the emotions might seem to do equally well and it is not necessary to make a big discussion of this. In the group work a group decides on the emotions involved and then goes through the comments indicated for each the emotion chosen.

Item Two. •

In a small neighbourhood a child is kidnapped and the kidnapper demands a large sum of money for her return. The following comments are made.



Can you fit the right emotion to each comment (anger, fear, hatred, suspicion)?

1.

“Kidnapping an innocent child is the meanest crime of all.”

2. “If I found the kidnapper I would kill him with my bare hands.” 3. “How can people protect their children twenty-four hours a day.” 4. “If there is much publicity other kidnappers may be encouraged.” 5. “The police should investigate those campers that were here a week ago.” 6. “I don’t think the police are doing all they should.”

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7.

“Perhaps it might be best to pay the money at once so that the child is not harmed.”

8. “Why wasn’t someone looking after the child?” Suggested points: 1.

Anger

2. Hatred 3. Fear 4. Fear 5. Suspicion 6. Anger 7.

Fear

8. Anger Teachers Notes: This is another item that can he done as group work (allow 5 minutes) or as an open-class discussion. Each of the comments on the suggestion is examined to see what emotions might lie behind the thinking. Emotions are suggested by the students and then discussed.

Item Three. •

Describe the emotions (EM or EG) that accompany the following comments which are made about the suggestion that the government should arrange for bread and milk to be free for everyone.

1.

“The strong and the greedy would get there first and there would be none left for anyone else.” (74-year-old woman)

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2. “My party has said all along that we do not want charity but a proper wage and pension for everyone.” (Opposing politician) 3. “It is a very bad idea as it would increase taxes, which are much too high anyway.” (Taxpayer) 4. “The farmers would have to consider it very carefully because it could mean less money for them.” (Farmer) 5. “At last someone is doing something to help old people and children.” (Social worker) 6. “I do not see why hard-working people should pay for lazy people who will give up work to live on free bread and milk.” (Taxi driver) Suggested points: 1.

Fear

2. Ego-emotion involving being right and righteousness 3. Anger 4. Suspicion and fear 5. Joy 6. Ego-emotion involving self-esteem as a “hard working person.”

OPERATION 1.

Try to see what ordinary emotions (EM) are involved in thinking. Is the person that way because he/she is angry, suspicious, jealous or frightened?

2. Try to see what ego-emotions (EG) are involved in the thinking. Is the person thinking that way because he/she must be right at any cost? © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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3. Do the emotions follow the thinking or does the thinking follow the emotions?

4. Are the emotions involved permanent or are they likely to be different on a different occasion? Four practical steps are listed for considering the effects of emotion on thinking. What ordinary emotions are involved? What ego-emotions are involved? It is not always easy to tell whether the emotions follow the thinking or arise from it. Usually the emotions precede the thinking and arise from prejudices and fixed feelings about certain subjects. It is useful, as suggested in Step 4, to consider whether the emotions involved are permanent (for instance an attitude to foreigners) or temporary (for instance anger at another motorist). These practical steps should be read through and elaborated if necessary with examples. This section is not, however, meant as a discussion session.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project item can be done by students working on their own at the end of a double-period lesson or they may be done in the student’s own time. The output is written and takes the form of an essay or notes. Time allowed is 30-45 minutes. Or one of the above items may be chosen by the teacher.

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Item One



In general, which three emotions (either EM or EG) are likely to affect thinking most?



How do they affect thinking?

Suggested points: This may be too vague a project for some students. The older students can be allowed to pick their own emotions but the younger ones can be given such emotions as: 1.

Anger,

2. Hate, 3. The need to be right all the time, 4. Fear, 5. Suspicion, etc. The students then comment on how they see these emotions affecting thinking. With younger students a specific situation can be described and the different emotions allotted to different characters. For example: A gang of boys sets out to destroy some glass in a greenhouse. One of the boys is against this and he argues with the gang leader. The gang leader is very angry with him. The boy is frightened. Then some other members of the gang join in on his side. The leader backs down and sulks. The students can write this scene as a short play.

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Lesson 9 Values Values determine thinking and acceptability of the result. Appreciation of the values involved rather than trying to change them.

VH & VL: Value High and Value Low

INTRODUCTION

“Value” is a word everyone knows. “This is good value - that is poor value.” “I value my health more than anything else.” “I would put a higher value on quality than on quantity so write a good essay rather than a long one.” “He seems to have different values than the rest of us.” The trouble is that we use the word “value” in many different ways. It is also very hard to give a good definition of value. The teacher should be wary of introducing confusion or philosophy into the lesson. The teacher should make an effort to keep it as clear and simple as possible even if the result is shaky on a purely philosophical basis. A distinction is made between a high value (Value High-VH) and a low value (Value Low-VL). Two categories or “boxes” of this sort are characteristic of all the CoRT 5 lessons. In this lesson the boxes are especially important since value is a comparative term and it is possible to deal with it only on the basis that one value is higher than another. A person might put a high value on health and a low value on money. Someone else might put a high value on both health and money - but, if forced to choose between the two, would put a higher value on health (in other words is the comparison between health and money; or between both health and money and the rest?).

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The answer to this problem is as follows: VH & VL in general refer to those things we value highly and those things we value less. In other words in the context of all our values we can put some in the VH box and some in the VL box. But in the context of a particular situation or action when a choice has to be made between the two conflicting values then the VH and VL refer to the values on that occasion. So within a given context VH and VL refer to the high and low values. The important thing is to be clear about the context. What is the context? Which values are involved? Which are treated as high values (VH) and which as low values (VL)? The purpose of the lesson is to encourage the student to look directly at these values instead of taking them for granted and not being conscious of them. Both VH and VL are used as a device to get someone to look at the values involved in a situation since in order to use them a person has to examine the values.

Values are vital in thinking. All decisions, judgements, choices and actions are ultimately based on the values we use. This point can be emphasised. Our thinking is designed to obtain the maximum amount of information from our experience. Once we have that information we act according to our values.

VALUES •

What is worth most to you?



What do you want from life?



How do you value something?



You can put a high value on something (VH) or a low value (VL).

All our thinking, judgements, choices and actions are based on the values we hold.

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Value high (VH): These are the things on which we put a high value. This high value may be permanent or it may be just for the moment. Different people may put high values on different things. Most people would put a high value on good health. Most people would put a high value on honesty and on what other people thought of them. Some people would put a high value on money or on success. Almost everyone would put a high value on happiness. A lot of people would put a high value on pleasure and having fun.

Value low (VL): These are the things on which we put a low value. When we have to choose between two things we may have to put a higher value on one thing and a lower value on the other. Some people may put a low value on something which other people value highly. Some people put a high value on money and a low value on honesty. Others might put a high value on honesty and a low value on making money. Some people may throw away cans and bottles in the countryside because they put a high value on convenience and a low value on keeping the environment clean. Some people might put a high value on their own pleasure and a low value on other people’s pleasure, so they would play a “ghetto blaster” loudly in the park. To understand why you are doing something or why someone else is doing something, it helps as to find out the different values that lie behind the thinking. The examples given for high values (VH) are those most people would accept as high or important values: health, honesty, happiness, success, money, what other people think. The examples given for the low values (VL) are more difficult because one does not consciously put a low value on anything it is only in comparison with something else that a low may be given.

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So the examples contrast a high value on honesty and a low value on making money and the other way round. A high value on convenience and a low value on keeping the environment clean are also contrasted. It should be pointed out that the high and low labels are used in a relative sense according to a particular context.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: A group item for which 3 minutes are allowed. The members of the group discuss the various values set out in the student’s notes and decide on an order of importance: the highest values are placed first and then the next highest and so on down to the lowest. At the end of the allotted time each group reads out its list.

Item One. •

Most people would put a high value on the things listed below.



Arrange them in the order of the value they have not you.



Put the highest value first, then the next highest value and so on.

1.

Health,

2. What other people think, 3. Freedom from fear, 4. Avoiding boredom, 5. Security, 6. Comfort, 7.

Freedom from hunger,

8. Being good-looking, 9. Being smart,

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Suggested points: The teacher may make a master list on the blackboard putting alongside each value the position given by each group. For instance “comfort” might rate 7th, 8th, 6th, and 7th to give a score of 28. The item with the lowest score is placed at the top of the composite list and so on down.

Teachers Notes: This can be done as a group item (time allowed is 3 minutes) or as an open class discussion. The list of values is read through for Jim and the values labeled as high (VH) and low (VL). The list is then read through for Kim and the same labeling applied. In some cases it may not be obvious whether Jim (or Kim) puts a high or low value on something. In such cases it may be said that either a high or low may apply.

Item Two. •

Jim studies hard for his examinations but Kim does not. This is because Jim and Kim have different values.



Go through the following list of things and pick out the high values for Jim and then the low values. Do the same for Kim.

1.

Getting to know things,

2. Hard work, 3. Earning a lot of money, 4. Pleasing parents, 5. Playing as many sports as possible, 6. Getting along with friends,

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7.

School subjects,

8. Good health, 9. The teacher’s opinion, 10. Going to college, 11. Being regarded as intelligent, Suggested points: 1.

Getting to know things (high for Jim; low for Kim)

2. Hard work (high for Jim, probably low for Kim) 3. Earning a lot of money (could be high for both) 4. Pleasing parents (high for Jim; low for Kim) 5. Playing as many sports as possible (low for Jim; high for Kim) 6. Getting along with friends (could be high for both but probably higher for Kim) 7.

School Subjects (high for Jim; low for Kim)

8. Good health (high for both; possible higher for Kim) 9. Teacher’s opinion (high for Jim; low for Kim) 10. Going to college (high for Jim; low for Kim) 11. Being regarded as smart (high for Jim; low for Kim) Teachers Notes: A group item (time allowed is 5 minutes). The group discusses the examples and decides which values are involved and - in that context - which values are high and which low (i.e., which values triumph). So the task is twofold: to pick out the values involved and to assess their importance. The item may also be done as an open class discussion, in which case each example is taken in turn and discussed with the class.

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Item Three. •

In each of the following situations the values are different. Show how the values change in each case.

1.

A boy steals an apple from a grocer because the boy is very hungry.

2. A boy is about to steal an apple but stops when he notices a police officer looking at him. 3. A boy is accused by his friend of being too cowardly to steal an apple, so he steals one. 4. A boy steals an apple to give to a hungry child. 5. A boy steals and apple and then boasts to his friends that has stolen it. 6. A boy stops another boy from stealing an apple. 7.

A boy reports another for stealing an apple.

Suggested points: 1.

Hunger overcomes honesty and fear of being caught.

2. Fear of being caught overcomes hunger or need for excitement. 3. Fear of being thought a sissy overcomes fear of being caught. 4. Love for the child overcomes fear of being caught. 5. Showing-off overcomes honesty. 6. Honesty is given a higher value than minding one’s own business or what other people think. 7.

Dislike of thieving (or desire to please authority) overcomes fear of being called a sneak.

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In each of these cases a different explanation can be given. The important thing it to be clear about the values involved.

Teachers Notes: A group item (allow 3 minutes) which can also be done as an open-class discussion. The first task is to look at the factors that the two have to consider. The second task is to assign a value to these factors. Since most of the factors may be given a high value the teacher can ask for the four highest in value. Item four. •

A girl and a boy have to decide whether to get married as soon as they leave school or wait for one year until they are older.



They have to consider a lot of things.



What are these things and what value do you think they should put on each of them?

Suggested points: 1.

Their love for each other? (High value).

2. Are they ready to get married? (Low value). 3. Can they support themselves? (High value). 4. What will their friends think? (High value). 5. What will their parents think? (High value). 6. Will it interfere with their education? (Low value). 7.

Everyone says they should wait (Low value).

8. It is just the idea of marriage they like (Low value). These are not suggested as the valuations that should be made but as the valuations that might well be given in the circumstances.

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OPERATION 1.

Try to see the values behind thinking, action, judgements or choices.

2. Which things are given a high value (VH) and which seem to be given a low value (VL)? 3. Does the other person think or act differently because he/ she has different values? 4. When making a judgement, choice or decision, be clear about the values on which it is to be based. This section in the student’s notes lists four practical steps which can be used in assessing the values that underlie the thinking in a situation. The emphasis is on uncovering the values that underlie thinking. The first and fourth points seem quite similar. The emphasis in the first point is, however, on looking at the values involved before starting the thinking. The emphasis in the fourth point is on uncovering the values that lie behind the judgement, choice or decision that is being made. In the first case it is a matter of saving: “What values are involved in this situation?” In the other case it is a matter of saying: “Let me see why I am making this choice.” The third point urges the students to look not only at their own values but also at the values that may be affecting the thinking of others.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project items may be used as alternative practice items during the lesson. Their other function is to provide an opportunity for applying the Page 116

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principles learned during the lesson in greater depth. The items are usually worked through on an individual basis either at the end of a double-period lesson or else in a student’s own time. The output can take the form of an essay or notes. The students are supposed to use the principles dealt with in the lesson and are not supposed to write an unrelated essay on the subject given.

Item One •

One politician declares that people ought to be paid according to how hard they work.



Another politician says that people should be paid according to their needs and that a person with a large family should earn more than a single person no matter how hard each may work.



These different ideas are based on different values.



How do the politicians’ values differ?

This is a very basic social question. The students may approach the task in one of two ways. They can either write an imaginary discussion between the two politicians and then extract the different values from this discussion, or they can deal directly with the values they believe to be involved. Suggested points: 1.

One politician puts a high value on effort, the work done, contribution to society, discipline and the idea of reward.

2. The other politician puts a high value on people as human beings with certain needs, on the welfare and needs of families and children. This politician puts a lower value on work and contributing to society.

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Teachers Notes: The project items may be used as alternative practice items during the lesson. Their other function is to provide an opportunity for applying the principles learned during the lesson in greater depth. The items are usually worked through on an individual basis either at the end of a double-period lesson or else in a student’s own time. The output can take the form of an essay or notes. The students are supposed to use the principles dealt with in the lesson and are not supposed to write an unrelated essay on the subject given.

Item Two •

If you were the principal of a large school with a thousand boys and girls, on what things would you put a high value?



How might this differ from the values used by the students?

In this project students have to imagine themselves as a principal. They have to declare the things they would value most highly. They then have to show how this valuation might differ from that of the students. Suggested points: 1.

Discipline (high value for principal, loss value for students)

2. Learning and passing exams (high value for principal, mixed value for students)

3. Students’ happiness (high value for both sides)

4. Parents’ complaints (high value for principal; low value for students)

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5. Administration (high value for principal; low value for students)

6. Teachers’ happiness (high value for principal, low value for students)

7.

Abolish violence (high value for both principal and students)

It is not suggested that these should be the valuations but that they are the sort of valuations that might be made.

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Lesson 10 Simplify and Clarify What does it boil down to? What is the situation? What is the thinking about?

SF & CF: Simplification and Clarification

INTRODUCTION SimpliFication (SF) is the opposite of complication. ClariFication (CF) is the opposite of confusion. The statements above may be the easiest was to remember the two separate processes. It is necessary to make a distinction between the two. A simplification is usually shorter than the original. It may incorporate much of the original in a simple statement, but you may have to know the subject very well in order to understand the simple statement. For instance an economist might simplify a discussion by saying, “what we are really talking about is inflation.” That is simple enough but you need to know about inflation in order to understand what is meant. With clarification the effort is to make things more clear. The result may well be a statement which is much longer than the original. Different points which are mixed up in the original information might be spelled out separately in order to avoid confusion. For instance a rule in a game might say, you can move your L-piece anywhere you like. That is simple enough but in order to clarify what is meant you might say, “You can lift it up, turn it over, reverse it and do anything you like so long as you replace it on the board in a position which is not exactly the same as before.”

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It is true that simplification and clarification often boil down to the same thing. Nevertheless, the two processes answer two different questions. •

Simplification: how can I make this simpler?



Clarification: how can I make this more clear?

In practice one often goes through both processes, each in turn. For instance you may first have to clarify something so that you know what is being said. Having done that you may then proceed to simplify it. The drawing on the student’s notes shows an artist who is simplifying the figure being painted. The artist is abstracting the essential points. The simplified figure is easier to understand than the original but it does not help us understand the original any better. If the artist had been trying to clarify the figure he/she might have made a lot of different drawings from different angles. Throughout the lesson the teacher should encourage students to be clear about what they are trying to do:

Are you trying to simplify this? Or, are you trying to clarify it?

SIMPLIFICATION AND CLARIFICATION Information is very often confused and complicated. Before you can understand the information or act on it, you may have to simplify it or clarify it. What is being said? What does it all boil down to?

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Simplification (SF): Simplification means making things more simple. Simplification is the opposite of complication. How can you put things more simply?

Example. A teacher says: “I want Eve, Eleanor, Rosa, Natasha and Ava on this side of the room and Dick, Leroy, Juan and Kazuo on that side.” Since they are the only children in the room she could have said, more simply: “Girls on this side, boys on that side.”

Clarification (CF): Clarification means making things more clear. Clarification is the opposite of confusion. Are you clear about what is being said? There is usually a simpler way of putting things. But the most important thing is to be clear. A boy is about to toss a coin and he says: “Heads I win and tails you lose.” What does this really mean? It means: “Only I can win in this game.” The first example gives a lengthy request which can he simplified. It may be noted that the simplified request is not in fact any more clear than the original - but it is simpler. In the second example the rules of the tossing game are actually quite simple. But to understand the rules you have to clarify what they mean. It turns out that the boy tossing the coin cannot lose but can win. In practice, clarification is more important than simplification. But if something is clear enough anyway then simplification is also a good thing.

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This is a group item (allow 1 minute). The members of the group go through the list of examples and suggest a one-word description which could substitute for each of them. The item could be done on an open-class basis with the teacher asking for suggestions for each example in turn. Item One. •

Each of the following sentences can be simplified (SF) and replaced by a single word.



1.

What word would you suggest?

He always wants all he can get and then he still wants more.

2. She dislikes anyone new, anything new, or any new idea. 3. He keeps moving from one choice to another and then back again. 4. The finish on this car is rough and pieces keep dropping off. 5. She does not know that other people have feelings - or does not care. Suggested points: 1.

Greedy

2. Conservative 3. Indecisive 4. Shoddy 5. Selfish With several of these, other suggestions may be made. As far as possible, they should be one-word simplifications.

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Teachers Notes: This is done as a group item (allow 2 minutes). The groups go through the pairs of statements, and for each pair the members of the group choose the statement they consider to be clearer. There may be disagreement about this. If so, the teacher can acknowledge that each statement is almost as clear (or as unclear) as the other. When the item is done on an open-class basis the students can indicate by voting which statement they consider to be the clearer.

Item Two. •

The following pairs of statements describe the same thing.



In each case which statement is the clearer?

1.

I do not take sugar in my coffee but I will take milk, cream or whatever creamer you have. I take anything in my coffee except sugar.

2. In tennis you may hit the ball before or after its first bounce. In tennis you may volley the ball, which means hitting it before its first bounce, or you may wait until it has bounced once before you hit it.

3. A company uses its profits to expand and to reward its investors - thus encouraging further investment. Some of the company’s profits go to pay those who originally put up the money to get it going. Some of the profits go to expand the company. Both these things encourage more people to invest in it.

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Suggested points: 1.

In each case the longer statement seems to be clearer.

2. The shorter statement is certainly simpler but requires more effort to be understood.

3. These examples can be used to illustrate the difference between simplification and clarification. Teachers Notes: When this is done as a group item (4 minutes) the members of the group consider the initial statement and then consider whether they would accept the shorter statement as a genuine simplification. Does it say the same thing or has much been left out. Finally they try to make up their own simplification of the original statement. When the item is treated on an open-class basis the discussion centres on whether or not the simplification is a good one.

Item Three. •

Someone says: “The function of government is to organise such things as defense, the police, transportation, the education system and the legal system.



The government must raise taxes to enable it to do all this.



It must at all times follow the wishes of the people but it can also lead.



It must obey the wishes of the majority but also protect the interests of the minority.”

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It is a good simplification to say: “The government must do all those things needed for the smooth running of society in accordance with the wishes of all the governed.” How else could you simplify it? Suggested points: The simplified statement does not say much beyond that the government should be a good government and do what good governments should do. The phrase “all those things needed” covers everything and really says nothing. The phrase “all the governed” does cover both the majority and the minority but this is not easily seen.

Teachers Notes: The group reads through the piece of legislation (4 minutes allowed for the item) and the members clarify what it says. The next step is to incorporate all the points in a simpler piece of legislation.

Item four. •

A country has the following immigration rules:



“Someone with no family will not be eligible unless he or she has a job to go to.



Someone with a job but with more than six dependants will not be eligible.



A person with no job to go to will not be eligible unless he or she is a miner and is willing to work as a miner for at least three years.”

Can these rules be stated more simply?

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Suggested points: 1.

To be eligible, a person must either have a job to go to and fewer than seven dependants or, if unemployed, be a miner willing to work in the mines for at least 3 years.

OPERATION 1.

First of all be very clear about what is being said.

2. To be clear you may have to write out each point separately. 3. Once you are clear about what is being said you can try to put it more simply. 4. Check that the simpler version does actually say the same thing as the original version. Four steps are set out as a practical procedure for doing an SF & CF. The emphasis is on clarity. The first two steps are concerned with clarification. Once this had been achieved then it is possible to simplify. Finally the simplification is checked to see that it does cover all the points. These steps can be read out and elaborated but they are not meant as discussion points. They are intended as a practical summary of the lesson and as a procedure that can be applied deliberately. There may well be different and better ways of expressing the same thing but the important thing is to have something definite which can be paid attention, and used.

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PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project items are usually worked on by individuals and the output takes the form of an essay or a set of notes. The time involved may be from 10 to 45 minutes. This may occupy the end part of a double-period lesson or else the project may be given to the students for them to work on in their own time. One or other item may be chosen by the teacher, or the students may be left to make their own choices. When the project items are short, as with this lesson, both items may be assigned.

Item One •

A popular game in Japan goes as follows:



A clenched fist means a stone;



An open palm means paper;



Two fingers extended means scissors.



There are two players who can each put a hand out at the same time in one or other of these shapes.



Scissors beat paper because they cut it.



Paper beats stone because it wraps it.



Stone beats scissors because scissors cannot cut it.



The player with the higher ‘shape’ to his hand wins.

Can you formulate the rules of this game more clearly? The task is to set out the rules of this game in a manner that is both simpler and clearer. To do this the student must first of all understand the game and clarify the given instructions.

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Once this has been done the next stage is to put together a simple set of rules. Suggested points: 1.

Two players put out a hand simultaneously.

2. There are three shapes they can use: 3. “Scissors” with two fingers extended; 4. “Stone” with a clenched fist; 5. “Paper” with an open palm. 6. Scissors beats paper; paper beats stone; stone beats scissors. (There will be many alternative versions of the rules.) Teachers Notes: The project items are usually worked on by individuals and the output takes the form of an essay or a set of notes. The time involved may be from 10 to 45 minutes. This may occupy the end part of a double-period lesson or else the project may be given to the students for them to work on in their own time. One or other item may be chosen by the teacher, or the students may be left to make their own choices. When the project items are short, as with this lesson, both items may be assigned.

Item Two •

Write out a clear set of instructions explaining how to tie a bow. You may not use a diagram.

This is a difficult project. It is easy enough to visualise tying a bow or to explain the procedure with diagrams but to do it in words is difficult.

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The instructions must be so clear that a person who had never tied a bow would be able to do so. It may be assumed that the bow is being tied around some object or a cylinder. Suggested points: 1.

Put the string around the cylinder and then hold one end in your right hand and one in your left.

2. Put the right-hand string over the left-hand string then back under it and finally over it again.

3. Now change hands so that the left hand is holding the end that was in the right hand and the right hand is holding the end that was in the left hand.

4. Make a loop in the left-hand string and lay it over the point of the crossing of the strings.

5. Take the right-hand string and wrap it around both the loop and the point of crossing so that it forms encirclement.

6. Now make a loop of the end and push that loop through the encirclement so that it comes out pointing in the opposite direction to the existing loop.

7.

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Pull gently on both loops and tighten the bow.

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THE TEST MATERIAL 1.

PURPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL

2. WHEN TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 4. ESSAY TYPE 5. CRITICISM TYPE 6. ASSESSMENT 7.

EXPERIMENT

8. RESEARCH 1.

THE TEST MATERIAL SERVES THREE MAIN PURPOSES:

a. Individual: During the thinking lessons, the students work in groups and do not get much chance to work as individuals. The test material gives them this chance. It also gives them enough time to work over a problem more fully than is possible during the lessons. b. Achievement: Some students are apt to believe that thinking is natural and that their own thinking is perfect. The test material provides an opportunity to see whether this is indeed the case. The material is a means of tightening up the lessons. Conversely, the test material provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate achievement and to practice the thinking skills they have learned during the lessons. c. Effectiveness: The test material provides a means for teachers to assess the effectiveness of their own teaching.

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2.

WHEN TO USE TEST MATERIAL

There are two main uses of the test material: a. Interspersed: With high-achieving students, older students, and students used to tightly structured subjects, the test material can be interspersed with the lessons.This is especially necessary when the lessons appear to lack purpose in the view of the students. Use of the test material after every third or fourth lesson would be appropriate.

b. Experimental: This is to test the effect of the lessons on the students. In this case, material usually would be used at the beginning of the course and again at the end. It could also be used at the beginning and then after a particular lesson.

3.

HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL

Time and place: In schools where it is customary to give students material to work on in their own time, the test material can be used in this way. Otherwise, one of the thinking lesson periods may be given over to the test material. It is not advisable to try to tackle a full thinking lesson and also test material in the same period (unless it is a double period). The test material can also be used as essay material and therefore can serve a dual purpose. In this case, it would be administered in the usual way essays are administered. Time allowed for the test material would vary from 15 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the nature of the item chosen. Output: The student’s test output is always written otherwise it would be no different from the thinking lessons themselves. For this reason the material is not suitable for younger children or remedial groups. The written output can take two forms:

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Essay: Students write down their thinking in essay form. Obviously students work as individuals.

Notes: Individuals or groups can put down their output in written note form.

Material: Test material can come from various sources. •

The project items in the lessons can be used for the essay type of test.



Teachers may wish to make up their own problems.



A further selection of problems is given below.

I

4.

ESSAY TYPE

Below is a selection of items which can be used for the essay type test material. These are in addition to the unused project items from each lesson which can also be used. 1.

Should students inquire whether they are supposed to use a PMI CAF etc, they can be told to do as they think fit.

2. What do you think of the idea of having weekend prisons for minor offenders? 3. Should students be part of the rule-making process in schools? 4. What do you think of the idea that students should be paid a small wage for going to school?

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5. There is a suggestion that when graduating from high schools, students should spend one year doing social work (e.g. helping old people, hospital work, cleaning up the environment). Do you think this is a good idea? 6. A boy is trying to decide between a career as a teacher or a law officer. How should he make his decision? 7.

A grocery is losing so much money that the store owner may soon have to close the store. Why do you think the store is losing so much money?

8. It has been decided to teach students by internet at home, instead of having them attend schools. Do you think this is a good idea? 9. There is a new type of vacation in which you earn money in the morning and enjoy yourself the rest of the day. What is the purpose behind this idea and what do you think would happen? 10. What would happen if young people, adults and old people had to abide by different laws? 11. Should people be subject to a dress code? 12. If about half the people dislike some law can it still be a good law? 13. How often should rules be changed and who should ask for them to be changed? 14. Gasoline rationing is introduced. Why do you think this might happen and what would happen as a consequence? 15. What do you think of the idea that students should be able to leave school as soon as they can read and write? 16. Because of increasing mechanisation, there comes a time when everyone retires at 40 so that there are enough jobs to go round. What effects will this have?

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17. A new type of marriage that only lasts for three years is suggested. Is this a good idea? 18. Should a Company making shoes change the style as often as it can? 19. What do you think are the objectives and priorities of people running TV Companies? 20. A man is found to have stolen a large number of left shoes. What do you think he is up to? 21. An architect declares that he prefers to build ugly houses - why? 22. The government decides to raise the minimum age for leaving school to 20. Discuss this idea. 23. The police are given different coloured hats to wear (red, blue, green, etc.). What is the point of this? 24. Someone tells you that someone else is saying nasty things about you. What should you do? 25. If you were in the government and had to raise money by taxation, which things would you choose to tax? 26. Would it be a good idea for political parties to choose all women candidates rather than men? 27. A city council decides to remove all traffic lights in its city. Discuss this idea. 28. If you had to choose, which would you prefer: to be smart, to be hard-working, or to be well-liked? 29. If you wanted to make lots of money, how would you set about doing it? 30. If you were a parent, would you allow your children to smoke, and if not why not? What are the arguments on each side?

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5.

CRITICISM TYPE

In the essay type of material, the students are asked to generate ideals about a situation. In the criticism type, they react to ideas which someone else has generated. Some possible examples are given below. If teachers wish to generate further examples of their own, they should not try deliberately to include mistakes but should set down a piece of thinking and allow the students to point out the mistakes. Topical items can be used here. 1.

“A medical school decides that since the world needs more doctors it would be better to make the medical course shorter and easier. This would mean that some of those who become doctors would not know as much as before, but this risk would have to be taken.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

2. “In order to reduce the cost of living the government increased the tax on cigarettes and alcohol but introduced a subsidy for meat and bread.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 3. “A Company decided that research was too expensive. So instead of their own research they waited for other people to make new discoveries and then either borrowed the ideas or bought the company involved. This way other people took the risk.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 4. “A principal decides that his students are not working hard enough, so he insists that each week the students must take a test. If the students in a class do badly in the test, then the whole week’s work has to be repeated.” Criticise the thinking involved here. Page 136

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5. “A boy is confused over which girlfriend he really likes best, so he pretends to be bored with both of them. He reasons that if he does not see either of them he will soon be able tell which one he misses most.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 6. “A girl leaving school has to choose a career, so she writes down on a piece of paper all the things she likes. She then asks her parents to write down what they think she will be good at. She then sees how the two lists compare. Those items that occur on both lists she puts in a hat and draws one out.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 7.

“A doctor finds that he has too many patients to handle. He thinks this is because his patients are always bothering him with matters that are not very serious. So he invents a very bad-tasting medicine which he gives to everyone of his patients no matter what illness they have.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

8. “A company makes a point of employing only people who are smart but not the smartest. The company says that the smartest people are not used to working hard and will not take orders from someone less intelligent than them.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 9. “The leaders of a certain union are just about to make a wage increase demand. They know these will get all they ask for. They also know members of their union do not like strikes. So they ask for a very large wage increase - that way, if it comes to a strike there will be something big to strike about.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

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10. “Because newspapers find that bad news is more interesting than good, it is suggested that there should be a tax on bad news so that only the bad news that was really important would be published. Then people would get less depressed.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 6.

ASSESSMENT

What happens to the test material output? The teacher will want to make some sort of assessment which can be used as a basis for a class discussion. The main basis for such an assessment would be as follows:

Comprehensive: By looking through all the outputs, teachers can get a good idea of the important points. They may also have some of their own which no one had mentioned. The emphasis here is on whether the main points have been touched upon or left out.

Organisation: Although a rigidly structured organisation of ideas is not desired, the ideas should be presented in some sort of order and with clarity

Interest: Sometimes, one student may bring up a point which though not a major point is novel and interesting. This is given credit so long as it is relevant.

Opinion: Teachers may disagree with various points raised. They should voice this disagreement (not to the extent of saying that the other point of view must be wrong, but by saying that they do not agree). Page 138

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Thinking process: The deliberate or implied use of a particular thinking process can be commented on. Similarly, failure to use a process can also be commented upon. For instance, if someone fails to pay any attention to consequences, this can be noted. This sort of thing can be done by comparison between individual outputs or on a group basis.

7.

EXPERIMENT

There are two main ways in which the test material can be used for experimental purposes in order to see what difference the lessons have made to the thinking of the students: control groups and crossover. Control Groups In schools where one class is doing the thinking lessons and a parallel class is not, then it is sometimes possible to give the same test items to the two groups and then compare the output. This can be done in the form of an essay. Naturally, the group which has done the thinking lessons should not be given any special instructions to remember them. Crossover Here the class serves as its own control group. One half of the class tackles test item “A” and the other half test item “B”. Later the two are reversed and the group that tackled item A now tackles item B. In this way the effect of the lessons on tackling both A and B can be seen since there are before and after results for each item. For instance, the first stage of the crossover can be done before any lessons are given and the second stage at the end of the term.

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RESEARCH

The most important thing about the lessons is that they should be effective in developing thinking skill. There are three main ways in which the teacher can help:

Observation: In the course of running the lessons, the teacher cannot fail to notice certain things: how the students react, which lessons work best and which worst, the types of responses, difficulties, points which arouse most interest, the type of problem liked best or least. Observations may be of a general nature and apply to the atmosphere of the class or the general performance of the students. But observations can also be much more specific and be about individuals. For instance, one teacher noticed how a boy who was on the verge of being sent to a remedial group suddenly brightened up in the thinking lessons and became the leader and spokesperson of a group that contained the brightest students in the class.

Variation: The teacher may decide to alter the way the lessons are run. These alterations may apply to the basic format or individual practice items. If these variations work, it would certainly be most useful to hear about them. There are, however, two dangers. The first is that the teacher tries alteration after alteration just for the sake of this. The whole thing can become very gimmicky and the students thoroughly confused. The second danger is when the variation results in a lesson which might be very interesting in it-self, but is only remotely connected with teaching thinking as a skill. This can easily happen with general discussion lessons, role-playing, debates, etc. The most useful sort of variation is when the teacher notices something that works particularly well during a lesson and then tries to introduce this deliberately as a variation. Page 140

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Output:

Students’ individual comments can be reported back, as they are often very revealing. One school had its students do a PMI on the thinking lessons themselves and this was a very good idea. Written output either in note form or essay forms from tests or from ordinary lessons can also be sent. So can video-recorded discussions. Whether teachers use the test material and format suggestions in this site or devise their own, the results would be of great research interest. Results may not seem to be important to the person sending them, but when put together with results from other Schools they may help complete the picture.No one should be timid about sending material, no matter how inadequate it may

Thank You

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Teacher’s Guide CoRT 6

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CORT 6 – ACTION (THE TEC-PISCO FRAMEWORK) THIS BOOK CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING



OVERVIEW



FOREWORD



INTRODUCTION TO THE HANDBOOK



MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE



STUDENT’S GUIDE CORT 6



THE TEN LESSONS

1.

Target

2. Expand 3. Contract 4. TEC (Target-Expand-Contract) 5. Purpose 6. Input 7.

Solutions

8. Choice 9. Operation 10. TEC-PISCO



THE TEST MATERIAL (IS COMMON FOR CORT 1, 2, 5 & 6.)

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OVERVIEW In this set of ten lessons the structure takes the form of a framework. The purpose of the framework is to divide the total thinking process into definite stages, each of which can be tackled in turn. At each stage in the overall framework there is a definite thinking task to be carried out and a definite aim for the thinking. This simplifies thinking by removing the complexity and confusion. Without a framework everything tends to crowd in at once on the thinker, who tends to be overwhelmed by all the aspects of the situation. The result is that the thinker takes the easiest way out and uses a slogan, cliché or prejudice instead of thinking. The stages suggested in the framework are very simple and straightforward. At each stage the thinker concentrates on carrying out the task defined by that stage. To make the stages of the framework memorable each of them has been given an initial letter. These letters have been specially chosen so that they add up to a word that is catchy enough to be memorable. This is simply a mnemonic device. The total framework is called TEC-PISCO which stands for Target-ExpandContract-Purpose-Input-Solutions-Choice-Operations. The choice of letters has to some extent been dictated by the need for them to add up to a pronounceable word. For example “decision” might have been more appropriate than “choice.”

FOREWORD Many teachers involved in teaching the CoRT Thinking Lessons have noticed that some students who have hitherto been regarded as academically backward suddenly turn out to be surprisingly effective thinkers. They surprise the teacher, their peers and sometimes even themselves. Page 2

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This observation fits the experience that children who do well academically do not necessarily continue to do well when the academic idiom no longer applies later in life. We can argue that the academic idiom demands a certain cluster of abilities: a good memory; an ability to understand and relate; verbal fluency and clarity of expression; an imaging ability that allows one to cope with complex situations; an ability to tackle “difficult” situations; and an interest in the subject material. Many years ago it was found that some students were rather poor at learning to read because their eyesight was bad and they could not see the letters. With such a handicap on the input side it is hardly surprising that the children were ineffective on the output side. Is it possible that in most of the subjects in the school curriculum the emphasis is so heavily on the input side that a student who is defective on this side must always seem to be defective on the output side? After all! if you have not taken the material in, how can you re-present it for official approval? Lack of interest in a particular subject, poor teaching or a short attention span could all affect input. The mental qualities listed earlier are all concerned with “taking in” material. Are there students who may be deficient on this input side but who, if given the chance, would be effective on the output side? Normally we cannot separate input-effectiveness from outputeffectiveness. But in the CoRT Thinking Lessons the students are asked to apply their thinking to their own experiences or to projected experiences that are equally fanciful for all the students. It is now their thinking rather than their store of knowledge or absorption capacity that is in operation. Often in such situations students who had been regarded as academically backward suddenly shine. It would seem that their output-effectiveness is much in advance of their inputeffectiveness. The difference in thinking between high-IQ children (140) and low-IQ children (80) is not nearly as great as might be supposed, when they are exploring common experience.

Thinking skill may be acquired by deliberate attention, it may be improved by particular circumstances, it may even be natural - nevertheless it is skill rather than natural ability.

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The relationship between skill and innate ability can be likened to that between a car and the way it is driven. The innate potential of a car has to be expressed through the operating skill of the driver. There may be drivers with natural ability but there are many more who acquire skill by attention, practice or experience. Clever people are good at solving difficult problems. They can cope with a degree of difficulty that confuses and defeats the less clever person. But they may not be very good at solving easy problems. They may tend to give a superficial answer. The ability to tackle easy problems with great fluency and depth often seems quite separate from the ability to tackle difficult problems. Such qualities as breadth, perspective, and balance, assessment of priorities, realism and “actuality” are rather different from those that make up academic cleverness. A brilliant mind often uses its thinking to construct an ingenious logical argument based on premises so narrow that the outcome is dazzling but useless. Being able to spot the rare implication that no one else can spot is not the same as being able to allot priorities in an effective manner. Analytical and critical thinking are not the same as constructive thinking. Talkers and doers do not use the same mental abilities. A talker is forever classifying, relating, distinguishing; a doer is forever simplifying, assessing importance, looking at consequences. It could never be claimed that general thinking skills are more important than academic thinking skills. There is a proper place for both. Both are needed. But, on the whole we probably need more people with general thinking skills than with academic thinking skills.

INTRODUCTION TO THE HANDBOOK Thinking is treated as a skill that can be improved by attention, by practice and by using some structures. In this set of ten lessons the structure takes the form of a framework. The purpose of the framework is to divide the total thinking process into definite stages, each of which can be tackled in turn.

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At each stage in the overall framework there is a definite thinking task to be carried out and a definite aim for the thinking. This simplifies thinking by removing the complexity and confusion. Without a framework everything tends to crowd in at once on the thinker, who tends to be overwhelmed by all the aspects of the situation. The result is that the thinker takes the easiest way out and uses a slogan, cliché or prejudice instead of thinking. The stages suggested in the framework are very simple and straightforward. At each stage the thinker concentrates on carrying out the task defined by that stage. To make the stages of the framework memorable each of them has been given an initial letter. These letters have been specially chosen so that they add up to a word that is catchy enough to be memorable. This is simply a mnemonic device. The total framework is called TEC-PISCO which stands for Target-Expand-Contract-Purpose-Input-Solutions-Choice-Operations. The choice of letters has to some extent been dictated by the need for them to add up to a pronounceable word. For example “decision” might have been more appropriate than “choice.” Each of the stages has a visual symbol which serves to illustrate the nature of that stage. The symbols are shown in the student textbook. For example the Target symbol suggests an arrow hitting a target; the Expand symbol suggests expansion; the Solutions symbol suggests several alternative solutions; the Choice symbol suggests narrowing down to a definite choice; the Operation symbol suggests four action steps.

USE OF A FRAMEWORK

A framework is an organising device and an isolating device. Once the framework has been defined and learned it is possible to fulfil the requirements of the framework, instead of drifting from idea to idea. The framework may be denoted with the visual symbols or just the initials. This is illustrated in the student notes. During the lessons the visual symbols should be used as often as possible in order to emphasise the nature of the process at each stage. It would be wrong to consider the visual symbols superfluous. They are an important part of the perceptual approach which attempts to make thinking more tangible and therefore more easy to use in a definite manner.

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The examples used in the student notes do not need to be discussed with the students. Indeed the whole introduction sections in both the teacher’s handbook and student notes are for individual use rather than class discussion. The students can be asked to read through the introduction on their own at another time (unless they have been given the notes before the lesson itself).

TEC and PISCO

The total TEC-PISCO framework covers two procedures. They are put together for ease of remembering. The PISCO procedure gives the definite stages in the application of thinking to a problem or a difficult situation. The TEC procedure covers a more general approach to thinking about anything. It simply involves a definite focusing phase, an expanding phase in which as much is thought or said as possible, and a contracting phase in which the thinking is narrowed down to a summary or conclusion. The TEC procedure can be applied at any moment to any point that seems to require more thought. It can also be applied to anything that turns up in the PISCO procedure, as a way of amplifying consideration of a point.

BACKGROUND TO THE LESSONS

Each lesson covers one stage in the total framework. In addition there are two review lessons which serve to collect together the preceding lessons. Each lesson focuses on the nature of the particular stage and the type of thinking carried out within it. For most of the stages there are subdivisions which offer more guidance as to what can be done at that stage. For example the Solutions lesson suggests different types of solutions: obvious solutions, copied solutions, found solutions (personally found by the thinker), improved solutions, and new problems (definition of a new problem).

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INDIVIDUAL vs. CLASSROOM USE OF THE LESSONS

The teacher will be concerned mainly with the use of the lessons in a classroom situation; however, the student notes also include some comments on the use of the student notes by people working on their own. These can be ignored in the classroom setting. A fuller discussion of the classroom use of the lessons is given later in this introduction.

CoRT 6: ACTION

This set of lessons stands entirely on its own and can be used on its own. Nevertheless it is part of the CoRT Thinking program which was originated by the Cognitive Research Trust of Cambridge. That is where the word CoRT comes from. It can also be regarded as being short for cortex, which is the part of the brain where thinking is believed to take place.

The “action” in the title of this set of lessons suggests that the purpose of the thinking is to end up with some action. Indeed the Operation stage sets forth specific action steps. The thinking is therefore contrasted with thinking that is contemplative. It is made clear, however, that explanation or description is a legitimate purpose of thinking. In this sense “action” also refers to the deliberate “putting into action” or “act” of thinking. This implies purpose and deliberate application as distinct from reverie. It is almost as if the teacher were to say “let’s have some action,” meaning mental action or thinking.

PLACING OF THE LESSONS

CoRT Thinking Lessons have been used in different ways. In many cases the lessons have been taught specifically as a definite “thinking” subject for students ranging in age from 8-16. At other times the lessons have been taught as a special subject or option subject with older students. The lessons have also been taught in seminar format on a sporadic basis.

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Another approach is to use the lessons as a “core” subject to give a cognitive structure to such subject areas as Social Studies. The lessons have also been integrated into religious instruction and moral education. A widespread use of the lessons is in English departments where there is a natural relationship between language and the use of it in thinking. In general the type of use has depended very much on individual teachers and principals. We do know that children in the 10-12 age groups are more highly motivated to think than children who are older and more preoccupied by exam syllabuses. The lessons have, however, been used across a wide range of ages (8 to 17 years) and abilities (IQ 80 to 140). Adaptation of the material by the teacher for their own specific purposes is of course required.

USING CORT 6 WITH OTHER SUBJECTS

This particular set of lessons (CoRT 6: ACTION) is more general than the other sets and can be used in different ways. This set can be used with any other set. It can also be used as an introduction to the whole CoRT program. CoRT 6 can be used as a summary or pulling together of the various lessons used in other parts of the program (see the list of lessons given in the Appendix). The lessons are, however, designed to be used as an organising framework for the thinking involved in any subject area, be it geography, history or drama. The thinking processes covered by the lessons are so broad and so general that they apply whenever thinking takes place. Teachers in the various subject areas can use the lessons in conjunction with their own subjects. This may be done by devoting occasional lessons to “thinking” or by working the lessons into the subject itself. For example the symbols may be used in other subjects when teachers wish students to expand upon a point or to narrow their thinking down to something definite. In history classes the specific purpose of a historical figure, or the alternative solutions open to a leader, may be explored. In geography, the processes can be applied to thinking about agriculture or even when considering the physical process of geography. Experimentation and problem solving in physics also involve the same basic thinking skills.

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Once a universal framework is established the teacher can ask for something much more definite than the instruction to “think about this.” For example the teacher might say: “I want you to give me Napoleon’s Input when he was considering escaping from Elba.”

TIMING

Many teachers have used a single period (35 minutes) for each of the CoRT lessons. This is possible but allows only enough time for a brief acquaintance with the lesson. The general effect of treating thinking as a skill is good but it is difficult in such a short time to practice the specific processes. In such cases only a few of the practice items can be done. Other teachers use two periods for each lesson, either a double period or two separate sessions. The more time that is spent on the lesson the more definitely will a particular process be acquired as a habit. But it is better to spend even a short time on a lesson than not to attempt the subject at all because not enough time can be allotted to it.

GROUPS

The lessons are usually run on a group basis with students being arranged in groups of five or six. The practice item is discussed in the groups and at the end of the time suggested in the teacher’s handbook a group spokesperson gives the output for each group. The teacher must make a point of keeping short the reporting back from the groups. Other groups may not be especially interested in one group’s ideas, and elaboration or discussion by the teacher at this point can slow the lesson down. What is important is what has happened during the group discussion - not what comes out of it.

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INDIVIDUALS

Older and more able students often prefer to work as individuals since they can get more credit for their own ideas. For this reason occasional individual items can be introduced into the lessons. These will be done as open class discussions during which individual students put forward ideas. When there is sufficient time individual written work can also be used. The main structure of the lesson should, however, continue as group work.

PRACTICE

Each lesson contains five practice items and three project items. If there is time the practice items should be worked through. If there is insufficient time the teacher may choose the items to be used. This choice may also embrace the items suggested as project items. A teacher may also insert topical or local practice items. A warning must be given here. Experience has shown that many teachers make up their minds in advance those only “relevant” items will be enjoyed by students. This has been shown to be a mistake since thinking about “relevant” items usually turns into a discussion in which no thinking is practised To practice thinking it is essential to be able to think “on demand” about any subject. The highly contradictory reports from teachers as to which practice items were most enjoyed suggest that this depends less on the students than on the teacher’s expectations.

PACE

It is extremely important that the lessons be run at a brisk pace. The lessons are not general discussion sessions. They are designed to stimulate practice of specific thinking skills. There is no need to say all there is to say about a subject or to follow every interesting idea that emerges. Attention should be kept firmly focused on the thinking skill that is being practised and not allowed to drift to the “interest” of the discussion content.

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A sharp cut-off (even if resented by students) is often necessary. It is important to use as many practice items as possible rather than have a whole lesson revolve around one item, no matter how interesting that may be. The reason for changing the practice items in a snappy fashion is the need to keep attention on the thinking process as it is applied to different situations. This is a very important point indeed. Unless attention is kept on the “process” then no transferable skill in thinking can be developed. An interesting discussion period is an interesting discussion period, not a thinking lesson.

CLARITY

The teacher must aim to avoid confusion at every moment. Over elaborate descriptions, qualifications, subtleties and ambiguities must be avoided. Philosophical distinctions and definitions must be avoided, as they create confusion. Points should be illustrated with definite examples rather than explained in a philosophical fashion. If there are grey or borderline areas these should be acknowledged as such. For example a student may ask what difference there is between the “contract” process and the “choice” process. The short answer is that “contract” may sometimes include making a choice or decision but it also includes narrowing something down to a summary or list of main points. Teaching must be from the centre outwards (from clear examples outwards) rather than from the boundary inward (by making distinctions).

RESPONSE

The teacher has to give a sense of achievement to the students by responding appropriately to their offerings. The teacher must therefore develop a repertoire of responses in addition to merely good or bad. This repertoire may include: interesting, important, unusual, we haven’t heard that before, that fits in with so and so’s idea, I like that, I see your point, under special circumstances I would agree with you that’s a good way of putting it, etc. Facetious ideas can be treated as facetious ideas.

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INITIATIVE

The teacher is neither passive nor neutral. The teacher maintains initiative by controlling the pace, by deciding when to move on to the next item, by deciding whom to ask for a suggestion, by responding, by exercise of the cut-off. The teacher is not an observer at a discussion but an organiser and illustrator. The teacher illustrates the point, keeps attention on it and organises the practice so that it is effective (and this means focus and pace).

LISTENING AND TALKING

Thinking being a rambling sort of activity, there can be a great deal of talking without much progress. This tends to happen just as much in the thinking lessons as elsewhere. The teacher can be just as guilty as anyone else. There are tape recordings of lessons in which the teacher has talked for eighty percent of the time. There usually is something to say, some point to make, some elaboration to add. The teacher needs to resist the temptation to talk merely because there is something to say. Similarly there may be a need to cut off students’ discussion. The emphasis must remain on crispness and effectiveness and focus on the specific tasks of the moment.

USE AND UNDERSTANDING

There is a big difference between use and understanding. The processes described in the lessons are very easy to understand. Using them deliberately and effectively is a different matter. It is not enough for the students to understand the processes - they must be able to use them fluently. This comes about through practice and not through explanation. That is why in the lessons the emphasis is on use rather than understanding.

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MODEL LESSON SEQUENCE 1.

At the beginning of each lesson, reference is made to the symbol (from the student notes) which illustrates the process that is the subject of the lesson.

2. The process is described briefly.

3. The teacher goes through the alternative ways of describing the process given in the student notes for each lesson.

4. The examples then follow, perhaps with a brief comment or even discussion with the students.

5. Then are listed the five practical points for each lesson. The teacher goes through each of these—without elaboration.

6. In the next section the main process of the lesson is divided into subdivisions or “types.” With younger or less able students this section (and also the preceding practice section) can be omitted entirely. With more able students the subdivisions can be given proper attention since they contain the substance of the lesson. The practice items provide the main body of the lesson. What is important here is that the students are absolutely certain what they are being asked to do. If necessary, examples must be used. Feedback from the groups is dealt with quickly but positively. Irrelevant comments and discussion for its own sake are to be avoided. Another practice item should follow as rapidly as possible. As the time passes, the teacher is emphasising and repeating the process that is the subject of the lesson.

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If there is sufficient time at the end of a double-period lesson the project items can be used. These always take written form, but notes are preferable to essays (unless essay practice is specifically desired). The project items usually take 15-20 minutes. In schools where it is customary to assign projects to be completed as homework before the next lesson, the project items can be used as such.

7.

The summary serves to tie the lesson together.

THE STUDENT NOTES

It is intended that the students keep their notes. This makes it possible for them to go over the lessons again (especially the practice and subdivision sections) and to refer back to certain points when tackling project items. If the students can refer to their own notes, less time needs to be spent on explanation during the lesson. This leaves more time for practice.

TEACHER EXPERIENCE

The thinking lessons are somewhat unlike knowledge lessons in which the teacher is the source of knowledge. Teaching a process subject like thinking can be awkward at first for both teacher and students. The teacher may feel lost without some body of knowledge to impart. The student feels lost without the definite sense of achievement given by getting a “right” answer. There is a tendency for both to drift away into an interesting discussion. With time this awkward phase passes: the teacher acquires confidence and concentration and the students learn that process lessons differ from knowledge lessons. When students complain that the lessons all seem the same (since they are all about thinking) it is likely that the teacher has not kept the focus on the different processes but has been running discussion lessons.

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TEACHING STYLE

CoRT teaching style can be summarised as follows: •

Focus



Clarity



Definiteness



Deliberateness



Crispness

Focus, clarity and crispness are self-explanatory. Definiteness is the opposite of directionless drifting — it is clarity in action as distinct from clarity in explanation. Deliberateness implies a conscious intention to do something and the deliberate carrying out of that intention.

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CORT 6 STUDENT HANDBOOK INTRODUCTION

Thinking is like swimming, riding a bicycle or driving a car. If we regard IQ as the power of the car, then thinking is the skill with which it is driven. As with all skills the more you practice the better you become. The lessons set out in this textbook are practice areas for thinking. Taken together the lessons provide a definite framework for thinking about things. The total process of thinking is divided up into definite stages, in order to make it easier. At each moment there is a definite thinking task to be performed. Without such a framework, it is easy to drift from point to point and to wander about—doing a great deal of thinking—without ever reaching a conclusion. Without such a framework, things become complicated and confusing. Without such a framework, things crowd in on the thinker who has to try to remember everything at once. The framework means that you do only one thing at a time - a definite thinking task. Each stage of the framework has been assigned a letter so that the letters make up a word that is easy to remember. The total framework is called TECPISCO which stands for: •

Target -



Expand -



Contract -



Purpose -



Input -



Solutions -



Choice -



Operation.

Each of the stages also has a visual symbol which suggests the nature of the process.

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TEC & PISCO

The PISCO framework is the basic framework for thinking about problems and difficult situations. The TEC procedure is a much simpler framework that can be used for thinking about anything, even when there is no definite problem to solve. As an example of using the TEC procedure on the idea of visual symbols, we might focus on or “target” the idea thus:

Target: •

This is to focus thinking on “visual symbols.”



We might then expand upon the idea as follows:

Expand: •

The symbols illustrate the nature of the process.



A symbol can be used alongside a piece of written work to indicate what needs to be done at that point.



A symbol makes the process easier to remember.



A symbol is a bonus—you don’t have to use it. Some people are more visually oriented than others.



We could then contract our consideration of the idea:

Contract: •

Like a road sign, a symbol is a useful addition to any instructions.

The TEC procedure can be used on its own and it can also be applied to any of the stages of the PISCO framework or to any single point that arises when the framework is used. The TEC process means: “Let’s have some more thinking about this.”

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BACKGROUND TO THE LESSONS

Each lesson provides a definite opportunity to concentrate upon and practice one of the stages of the TEC-PISCO framework. Under the broad heading of each stage there are usually subdivisions. For example in the Solutions lesson there are different types of solution: obvious solution, copied solution, found solution, improved solution, and new problem. It is the intention of the thinker that matters most. It is more important at this stage that the thinker concentrates on the purpose of his/her thinking than on what is actually produced. The lessons should be kept simple, practical and deliberate. The purpose of the letters and the visual symbols is to make the framework easy to remember. When tackling a problem, you can put down the framework first and then fill in something for each of the stages. For example if you were considering the problem of learning thinking as a skill you might set it out as follows. You would think of the word PISCO and put it down.

Purpose: •

This is to find a practical way of improving thinking skill.



Do ordinary classes improve thinking skill?



How good is my thinking skill?



What is the availability of the different methods?



Whom can I consult?



Will mathematics be of help?



What is the actual cost and effectiveness of the methods?



Is the CoRT method any good?

Input:

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Solutions: •

Do nothing about it and just let it improve on its own.



Try the CoRT method.



Look around for other methods.

Choice: •

Decide to try the CoRT method because it is available and seems practical.

Operation: •

Subscribe to cortthinking.com.



Read through the introduction.



Watch the instructional videos



Decide exactly how you are going to use it.



Set aside a definite time for study.

INDIVIDUAL VERSUS CLASSROOM USE OF THE LESSONS

The lessons may be used in a classroom situation, in which case the teacher will guide the lessons and determine the practice items.

The lessons may also be used by an individual alone. If you are setting out to do the lessons on your own the following things are important.

Be Deliberate: Do not read through the lessons as through a book. Be deliberate about working through the lessons one at a time.

Definite Time: Set aside a definite time for working through each lesson.

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INDIVIDUAL OUTPUT:

Write down (in note form) an answer to each of the practice items given in the lessons. The items may also be discussed on a group basis if there are a number of people who want to tackle the lessons as a group. Since there is no outside teacher to comment on your output you must do this yourself. Go through the written work and for each separate practice item place two Ds (D = dissatisfied) at points where you are not satisfied with your thinking because it is not definite enough or clear enough or practical enough.

CoRT 6: ACTION

CoRT stands for the Cognitive Research Trust. It can also be regarded as being short for cortex where all thinking takes place in the brain. CoRT 6 is one of six sections of the Cognitive Research Trust program. This section may, however, be used entirely on its own without reference to the other five sections. The word “action” refers to the fact that the PISCO process is not contemplative, but directed towards action.

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Action In

Module 6 lessons the structure takes the form of a

framework. The purpose of the framework is to divide the total thinking process into definite stages, each of which can be tackled in turn. At each stage in the overall framework there is a definite thinking task to be carried out and a definite aim for the thinking. This simplifies thinking by removing the complexit y

and confusion.

1: TARGET The first thing in thinking. Directing attention to the specific matter that is to be the subject of the thinking. The importance of picking out the “thinking target” in as definite and focused a manner as possible

2: EXPAND Having picked out the target the next step is to expand upon it: in depth, in breadth, in seeking alternatives. This is the opening-up phase of thinking. “Say as much as you can about...”.

3: CONTRACT The third step is to narrow down the expended thinking to something more tangible and more usable: main points, a summary, a conclusion, a choice or selection.

4: T E C The use of the three preceding tools in one sequence. Practice in defining the target, exploring the subject and narrowing down to a usable outcome.

5: PURPOSE Being clear about the exact purpose of thinking. With what does one want to end up: a decision, a problem solution, an action plan or an opinion? The general purpose of the thinking and also the specific objective.

6: INPUT The situation, the scene, the setting, thwe information available, the factors and people to be considered, the total input that goes into thinking.

7: SOLUTIONS Alternative solutions including the most obvious, the traditional, and the new. Methods for generating solutions and filling gaps.

8: CHOICE The decision process. Choosing between the alternative solutions. Priorities and the criteria for choice. Consequences and review of the decision.

9: OPERATION Operation, Implementation the carrying through the results of the thinking. Setting up the specific action steps that will bring about the desired result. Putting the thinking into effect.

10: TEC - PISCO Using the whole PISCO sequence. Consolidation of the total TECPISCO framework in which the first three tools (TEC) are used to define and elaborate each of the five stages of the PISCO procedure. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Lesson 1 Target The first thing in thinking. Directing attention to the specific matter that is to be the subject of the thinking. The importance of picking out the “thinking target” in as definite and focused a manner as possible

INTRODUCTION The precise purpose of this lesson is to establish the habit of aiming thinking directly at a target instead of rambling on or drifting from point to point. In some respects “targets” are like “headings.” “Target” is used here because it implies action and aiming and is more focused than a heading, which may be a summary. The picture or symbol shows an arrow hitting a target. This symbol should be repeated as often as possible during the lesson. It can also be used by a teacher when marking an essay or other piece of work: by placing the symbol at a certain point the teacher says: “Focus on the target.” Setting up targets or aiming at targets is probably the most basic thinking process. Our ability to direct our attention towards some target is what makes thinking a usable skill. Setting up targets and aiming at them has an obvious application in any subject area which involves thinking. In such cases targets may be regarded as “planned headings.”

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TARGET The illustration shows an arrow hitting a target. A gun is most effective when it is aimed directly at a target. Thinking is most effective when it is aimed directly at a target. The most important thing that we can do about thinking is to direct it at a definite target. •

Define the target



Pick out the target



Isolate the target



Identify the target



Pin-point the target



Focus on the target



Single out the target



Concentrate on the target



Direct attention at the target



Aim thinking at the target.

The different ways of expressing the same concept are used to obtain emphasis through repetition. Not all of these express exactly the same concept but it is the general flavour that matters: they all imply aiming, focusing and directing thinking at some target.

WHAT CAN ONE DO ABOUT TARGETS? This is the key section. What it amounts to is:

1.

Know the target.

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2. Stick to the target.

3. Discover others’ targets.

4. Aim at given targets.

5. Set up targets.



At any time you should be able to state the target of your thinking as exactly and clearly as possible.



You should stick to the target instead of wandering away from it.



When presented with other people’s thinking you should try to find out their target.



You should be able to aim your thinking at targets that are given to you.



You should be able to set up your own targets when thinking about something.

These are all different situations but the basic process is the same. The students can be allowed to express the points in their own words. Situation examples can be used, but care must be taken that they do not become examples of purpose rather than focus.

TYPES OF TARGET This section applies most directly to setting up different levels of targets. The section can, however, be confusing and may be omitted unless the specific intention of the lesson is to deal with targets.

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To look at general target areas, specific targets and sub-targets is less important than to be aware of the need to focus on targets in one’s thinking. There is a danger that the “general target area” may lessen the effectiveness of looking for “specific targets” by allowing students to be content with general areas.

General Target Area: •

This is the area in which you are thinking, and it includes the specific targets.



For example, the general target might be the subject of “aeroplanes.”

Specific Targets: •

These are what one usually calls the targets.



For example, targets that might be picked out under “aeroplane” include: uses, design, and effects of aeroplanes.

Sub-Targets: •

These are smaller targets that can be found within the main target.



For example, a sub-target within “uses of aeroplanes” might be a comparison between the costs of air transport and sea transport.

I In discussing the examples the teacher must try to emphasise a target which the students should have in mind. This should not be treated as just another factor to be taken into account: thinking should be directed at the target.

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Examples: 1.

A man wanted to make toys for children. He decided to make some animals and he thought they should be big enough to be pull-along toys. He chose wood as the material and got some people to carve the animals and then paint them in bright colours.



In the end he had some very nice toys, but they were much too expensive for anyone to buy.



In his thinking he had not concentrated on the target that people should be able to buy the toys.

2. In an examination a girl was asked to write an essay on King Henry VIII. She wrote a long piece about each of his wives.



She had no time left to write about his quarrel with the church or his other activities.



She had forgotten to set out her targets in advance.

3. A tourist was told to take the number 49 bus to get to the museum. He asked someone where to catch the bus and then jumped onto the number 49.



Three-quarters of an hour later he was lost.



He had got on the bus going the wrong way.



He had chosen the target of catching the 49 bus, not of getting to the museum.

Too much time should not be spent on discussion of the examples.

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Students can be asked to suggest further examples, but with this particular lesson it can be confusing since in many cases a target is also a purpose or objective. The teacher must avoid such cases throughout the lessons in order to prevent confusion. A target is like the part of a picture towards which attention (thinking) is directed.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: The first item can be done as a group discussion. At the end of three minutes the group spokesperson must be able to offer four specific targets to think about within the general area of “pollution.”

Item One. •

Choose four specific targets within the general area of “pollution.”

Suggested points:

The teacher can give an illustration as follows: Four targets within the general area of “money”: 1.

The shape and physical nature of money.

2. The purpose and use of money. 3. Problems that arise with money. 4. Substitutes for money (checks, credit cards, etc.). The targets should not be regarded as analytical sections into which the subject can be divided, but specific focal points for attention.

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Teachers Notes: A talkative or extroverted student is asked to give a short talk on “noses” or any other subject that needs no prior preparation. The rest of the class listens.

Item Two. •

Someone gives a short talk on the subject of “noses.”



The rest of the students watch how closely he or she stays focused on the target and comment on this afterwards.

Suggested points: 1.

At the end of the talk (about two minutes) the students are asked to comment on how closely the student stuck to the target, or on what they thought the targets were and how closely the student stuck to them.

2. Alternatively the class can listen and anyone who feels the talk is drifting from point to point rather than aiming at a target can raise his or her hand. 3. There can be a general discussion on possible targets in this area.

Teachers Notes: The item may be done on a group basis or by individuals. Time allowed is 3 minutes. The teacher then collects the targets (accepting only those not already given) and comments on the most unusual ones.

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Item Three. •

Try to select three unusual targets for thinking in the general area of “money.”



The targets should be so unusual that no one else will pick them out.



The intention here is to pick out unusual targets:



To find targets that will direct attention into areas that people do not usually think about.

Suggested points: As an illustration in considering the general area of “money”, unusual targets might be: 1.

The recognition of bills by blind people.

2. The folding characteristics of bills. 3. The value of the metal in coins. Teachers Notes: The exercise can be done on a group or individual basis. Time allowed is 3 minutes. Alternative answers may be given, provided they can be supported. The passage may be read to the class by individuals or by the teacher.

Item four. •

In the following passage, at what target is the writer aiming her or his thinking?



“If everyone had always been happy with things as they were, then we would still be riding around on horses or, more likely, walking on muddy roads.

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We would probably be living in mud or straw huts with no glass in the windows.



Progress and invention may come through dissatisfaction with the way things are or through curiosity and interest in new ideas.



Perhaps sometimes one thing just leads to another. But inventors usually have a hard time because everyone else is happy with things as they are.”



The purpose is to try to discover the writer’s “thinking” target.

Suggested points: 1.

Focus on how changes happen.

2. Focus on the importance of dissatisfaction.

Teachers Notes: This is similar to the first practice item except that sub-targets are requested as well.

Item five. •

In the general area of “fish” pick out four specific targets that you could think about and then some sub-targets for each of these.

Suggested points:

Possible targets: 1.

Fish as living creatures (physical characteristics, behaviour)

2. Fish as food (nutrition, preparation, cultural traditions) 3. Fish and fishing (methods, problems)

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4. Fish and the future (communicating with dolphins, fish farming) SUMMARY The essential point of the lesson can be summarised as: •

What is the target of the thinking?



The answer is either a statement of the target or a need to set up a definite target.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: These can be done as “homework” or used during project time. They can also be done as written work during the lesson period if a double period is being used one or more project items can be used, depending on available time.

Item One •

If you were writing an essay about “hair” what would be your specific targets and sub-targets?

Teachers Notes: These can be done as “homework” or used during project time. They can also be done as written work during the lesson period if a double period is being used. One or more project items can be used, depending on available time.

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Item Two •

Write a short piece about school, in which you set up four targets and then stray away from each of these.

Here the students are asked deliberately to stray from the subject. What is asked for is a sort of parody or caricature of someone who does not have any thinking targets. The students should start off with targets and then deliberately wander away from them.

Teachers Notes: Similar to the practice items these can be done as “homework” or used during project time. They can also be done as written work during the lesson period if a double period is being used one or more project items can be used, depending on available time.

Item Three

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List as many unusual thinking targets as you can in the area of



“Shops and shopping”

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Lesson 2 Expand Having picked out the target the next step is to expand upon it: in depth, in breadth, in seeking alternatives. This is the opening-up phase of thinking. “Say as much as you can about...”.

INTRODUCTION Expand is not a difficult concept. Students are accustomed to being asked to say as much as they can about some matter. The purpose of the lesson, however, is to develop the habit of expanding on a specific target. It is easy to find a lot to say by wandering off on to other matters. But some effort and discipline have to be used if the “expanding” is going to take place within the target focus. The symbol puts the Expand process into a visual form. The arrow indicates a forward direction, and the arms opening up suggest a wider field of attention, more detail and more elaboration on the matter. As with the Target symbol this Expand symbol can also be used by the teacher in marking written work. Placed in the margin at a certain point it indicates: “Say more about this, give more details.” Once attention has been directed toward a “thinking target” then the next important thing is to see what can be said about that target. In the Expand stage one is looking for the fullest detail. It is because one is going to give the fullest detail in the Expand stage that it is necessary to be so specific about the target. To give the fullest detail in a general target area is a huge task that is not likely to be done effectively. EXPAND The illustration shows something that is widening out, opening up and expanding. The arrow shows that the direction of movement is forward and as you move forward the area of attention gets wider. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Once we have decided on a target for thinking, the next thing is to explore it and to expand what we have to say about that target. •

Expand upon a point



Explore the matter



Open it up



Say as much as you can



Go into detail



Elaborate further



What else is involved?



What else can be said about it?

As in the previous lesson a number of different ways of expressing the Expand operation are given. As before, not all of these express exactly the same concept. Time should not be spent discussing the semantic niceties. Students can be encouraged to find other ways of expressing the Expand operation. In discussing the examples the teacher should keep attention on the students’ tendency or need to find out more. The emphasis should not be allowed to settle on matters that have been left out of consideration. The attitude to suggest is that of: «Think more deeply about it. Think it through. Go into more detail.»

Examples; 1.

Following graduation your best friend emigrates. After a time he stops writing and you do not hear from him for twenty years. By chance you meet him again and he is pleased to see you. He is looking well and rich.

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You want to know all about him, what has happened to him, what he is doing, whether he has a family and so on.



You want him to expand on what has happened to him since you last saw him.

2. Two men plan a canoe trip. They look at the map and see a river that they plan to canoe down. When summer comes they load their canoes onto a truck and set off for the river. When they get there they find that the river is always dried up in the summer and their vacation is ruined. •

They had not bothered to get enough details about the river.



They had not tried to expand their thinking about the matter.

3. At a big school there is a students’ strike. They decide that they do not want to have fixed hours. They suggest a new method which will allow groups of students to choose their own school hours and their own vacations.



The scheme is tried but fails because parents and guardians want their lives to be well organised and because teachers cannot be expected to be available solely at the students’ convenience.



The planners had not expanded their thinking to take teachers, parents and guardians into account.

Just as the target is the part of the picture upon which attention is focused, so the Expand operation describes that part, in itself and in relation to the whole.

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HOW DOES ONE EXPAND UPON A MATTER?

This is the key section. What it amounts to is: 1.

Be sure you stay on target.

2. Say as much as you can.

3. Set up sub-targets to make it easier to say more.

4. View the topic from as many perspectives as possible.

5. See if you have left anything out.   •

Your thinking must remain focused on the target and not drift off to other matters.



Say as much as you can about the target area, going into as much detail as possible.



Set up a number of sub-targets or sub-headings and expand on these.



Go around the subject, looking at it from as many different aspects as you can.



Look for any aspects upon which you have not expanded sufficiently.



The students can be allowed to express the basic process in their own words.

Situation examples can be used but care must be taken that “expand” is understood to be more than just “describe in detail.”

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TYPES OF EXPANSION

We can expand in a number of different ways. Depth: Analyse •

Break down into parts



Detail



Elaboration



Description

Breadth: Surroundings •

Scene



Context



Associations



Factors involved



Consequences



Alternatives:



Alternatives



Other ways of looking at it



Comparisons

This is an important section because it indicates how expansion is more than just description. Expansion in depth is like looking at part of the picture (the target), analysing it and breaking it down into smaller parts. It is this aspect of expansion that includes detail and description. Expansion in depth is looking at the target itself. Expansion in breadth is looking to see how the target part of the picture relates to the whole.

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It is looking at the context, scene, settings, associations and whatever else is involved. It is looking at the factors and other people involved. It is looking at the consequences.

Expansion in “alternatives” is the creative part of “expand.” It is looking for alternatives. It is finding other ways of looking at it. It is making comparisons. We are no longer looking at what it is (depth), or how it relates to the surroundings (breadth), but at what it might be (alternatives). Depending on the sophistication of the students, the teacher can put more or less emphasis on this section. For the younger students it can be ignored, but the older and more able students should be able to respond to the request: “Expand in depth” (or in breadth, or in alternative).

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: The first item can be done on a group or individual basis. The group can decide how it is going to expand on the statement. Time allowed for the groups is three minutes

Item One.

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“Cigarettes are dangerous to health and should be banned.”



Expand on this statement.

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Suggested points: An illustration may be given with an expansion of the statement: “World over-population is a problem.” Expansion: 1.

Why is it a problem? (Rapid rate of population increase, limited food supplies)

2. Is it a problem everywhere? (Different birth rates in different countries) 3. Is it getting better or worse? 4. Can anything be done about it? 5. Why is it happening? 6. Are people aware of the problem? At the end the teacher listens to the “expansion” from each group. If a comment seems not to be a genuine expansion of the target but a drifting off into other areas the teacher should emphasise that expansion must be focused on the target.

Teachers Notes: This item can also be done on a group or individual basis (3-4 minutes). What is required in this item is a list of the information that the police might request from the woman. Item Two. •

A woman is working in a bank when it is robbed. The police ask her for a statement and she says:



“They came in and pointed guns at us and told us to give them the money and then they went out.”



If you were the police what questions would you ask in order to get the woman to expand on her statement.

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Suggested points: 1.

Number of robbers

2. Type of guns 3. Age 4. How long they were in the bank 5. Accents 6. Method of entry 7.

Clothes

8. Other customers in the bank 9. Masks 10. Getaway car 11. Nervousness 12. Names used 13. Their familiarity with the bank layout. Teachers Notes: The students can read the passage for themselves, the teacher can read it through or the teacher can ask one student to read it aloud.

Item Three. •

“There were six letters lying on the brass tray on top of an oak sea-chest in the hall. At once he recognised one of the letters.



As he ate his breakfast of orange juice, lightly boiled egg, two pieces of toast with some jam and coffee, he reads the letter.



After breakfast he put on his tweed overcoat, felt in the right-hand pocket to make sure he had his car keys and went out, closing the yellow door behind him. He got into his car and tried to start the engine. It started on the third try.



He drove into town and went straight to the store, where they were not at all pleased to see him.

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Feeling very happy, he remembered to buy some meat from the butcher for his six-year-old spaniel called Rusty.



He got into his car and drove home.”

Are the different points in the above passage sufficiently expanded? If you were criticising this passage which points would you ask to be expanded further? In some places unnecessary detail is given, in others no details are given.

Suggested points: 1.

The students are asked to focus on those places where they would like the writer to “expand” and give more detail.

2. For example how the writer recognised the letter, what sort of store it was, and what happened in the store. 3. When this has been done, if time permits, the students (as groups or individuals) can invent details for the points needing expansion. 4. They can do their own “expanding.” Teachers Notes: This is a straightforward item which can be done quite rapidly.

Item four. •

A new bicycle has been designed and the publicity makes the following points:



It has one wheel instead of two.



It is made primarily of plastic instead of metal.



You can carry it into your house or into the office.



When your neighbours see it they will be very jealous.

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You could regard it almost as a pair of special shoes.

Which points are expansions in depth, in breadth or in alternatives?

Suggested points: 1.

The students are required to say into which category of expansion the statements fall.

2. For instance, the one wheel and the plastic material are expansions in depth. 3. The reaction of the neighbours is an expansion in breadth, and the suggestion that it could be regarded as special shoes is an alternative way of looking at it. 4. The possibility of carrying it into the house might come under breadth (use) or depth (size and shape). 5. Other suggested items from the bicycle situation may be discussed under the various headings. 6. For instance the speed of the bicycle would come under breadth (relationship to distance and other traffic), but the way the speed was produced would be under depth. Teachers Notes: This item can be done on a group or individual basis. Time allowed is 3-4 minutes.

Item five. •

Politicians are often elected by vote, and decisions in a meeting may be made by vote.

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Expand upon the topic of voting: © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

In depth, In breadth and in alternatives. It is similar to the first item except that the students are being asked to consider each expansion category separately and to write something under each one.

Suggested points:

Depth: 1.

Who has a vote?

2. Winning by simple majority or two-thirds, 3. Secret or open, 4. Written or by raising a hand, 5. What is being voted for? 6. How often, 7.

Counting votes,

8. Mistakes and cheating, etc.

Breadth: 1.

The occasions for voting,

2. The effects of the voting, 3. Fairness and unfairness, 4. Voting in government, 5. Voting in politics, 6. Two parties or more, 7.

Persuading people to vote,

8. Elections, etc.

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Alternatives: 1.

Dictatorship,

2. Decision by a small group, 3. Voting on each issue instead of for people, 4. Compromise or agreement on issues instead of voting. SUMMARY

The essential point of the lesson can be summarised as: Say as much as you can about this target. What is said, or thought, expands upon the target in terms of breadth, depth or alternatives.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: Students are urged to stick closely to the target. These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on the available time, one or more projects may be tried. It is best that all students tackle the same project, which may be chosen by the teacher or by consensus.

Item One

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The general target area for thinking is “shoes.”



The specific target is “shoe size.”



Expand upon this target.

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Similar to the practice items, except that the target is more specific. Students are urged to stick closely to the target.

Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on the available time, one or more projects may be tried. It is best that all students tackle the same project, which may be chosen by the teacher or by consensus.

Item Two •

Punishment is often used as a way of getting people to obey the rules.



Expand upon “punishment,” first in depth, then in breadth and finally in alternatives.



Do each separately.



Similar to the practice items: the expansion must be carried out under the three different category headings.

Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on the available time, one or more projects may be tried. It is best that all students tackle the same project, which may be chosen by the teacher or by consensus.

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Item Three



You are a manufacturer of jewellery.



An inventor comes to you and says that she has invented a wonderful new necklace but does not want to show it to you yet.



What questions would you ask?



How would you want the inventor to expand upon this statement?

The end product here is a list of questions that the students would like to put to the inventor. In addition students may be asked to explain why they want to ask that question and what they expect to find out with it.

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Lesson 3 Contract The third step is to narrow down the expended thinking to something more tangible and more usable: main points, a summary, a conclusion, a choice or selection.

INTRODUCTION “Contract” is the opposite of “expand.” As a concept it is a little more difficult to understand. Whereas “expand” opens things up and encourages the students to say as much as possible about the matter, “contract” requires students to reduce, simplify and condense so that they end up with something that is short but important. The process of Contract naturally follows that of Expand; otherwise one is left with a huge amount of material. The Contract process is connected quite closely to action: what is the conclusion, what are the main points, what need I remember? The symbol puts the Contract process into a visual form. It is the reverse of the Expand symbol. The arrow shows movement in a forward direction but this time the surrounding arms are narrowing down instead of opening up. This narrowing down is, however, different from the focusing of the Target process. That was a process of directing attention and isolating an area for attention. The Contract process involves extracting main points and summarising what has been said. As before, the symbol may be used in marking written work. If the teacher puts the symbol in the margin it indicates: “Come to a conclusion.” The first stage is to direct attention to the thinking target. The next stage is to expand upon this and say as much as possible. The final stage is to boil it all down and come to a summary or conclusion. Following the general exploration of the Expand stage, the Contract stage provides the basis for action.

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CONTRACT The illustration shows two lines coming to a point. This suggests narrowing down. It is the opposite of the “Expand” picture, which showed something getting wider and opening up. The arrow shows that the movement is toward this “contracting” or narrowing down. Contract is the opposite of expand. After having found the thinking target the next stage is to expand upon it and say as much about it as possible. The final stage is to contract down to what is important.



Simplify



Condense



Reduce



Summarise



Select



Pick out the main points



Pick out the important points



What does it add up to?



What is the conclusion?



What do I need to remember?

As in the previous lessons a number of different ways of expressing the Contract operation are given. As before, not all these express exactly the same concept. It is the general flavour of extracting, or narrowing down, that matters. In discussing the examples, the teacher should emphasise the narrowing down process: the effort to produce simplicity out of complexity. The suggestion is that there are times when we need to discuss things in detail or in a complicated way but then our effort turns towards extracting what matters: What does it add up to? What does it boil down to? What are the important points?

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Examples; 1.

Someone is telling his friend how to reach his house: “About half a mile down the road you pass a large cinema on the right. You drive past this and then take the fifth turn on your right. If you come to the church on the right you will know you have gone too far. You must watch out for the third turn as it is so narrow you might miss it.”



The instructions could be given more simply: “Drive till you reach the church, then turn back the way you came and take the first turn on your left.”

2. A food manufacturer has spent a lot of money producing new food products for supermarkets but all the products have failed. The people involved with the products are brought together and they discuss it for several hours a day for a week. •

In the end, the many hours of discussion can be summarised in a single sentence: “We never tried to find out what people want.”

3. A primitive tribe is found to be using a medicine that is very good for treating headaches. The medicine is made up or 46 different herbs, each of which has to be gathered under special conditions. •

One scientist analyses the mixture to see if it contains any known substances, such as aspirin.



Another scientist tests half of the herbs to determine which half contains the effective herb.



The scientist goes on doing this until he/she has found the most important herb.

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Both are trying to remove the complexity to find what is really important.

If the target is the part of the picture upon which attention is focused, and expansion is the full description of that part, then the Contract operation summarises the importance or function of that part.

HOW DOES ONE CONTRACT DOWN TO WHAT IS IMPORTANT? This is the key section. What it amounts to is: 1.

Take it all in.

2. Summarise and simplify

3. Extract the main points.

4. Extract the points that are of importance or value to yourself.

5. Come to a conclusion.   1.

Read or listen to all that is being said about the thinking target.

2. Make an effort to summarise and simplify what you read or hear. 3. Pick out the main points that seem to encompass the lesser points. 4. Pick out the points that are important to you. 5. Determine whether there is an conclusion or outcome; if there is not, see if you can supply one.

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The students can be allowed to express the basic process in their own words. Situation examples can be used but care must be taken that they do not all become examples of “choice” or “summary.” The emphasis must be on the contracting down, in whatever form that takes.

TYPES OF CONTRACTION This is an important section because the many different methods of contracting down might appear to have little in common - except that one ends up with much less than one started with. The “summarise” type of contraction is an effort to reduce the complexity to something more manageable. The intention is to include all that has been said but to put it more simply. We can contract down thinking in a number of different ways:

Summarise: Condense •

Simplify



Pick out main points



Summarise

Combine: Put together •

Add up



Unify



Combine

Choose: Pick out important points •

Assign values



Assign priorities



Choose

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Conclude: Conclusion •

Outcome

The “combine” type of contraction involves putting different things together to form one thing. For example, if you assemble all the different pieces of a bicycle you end up with a single bicycle instead of all the pieces. It is a matter of trying to see if different pieces add up to a whole. The “choose” or “select” type of contraction is fairly obvious. If you have to choose one thing out of many then clearly you end up with less than you started with. Assigning importance, values and priorities is a way of choosing and also a way of narrowing down, since you then can deal with only those things that have the highest value or priority. The basis for the values, priorities or importance must be established (for yourself, in terms of cost, etc.). A conclusion or outcome is the ultimate contraction. In this contraction the thinking has come to a definite endpoint.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: Someone in the class is asked to give a short (2 minute) talk on “cars,” tackling the subject in any way desired. The rest of the students listen and write down the two main points from what has been said. The teacher then asks for the main points and initiates discussion. Item One.



Someone gives a short talk on the subject of “cars.”



The rest of the students listen and try to extract the two main points of what has been said.

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Teachers Notes: This item can be done on a group or individual basis. The students read the passage to themselves, or the teacher (or a student) can read it to the class. The task is to summarise the passage in just one sentence. Where possible this sentence should be written and then read aloud. The sentence should be as definite as possible (2 minutes).

Item Two. •

“Sometimes we meet someone we know very well, but when we come to introduce that person to other people we cannot remember the person’s name.



Most people have experienced having something “on the tip of their tongue” but which they cannot speak.



When then do remember it they cannot understand how it had escaped them.



If you always get the names of two people mixed up, although you are aware of it you may continue to do so.



When you go to look for an advertisement you had noticed in the newspaper. You may know you had seen it although you cannot remember exactly where it was.



Someone starts to tell a joke and you are sure that you know the joke but you cannot remember exactly how it goes.”

The task is to summarise in just one sentence this whole passage. Suggested points: The passage might be summarised as follows: 1.

“You may know something but be unable to bring it to mind just when you want to.”

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Teachers Notes: This item is intended as a group discussion (3-4 minutes). The discussion part could also be done on an open-class basis, with the teacher asking questions and accepting contributions from individuals. At the end of a group discussion the teacher asks for a definite conclusion. At the end of an open-class discussion the teacher can also ask for a definite conclusion. The conclusion may take various forms.

Item Three. Write or talk about the following subject and then come to a definite conclusion: 1.

“Should men and women be as alike as possible: wear the same clothes, do the same jobs for the same pay and share the housework?”

Suggested points: 1.

“Each individual should be allowed to decide what he or she wishes.”

2. “People should not be forced to be alike nor forced to be different.” 3. “It depends on culture and background.” Teachers Notes: The item can be done on a group (3 minutes) or individual basis. The task is to add up all the different items of information and to try to reach some conclusion.

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Item four. •

The people who decide what television programs are to be shown find they have the following things to consider:

1.

Research shows that most people watch light comedies.

2. Mothers complain that there are not enough intelligent programs for children. 3. No one praises the news, but no one complains about it either. 4. Comparisons show that the range of programs is the same in most countries. Can you put all this information together and come to some conclusion?

Suggested points: •

“You can never satisfy everyone.”



“Time should be allowed for programs that appeal to different tastes.”



“Acting on complaints may not be the right way to choose programs.”

Teachers Notes: This item can be done as a group discussion item (3-4 minutes) or as a written item by individuals. Item five. •

The day will come when all farming and factory work will be totally automated.



Housework may also be done by machines and all food precooked.

Work out four consequences of this and put them in order of importance © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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with the most important first.

Suggested points: 1.

The end product is a list of four major consequences.

2. These are to be put in order of importance with the most important first.

SUMMARY The essential point of the lesson can be summarised as:



Contract this down to what is most important.



From all the thoughts that are expressed in the Expand phase we contract down to what really matters.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson itself if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on available time one or all the projects may be attempted. For this lesson the second project item is quite short. The other two could take between 10 and 20 minutes each.

Item One •

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The thinking target is “The value of advertising.”

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Expand upon this and then contract and give the four most important points from the consumer’s point of view.

Suggested points: 1.

Students expand upon the “value of advertising” in a sort of essay, using sub-targets if they wish.

2. They then contract down the discussion to give the four most important points - from the consumer’s point of view. Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson itself if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on available time one or all the projects may be attempted. For this lesson the second project item is quite short. The other two could take between 10 and 20 minutes each.

Item Two •

Dogs make messes on City sidewalks.



Dogs eat a lot of food, while people are starving in the world.



Dogs dirty public gardens and parks where children play.



Occasionally dogs attack and injure people.



Some dogs carry worms that can cause blindness in children.



Dogs have been excellent companions to people for centuries.



Dogs offer companionship to lonely people.



Children love dogs and having a dog teaches a child responsibility.



What does this all add up to?



Can you summarise it in one sentence?

© Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Suggested points: 1.

A number of different comments are made about the ownership of dogs.

2. The project task is to see whether these comments add up to a whole (e.g., “Only people in the country should be allowed to keep dogs”). 3. What is required is a single sentence that summarises all the comments. Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or as written work during the lesson itself if a double period is used. Project work is usually done on an individual basis and the output is written. Depending on available time one or all the projects may be attempted. For this lesson the second project item is quite short. The other two could take between 10 and 20 minutes each.

Item Three •

In a country town it is proposed to abolish three small schools, each with two hundred students, and to put them together to form one large school with six hundred students.



Some people are in favour of the change and others are against it.



Expand the full arguments for each side then contract them to give two main points on each side.

Suggested points: 1.

The task here is to expand upon the point of view of each side: those in favour of the change and those against it.

2. The next stage is to contract down the arguments on each side to end up with two main points on each side Page 58

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Lesson 4 TEC The use of the three preceding tools in one sequence. Practice in defining the target, exploring the subject and narrowing down to a usable outcome.

TEC (Target - Expand - Contract)

INTRODUCTION The purpose of this lesson is to put together the three steps or operations that have been practised separately in each of the previous three lessons. When these processes of Target, Expand, and Contract are singled out for attention and then practised separately there is a danger that they will not be seen as part of a coherent operation: Target-Expand-Contract. To emphasise the coherent nature of the total operation a memory-aid is used. The letters have been chosen to match the word “TEChnique” and this can be mentioned. TEC (Target - Expand – Contract) The illustration shows the three steps of the TEC operation. The Target symbol is followed by the Expand symbol, and finally the Contract symbol narrows thinking down to a definite useful outcome - be it a conclusion or a summary. The first step is to pick out the target, the next step is to expand upon it and say as much as possible, and the third step is to contract what has been said into a summary or conclusion. Start by picking out a definite target and end by saying something definite about it. The purpose of expanding upon the target is to think about it and so come to a useful conclusion.

The three steps can be used for any piece of thinking:

Start, Think, Conclude.

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Note: it is important to talk about the three processes as three steps in the total TEC operation rather than three stages. The word “stage” will be used in subsequent lessons for a different process. As in previous lessons there are three different ways of expressing the TEC operation. Only one example is given below. The teacher emphasises that in the given statement there are several possible targets: •

“Only right,”



“Should give,”



“As much help as possible,”



“Poor countries,” etc.

The students can be encouraged to suggest alternative targets so long as they occur within the actual statement. Care should be taken that the expansion sticks to the target and does not spread or drift to cover other parts of the general topic of “aid to poor countries.” The Expand step involves freedom to expand but around the specific target. Examples; 1.

Some countries are rich and other countries are very poor. It is only right that the rich countries should give as much help as possible to the poor countries.

Target: •

The word “help,” the idea of help, is the specific target that has been picked out of the whole statement.

Expand: •

Help may take the form of money, food, medicine or advice.



What is the most useful sort of help to the country that is receiving it?

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Who should decide what help is needed?



Instead of giving food, which is just eaten up, is it better to give help that will enable the people to grow more food for them-selves in the future?

Contract: •

It is important to realise that some types of help are much more useful than others.

Alternative conclusions or summaries may be suggested for the Contract phase. It is not a matter of a right or wrong conclusion but one which narrows down the thinking to something definite.

USING THE TEC PROCESS

This is the key section. What it amounts to is:

1.

Treat the process as a whole.

2. Be clear as to which step you are doing.

3. Each step is different and keeps it so.

4. Stick to the target.

5. Use the process as a thinking tool.   © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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1.

The Target - Expand - Contract process is called TEC to make it easier to remember and easier to refer to.

2. At each step of the TEC process you should be very clear as to whether you are finding a specific target, expanding upon it or coming to a conclusion. 3. The attitudes and operations are different in each of the three steps. 4. Your conclusion must always refer to your original target. You should be careful not to drift away in the Expand step. 5. You should be able to apply the TEC process deliberately in your own thinking without waiting for someone to tell you to do so. DIFFICULTIES In this section the usual errors and difficulties are touched upon but not analysed in detail. The importance of having a specific “bite-sized” target needs emphasising. If the target is too general and too comprehensive it is no target at all but an area. In the Expand step there is a natural tendency to work toward a conclusion rather than to expand as a process in itself. The Expand step should really be directed backwards: as an expansion upon the target, not as a working towards a Conclusion. The Contract step then takes the thoughts expressed in the Expand step and contracts them down to a conclusion or summary. If the target is not specific enough there is so much to say that you end up by saying very little. It is better to have a specific target or even subtargets. In the Expand step it may be difficult to maintain an “expanding” attitude instead of trying to reach a conclusion or prove a point. The Expand step should include “alternatives” as well as expansion in depth and breadth. It may be difficult to decide whether the Contract step is to produce a summary or a conclusion. This depends on the purpose of the thinking and the nature of the original target.

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: The item can be done as a group discussion (4 minutes) or on an individual basis. The specific target is spelled out by the teacher, and the group is asked to expand on this target and then to come to a definite conclusion. The teacher asks for the conclusion but may also ask for the thinking that took place during the Expand step.

Item One. •

“In times of high unemployment, students should stay in school longer so that they do not take jobs from those who need them more.”



Focus on the target “those who need them more” and expand upon it.



Then come to a definite conclusion.

Suggested points:

Expand: 1.

Those with families may need jobs more.

2. People with financial commitments or who cannot live with their parents may need jobs more. 3. But families may need contributions from employed children. 4. Taking a first job may be the most important step toward future jobs. 5. Morale and work attitudes may be permanently damaged.

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Contract: 1.

More students should be encouraged to stay longer in school but only if it is going to benefit them - not to save jobs.

Teachers Notes: In the paragraph given in the student notes there are a number of alternative thinking targets. The teacher may read through the paragraph with the class, or students may read it for themselves. The item can be done on a group basis (4 minutes) or an individual basis. The item is similar to the first practice item except that the students have to pick their own target and end with a summary rather than a conclusion.

Item Two. •

“People need protein and people like eating meat and eggs.



In order to keep the price down, farming has to be as efficient as possible.



This may mean keeping hens all their lives in tiny cages in artificial light.



Many people think this ‘factory’ farming is cruel.”

Focus on one specific thinking target, expand upon it and then summarise your thinking.

Suggested points: Suggestions for targets: 1.

People like eating meat and eggs

2. People need protein 3. To keep the price down

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4. As efficient as possible 5. Factory farming 6. Many people think. Teachers Notes: The different targets can be asked for on an individual, open-class basis or the groups can list the four possible targets. Time allowed is 4 minutes. At the end of the discussion period the groups should be able to list the targets and then expand upon one of them. This time the main points in the thinking are asked for.

Item Three. •

A new factory is needed in a certain area.



Some people are worried that the pollution from the factory will kill the fish in the river, so they oppose building the factory

List four possible specific targets. Focus on one of the targets and then expand upon it. Finally, pick out the main points in your thinking.

Suggested points: Suggestions for targets: 1.

Factory is needed

2. Some people are worried 3. Pollution from the factory 4. Oppose building the factory.

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Teachers Notes: The different targets can be asked for on an individual, open-class basis or the groups can list the four possible targets. Time allowed is 4 minutes. With this item the target is provided: examinations. The groups are asked to expand upon this target in their discussions. They are encouraged to expand in all three possible ways: Depth, Breadth, Alternative;

Item four. •

Is it better to have competitive examinations in which someone comes in first and someone comes in second and so on, or examinations in which everyone just passes or fails?



Focus on the target of “examinations.”



Expand in breadth, depth and alternatives and then come to a conclusion.

Suggested points: 1.

The conclusion may be in the form of a choice or even a new type of examination that combines the best features of other types.

Teachers Notes: Time allowed is 4 minutes. The general target area is a broad one: fear. The students are asked to pick out four possible targets.

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These should be specific targets. The targets need not be an analysis of the total target area but may just be four from among many possible targets. At the end of the Expand discussion a one-sentence summary is requested.

Item five. •

Using the general target area of “fear,” pick out four specific targets.



Expand upon one of these.



Summarise your thinking in one sentence.

Suggested points: 1.

The use of fear by society, in punishment and deterrence

2. Fear and courage 3. The harmful effects of fear 4. Fear of known things 5. Animals and fear 6. Fear of unknown things 7.

Excessive fears of heights, closed spaces, etc.

SUMMARY The essential point of the lessons can be summarised as:

Fitting together the Target, Expand and Contract steps to yield a deliberate thinking tool called TEC.

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PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: As before, these can be done as homework or during project time. They can also be done as written work, by individuals, during the latter part of a lesson if a double period is used. One or more project items can be used, depending on available time. The items may be chosen by the teacher or by class agreement, but all the students should be working on the same items.

Item One •

In sports there are some people who like playing even if they do not play very well.



There are others who prefer to watch the experts in action.



Pick out three possible targets, then expand on one of them, and finally come to a conclusion.

Suggested points: 1.

This item is similar to those done during the lesson itself.

2. The task is to pick out three possible targets and then to expand upon them and come to a conclusion. Teachers Notes: As before, these can be done as homework or during project time. They can also be done as written work, by individuals, during the latter part of a lesson if a double period is used. One or more project items can be used, depending on available time. The items may be chosen by the teacher or by class agreement, but all the students should be working on the same items.

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Item Two •

As people acquire better training and more qualifications there may come a time when no one will want to do unskilled manual labour.



Focuses on the target “no one will want,” expand upon it, give alternatives in your expansion, then Summarise your thinking.

Suggested points: 1.

For this item the target is preselected.

2. Students are asked to expand upon it and then summarise their thinking. 3. The expanded thinking and the summary both should be in written form.   Teachers Notes: As before, these can be done as homework or during project time. They can also be done as written work, by individuals, during the latter part of a lesson if a double period is used. One or more project items can be used, depending on available time. The items may be chosen by the teacher or by class agreement, but all the students should be working on the same items.

Item Three •

People are sometimes depressed and unhappy.



Is it a good idea that a pill or medicine makes a depressed person happy?



In this general target area pick out some specific targets, then analyse these into sub-targets.



Expand upon the sub-targets.



Come to a definite conclusion. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Suggested points: 1.

In the general target area, specific targets and sub-targets are to be picked out.

2. This time an analysis into sub-targets is requested. 3. Each sub-target is to be expanded upon. 4. A definite conclusion is to be given for the whole target area of: “would the medicine idea be a good one?”

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Lesson 5 Purpose Being clear about the exact purpose of thinking. With what does one want to end up: a decision, a problem solution, an action plan or an opinion? The general purpose of the thinking and also the specific objective.

INTRODUCTION This lesson and each of the following four lessons, deals with one of the five stages of thinking. The letters refer to the first letter of the process that is carried out in each stage. The word “PISCO” is used as a simple reference device. These five stages and the preceding three steps can be referred to as the TEC-PISCO procedure - but this is only for convenience.

Purpose: What the thinker wants to achieve;

Input: What goes into the thinking?

Solutions: Alternative ways of solving the problem

Choice: Choosing from among the alternatives

Operation: The operating steps, putting the thinking into action

The five stages can be referred to as PISCO.

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Although all five stages are briefly explained the teacher should not spend much time describing each of these. Once the scene has been set the teacher focuses on the subject of the lesson itself, purpose.

PURPOSE •

Why am I doing this thinking?



What do I want to achieve?



What is the problem?



What end product would satisfy me?



At the end of the thinking what should I have?

These are all different ways of saying that thinking has a purpose. There may be some confusion between purpose, aim, objective, target, etc. A target is the subject of attention: it is the point to which attention is directed. Purpose is most simply described as what we want to end up with. In practical usage, aim, objective and purpose are often used interchangeably. It is more confusing than helpful to try to sort out the philosophical differences. The word “purpose” should be used throughout the lesson to describe the hoped-for endpoint of the thinking. What is the purpose of this thinking? With what do I want to end up? These are the key phrases that define purpose in thinking. Following these are some different ways of expressing the same thing. Unless a thinker is very clear as to purpose, as to what is the final objective, then his/her thinking is unlikely to be effective?

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Examples; 1.

A lawyer is cross-examining a witness to a motor accident. What is the purpose of the lawyer’s thinking?



It depends whether the lawyer is defending, or prosecuting.



If defending, the lawyer may want to show that the witness is unreliable and that the witness’s evidence removes the blame from his client.



If prosecuting, the lawyer may want to show that the witness is unreliable and that the evidence is not important.



Unless the lawyer is very clear about purpose he or she might get things mixed up.

2. A supermarket finds that it is losing a lot of soap. Detectives are called in and asked to solve the problem. What is the purpose of their thinking?



To catch whoever is taking the soap?



To find out why it is only the soap that is disappearing?



To find ways of preventing the loss of soap?



To set up better security for the whole store?



Their thinking is going to be effective only if they know the exact purpose of it at each stage.

3. In spite of the protests of the people living nearby and the danger of radioactive contamination, the electric company decides to build a nuclear power station in a certain area.



They say they have examined all the alternatives and chosen this one. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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But the purpose of their thinking was to decide the type of power station that was to be built at that spot, not whether it should be built at all or where it should be built.

In discussing the examples the teacher must try to keep the emphasis on the purpose of the thinking rather than the general objective. So the purpose of a lawyer’s thinking- choice of questions, comments differs according to which side the lawyer is on. Being clear about the purpose of his/her thinking is essential to a lawyer. The second example illustrates how there may be alternative purposes to thinking. Although these all seem to fall within the general area they do in fact lead to different thinking. For example, catching a thief may be satisfying but, apart from minor deterrence, may not solve the problem of store security. The emphasis here is on realising that within the same general purpose there may be alternative exact purposes. The third example shows that a decision may satisfy the purpose of thinking, but if the purpose had been different then the decision would also have been different. It also shows that purposes which are assumed to be the same may not, in fact, be so.

BEING SURE OF THE PURPOSE OF THINKING As before, this key section puts in summary form the operating principles of the lesson. What it amounts to is: 1.

If thinking is required be sure about the purpose.

2. Be exact about the purpose. 3. Each purpose is separate. 4. Keep the purpose in mind throughout. 5. Know what you want to end up with.

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1.

If something is worth thinking about it is worth being sure about the exact purpose of the thinking.

2. It is not enough to be aware of the purpose in a general sense: you must be able to spell it out exactly. 3. Even if there are several purposes each one must be defined separately. 4. At all stages in the thinking the exam purpose must be kept in mind. 5. Being sure of the purpose means knowing exactly what you want to end up with.

TYPES OF PURPOSE Defining the purpose of the thinking involves three things—the type of purpose, the general purpose and the exact purpose:

The Type of Purpose: Do you want to end up with a decision, a plan, a discovery, proof of something, or what? Some of the types of purpose are given here:



Finding



Exploration



Organising



Opinion



Understanding



Conclusion



Discovery



Argument



Proof



Organisation



Getting information © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Plan Description



Deciding Decision



Generating Problem Selection



Innovation



Review



Creativity



Evaluation



Alternative s

Each of these is something one may want to end up with at the end of the thinking. You may want to end up with a better understanding of something, with a review of a decision, with a plan, with a definite opinion, etc.

The General Purpose: •

The general area in which thinking is taking place. “Choosing a career” would be a general purpose.

The Exact Purpose: •

The exact purpose of the thinking, spelled out in detail.

For example: “Finding out what I can do next week that will help toward choosing a career.” The type of purpose could also be called the type of thinking involved or the sort of thinking situation it is. Do you want to end up with a decision, or a plan, or just the expression of an opinion? Is the purpose of your thinking to explore the subject, or perhaps to prove something? Is there a specific problem to be solved or is a new idea needed?

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The possible types are listed further on. Too much time should not be spent on these, though they can be referred to at all times.

The four main types are: 1.

Finding,

2. Organising, 3. Deciding, 4. Generating. The general purpose of the thinking is the general area in which thinking takes place: careers, schoolwork, home, parents, traffic congestion, etc. Often thinking does not go beyond this general purpose. The exact purpose defines the purpose of the thinking in detail. This is the exact question that is to be answered, the exact problem that is to be solved. It needs to be defined and spelled out. There may be alternative exact purposes. These are spelled out and tackled in turn. There are dangers in being too specific but there are bigger dangers in not being focused. The part of the PISCO illustration that refers to purpose shows an outer circle which is the general purpose and a smaller circle which represents the exact purpose. Emphasis should be placed on finding the exact purpose.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done on an individual, open-class basis with different students volunteering different purposes for the brothers’ thinking, or it can be done on a group discussion basis (time allowed is 2 minutes). © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Item One. •

Two brothers have very different personalities.



William is a happy, jolly fellow who has a lot of friends.



Arthur is nervous and cautious and likes reading a lot.



They both inherit a lot of money from their uncle.



Each one sits down to think about what he is going to do with the money.



What is the general purpose of their thinking?



Suggest what the exact purpose of the thinking might be:



First for William and then for Arthur.



The general purpose of the thinking is “dealing with money.” The exact purpose might differ with the personality.

Suggested points:

William: 1.

How can I use the money to stop working and have a good time?

2. Who could I help with the money? 3. Can I set up my own business with the money? 4. Is there enough to live on? Arthur: 1.

How can I find the safest investment?

2. How can I get advice? 3. How do I evaluate different types of investment? 4. Should I keep the money in reserve in case I fall ill?

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Teachers Notes: This can be done as a group discussion or on an individual basis (time allowed is 3 minutes).

Item Two. •

A man is running a garage business.



The business is so successful that it grows until he finds it is too much work for him.



He sits down to think about what he can do.



Which of the following purposes for his thinking do you think is the most likely?



1.

Which do you think is the best purpose?

To find a way of improving his ability so that he can cope

2. To find someone who can take some of the work off his shoulders 3. To work out a general plan of action 4. To find a way of stepping down from the job 5. To find a new job before he is thrown out 6. To find a way of covering up his incompetence? The students discuss the different stated purposes of the garage man’s thinking. Suggested points: 1.

They are being asked to say which purpose would seem to be the most likely and also which ones they consider to be best.

2. This is clearly a subjective judgement, but the students must back up their judgement with reasons.

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Teachers Notes: This is a simple practice item which can be done on a group (2 minutes) or individual basis.

Item Three. •

A principal has a problem because one of her teachers cannot keep discipline in the class.



She thinks about the problem.



Which of the following types of purpose might apply in her case?



Decision?



Exploration?



Solution?



Understanding?



Alternative courses of action?



Opinion?



Innovation?

The students are asked to indicate the type of purpose or thinking involved. Each of the types could apply. Students are asked to suggest which one is most appropriate or even to place them in the best order of use:

Suggested points: 1.

E.g. Exploration and understanding,

2. Followed by alternatives and decision.

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Teachers Notes: Group (2 minutes) or an individual item.

Item four. •

A publisher has built up his business by publishing books cheaply enough for students to buy them.



Suddenly the price of paper rises very much. This requires him to do a lot of thinking.



Indicate the likely type of thinking, the general purpose, and at least one of the exact purposes.



What type is this thinking likely to be?



Is it problem solving?

Suggested points: 1.

The general purpose might be to cope with the price rise, to reorganise the business, to retain his customers, etc.

2. The exact purpose might be to explore the smallest price rise that would still allow his business to survive, or ways of changing the books so that less paper was used. Teachers Notes: This item can also be done on a group or open-class basis (2 minutes).

Item five. •

Two boys and two girls are planning an expedition up the Amazon River. They sit down to think about the expedition.



Each of them tries to define the purpose of their thinking:



To explore all the possible things that might happen.

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To see how they can find out about the experience of all other expeditions up the Amazon.



To decide upon priorities and objectives.



To solve the problem of needing a lot of supplies but not wanting to carry the supplies with them.



Which of these purposes do you think is the most sensible and why?

Suggested points: 1.

Each of the four thinkers suggests a different purpose.

2. These alternative purposes are to be considered by the students, who are asked to come to a conclusion as to which is the most sensible. 3. This subjective judgement has to be supported by reasons. SUMMARY

The lesson is directed toward the deliberate effort to define the exact purpose of thinking:

What do I want to end up with?

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or in the latter part of a doubleperiod class. One or more project items may be used. The output is written and from individuals.

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Item One •

An inventor creates a completely new type of child’s bicycle.



At a meeting to discuss this are,



The inventor,



A mother,



A shopkeeper,



A designer and the manufacturer.



They are all thinking about the new bicycle.



What do you imagine the exact purpose of the thinking might be in each case?



What is required?



What is the purpose, (exactly defined) behind the thinking of each of the individuals?

Suggested points: For example; 1.

The mother’s purpose might be to decide whether it has any appeal.

2. The manufacturer’s thinking might be directed to working out a production process. 3. The shopkeeper might be trying to decide a price by comparison with existing items. Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or in the latter part of a doubleperiod class. One or more project items may be used. The output is written and from individuals.

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Item Two •

Four thinking situations are given below. Describe the type of thinking that is needed in each case:



A girl is thinking about her summer vacation.



A boy is about to buy some new jeans.



A driver has just skidded and knocked a man off his bicycle.



A shopper has heard that the price of meat has risen again.

Suggested points: 1.

For each situation a specific type of thinking has to be indicated.

2. This may take the form of decision, planning, evaluation, etc. 3. The students are not required to go into further detail.   Teachers Notes: These can be done during project time or in the latter part of a doubleperiod class. One or more project items may be used. The output is written and from individuals.

Item Three •

Two years ago a boy decided that he wanted to study to be an engineer



He is now bored with the idea and wants to change his mind. He is thinking about it.



List some alternative purposes for his thinking.



For a person in this situation what might the purpose of thinking be?

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Suggested points: 1.

Students are asked to imagine themselves in the place of the engineering student.

2. What would be the purpose of thinking about the situation? 3. To adjust it? 4. To discover alternatives? 5. To look ahead? 6. Alternatives are asked for.

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Lesson 6 Input The situation, the scene, the setting, thwe information available, the factors and people to be considered, the total input that goes into thinking.

INTRODUCTION This lesson deals with the second of five stages of thinking. The picture repeats all five stages of the PISCO procedure in order to establish this firmly as a visual representation. Once the purpose of the thinking has been defined the next stage is to put together the Input. “Input” is a general term that covers all the ingredients, factors, information, considerations, etc. that have to go into the thinking. It is on these things that the thinking has to work to produce a result or output. If we regard the mind as a computer then the input is all the information that has to be fed in.

INPUT What is the input? What has to be put into the thinking?

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The input side of thinking



The raw material of the thinking process



The input which the mind has to think about to produce an output



The knowledge, experience and information that are fed in



All that has to be put in for useful thinking to take place



The total input for the thinking

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These are all different ways of saying that there has to be an input into the thinking and that this consists of the situation and all available knowledge and experience about it. The input is most simply defined as all the things that have to go into the thinking. The concept is quite straightforward. From the teaching point of view there is some difficulty in its open-ended nature. How much is enough? When do students know that they have put in enough ingredients? There is no definite answer to this, except to say that nothing important should be left out. It is easiest to place the emphasis on •

What has been left out?



What should we not leave out here?



What is the input?



What has to be put into the thinking?

These questions define the input. Following these in the student notes are different ways of expressing the basic notion. If the input is inadequate then no amount of excellence in the actual thinking stage can make up for it. Examples; 1.

After a long search a young couple finds a house that they like, tucked away in a country village. The house is the right size and the right price, so they buy it at once.



Some months later they find that a main road is going to be put through the middle of their garden.



The input side to their thinking had not included all the necessary information.

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2. A runner cannot make up his mind which distance he is going to concentrate on for the Olympic Games: the 800 meters or the 1500 meters. Finally he chooses the 800 meters but he has made his decision so late that his training has not been good enough and he finishes last. •

In this case the thinker did not realise that there was some urgency to his decision.

3. The inventors of DDT knew that they had found an effective way of killing insect pests. For many years DDT was used to protect crops. Then it was noticed that the birds were dying.



The DDT remained in the crops so long that the birds that ate the crops and the insects got large doses of DDT and the birds that ate these birds got even more concentrated doses.



The birds that had kept the insect population controlled were now dying themselves.



In their thinking about DDT the users had not included in their input’ the future consequences.

Each of the three examples deals with a situation that has gone wrong because the thinker was not careful enough about the input. In the first example the couple was so pleased with the house that they forgot to check the local government road plans. A vital piece of available information was left out of the input. In the second example the athlete left out of his thinking the need to make a decision soon enough. He failed to put “urgency” in as an input. In the DDT example the scientists and users failed to anticipate the future and to include the consequences as part of their thinking input. In general the point can be made that most thinking goes wrong because Page 88

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the input is inadequate. Sometimes it is not the fault of the thinker - the information required simply is not available. But more often it is the fault of the thinker, who has not fed in the full input.

GATHERING THE TOTAL INPUT FOR THE THINKING This key section puts into practical operating form the principles involved in this lesson. What it amounts to is: 1.

The input should include as much as possible.

2. The input should take into account the thinking situation. 3. What is missing should be noted. 4. A checklist may be helpful. 5. Thinking can never be better than the input.

1.

The input should try to cover as much as possible: considerations,

people

involved,

urgency

information

needed, and so on. 2. The input must include every aspect of the situation under consideration. 3. An attempt should be made to note what is missing from the input even if it cannot be supplied. 4. It may be useful to have a checklist of the different things that should go into the input. 5. No matter how skilled thinkers are, their thinking can never be better than the input they gather. TYPES OF INPUT To say the input should cover all the ingredients is not enough. It is helpful to spell out the different sorts of ingredients.

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For convenience these are grouped under: 1.

Background,

2. Foreground, 3. Future ground 4. And surround. The various aspects of the input can be looked at as four types: 1.

Background: The setting, the scene, the starting point, the situation, the general background to the thinking.

2. Foreground: Factors, considerations, ingredients, and the people involved, the experience available, the information available. 3. Future Ground: The consequences, what would happen if no thinking were to take place, what difference the thinking might make, scenarios? 4. Surround: The surroundings of the thinking itself, the urgency, the importance, pressures from circumstances or people, the time available, the opportunities, the benefits, who is responsible for the thinking. In general the background refers to the scene, the foreground to the actual ingredients of the thinking, the future ground to what might happen with or without the thinking, and the surroundings to the pressures on the thinker. The background covers the scene, setting, context or situation, what has led up to the thinking, the place and perspective of the thinking. What is required is a general awareness of the background. For example the reaction of a man who is miserable because he has been fired from a job is not the same as that of a man who is miserable because the horse he bet on has not won the race.

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The foreground includes all the active ingredients that have to be taken into consideration. Most important are the actual ingredients or components of the situation for example, possible places for a summer vacation. Other factors and considerations, although they may not be as important as the actual components, must also be examined as part of the foreground. The people involved - whether actual components, factors or considerations - usually merit a separate heading. The experience and information available need no explanation. No attempt should be made to draw fine distinctions among these various headings. The future ground includes the consequences and the results of the thinking in general. Clearly a particular decision will have particular consequences but what is considered here is the general effect of thinking or of not thinking about the situation. Setting a scenario is really painting a future scene. “Surround’ concerns the surroundings of the thinker, the urgency of the need for the thinking, the pressures put upon the thinker by other people or circumstances, the time available for the thinking. The possible benefits of the thinking and the opportunities that could be opened up by the thinking both come in at this point. Finally there is the responsibility for the thinking. •

Whose business is it to do the thinking?



Who is going to be responsible?



Is it one person s decision or a joint one?

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done on an individual, open-class basis or as a group discussion item (4 minutes). For each of the situations the students are asked to indicate the urgency, the importance, the pressures from other people and whose responsibility the thinking might be. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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The teacher can give an example: for instance, someone buying a car: •

Urgency: may be urgent if the old car has broken down, otherwise it may not be very urgent.



Importance: may be very important if needed to get to work or needed during work; may also be important for pleasure.



Pressures: from family, from friends, from car salesperson, from bank manager.



Responsibility: the person making the choice and paying for the car. Item One.

For each of the following situations indicate: •

The urgency;



The importance;



The pressures from other people;



Whose responsibility the thinking is;

1.

Planning a summer vacation

2. Choosing a career 3. Buying a CD 4. The neighbour’s dog barks all night and keeps everyone awake: what can be done? Suggested points: See above

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Teachers Notes: Best done as a group situation (3 minutes), but can also be done on an individual basis. The students are asked to comment on the difference in the thinking “situation” of each of the three people. Item Two. In each of the following situations someone is looking for a job: What is the difference in the input in each situation? •

A man who has worked for twenty sears in the same job in a small town is suddenly out of work when the firm goes bankrupt.



A school drop-out is looking for his or her first job.



A married woman’s children have grown up and she has become bored with her job in the city.

Suggested points: Such things as urgency importance, other people involved, future ground should be considered.

Teachers Notes: A Group or an individual item. Probably best done on an open-class, individual basis with students offering suggestions. The emphasis is on the difference that would be made by the addition of the piece of information. Item Three. •

A foreigner is found dead in his hotel room.



The police are trying to find out what might have happened.



The following piece of information is added to their “input”:



The man is found to have no luggage at all.

What difference do you think this information will make to their thinking?

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Suggested points: 1.

He might be a secret agent.

2. It might be suicide. 3. He might have been killed somewhere else and dumped there. Teachers Notes: Individual written work, open-class suggestions or group work (4 minutes), at the end of which a list of input items must be produced.

Item four. •

A young man wants to set up his own business.



Because he likes cars he thinks about setting up a garage and a petrol pump station.



What sorts of things should go into his thinking:



Information required,



People involved,



Ingredients,



Considerations

Suggested points: 1.

Information: profitability figures from others, advice from trade sources, possibility of getting a franchise, number of garages in the area, number of nearby competitors, number of cars in the area, traffic density on proposed site, government regulations, cost and capital required, etc.

2. People involved: competitors, his family, assistants, and suppliers

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3. Considerations: problems involved, his experience or capacity to run a business, liking cars is not the same as liking garage work, need for a garage in that area Teachers Notes: Group work (3 minutes). Could also be used as an individual written item. The scene is set and the students are asked to put themselves in the place of the small country and to assemble an “input” for their thinking.

Item five. •

A small country whose economy depends very much on fishing finds that the fish are getting scarce because so many other people are fishing nearby.



To prevent this, the country decides to increase the size of its coastal waters by making the limit 200 miles from shore instead of 50.



The other countries do not recognise this and continue to fish the waters.

What can be done? What “input” should go into the thinking of the small country?

Suggested points: 1.

The scientists’ estimate of the fish depletion

2. Alternative fish types 3. Alternative fish sources 4. Available means of protest 5. Appeal to world opinion 6. Pressure through treaties and allies

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7.

Urgency of the thinking

8. Importance of the thinking 9. Shortness of available time 10. Political problems in the small country itself 11. Unemployment among the fishermen of the other countries SUMMARY

The important point in this stage of thinking is paying specific attention to gathering the total Input to the thinking.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: The project items are always done as written work on an individual basis. They may be done during normal project time or in the latter half of a double-period lesson. One or more items may be chosen by the teacher or by general agreement.

Item One •

A boy has to decide whether to live at home and work in his local town or to go off to the big city and find a job there.



He keeps putting off the decision and just takes a temporary job.



In looking at the “future ground” what do you think will happen if he never makes the decision?



If he decides to stay in his home town,



If he goes to the big city?

Suggested points: In this item students are asked to look at future ‘scenarios given the three alternative situations. They should write a description of each scenario.

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Teachers Notes: The project items are always done as written work on an individual basis. They may be done during normal project time or in the latter half of a double-period lesson. One or more items may be chosen by the teacher or by general agreement.

Item Two •

A rock group has been very successful as a group but each member feels that he or she can do better as an individual.



They start to think about splitting up.



Make some notes on the “input” to their thinking:



Background,



Foreground,



Future ground and



Surround.

Suggested points: Since few details are given the students can imagine their own situations, creating fictional considerations, etc. The comments should be presented under the different headings.

Teachers Notes: The project items are always done as written work on an individual basis. They may be done during normal project time or in the latter half of a double-period lesson. One or more items may be chosen by the teacher or by general agreement.

Item Three •

A manufacturer is producing a new brand of toothpaste which has a special X ingredient that stops decay.

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How do you imagine the manufacturer’s thinking will be affected by the following alternative pieces of information?

1.

That the main competitor has a similar product but are six months behind in developing it.

2. That the main competitor has a similar product and is six months ahead. 3. That the main competitor has already launched a similar product. Suggested points: Students are asked to describe how the manufacturer’s thinking will be affected by each alternative piece of information. 1.

How would the first alternative affect the manufacturer’s thinking?

2. How would the second alternative affect it? 3. What about the third?

It is the change in thinking that is requested. It may be assumed that originally the manufacturer had no idea that the competitor was producing a similar product.

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Lesson 7 Solutions Alternative solutions including the most obvious, the traditional, and the new. Methods for generating solutions and filling gaps.

INTRODUCTION The Solutions stage is really the active stage of thinking. In the Purpose stage we defined the objective, In the Input stage we put together the raw material, and now in the Solutions stage we have to produce the solutions. Throughout the lesson, the thinking process is treated as if it were always a matter of solving problems. As we saw in the Purpose lesson, thinking can have many other purposes, but in practice all of them can be expressed in terms of “we have this problem we want to...” Any state of wanting to achieve something can be put as a “problem” and the method of achievement as a “solution.” The emphasis is not just on finding the solution but on finding at least three solutions (as indicated in the picture). It is in the next stage that the Choice of the best solution is made. It does not need emphasising that the purpose of the Solutions stage is just to turn up alternative solutions even if some of them are obviously better than others.

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SOLUTIONS The illustration shows the third stage of the total PISCO process. This lesson deals with the third stage: Solutions. •

What is the solution here?



What alternative solutions are there?



How do we solve the problem?



What can be done?



What is the solution?



What is the result of the thinking?



How do we sort it out?



What are the alternatives?



Are there any other possibilities here?

These are all different ways of saying that in this stage we are trying to solve the problem. Our thinking is now in action as we try to turn up alternative solutions. In the first stage the purpose was defined, in the second stage the input was considered, and now in the third stage the actual problem solving has to take place. The student notes provide alternative ways of expressing this active search for solutions. The Solutions stage is the one in which the thinker does the looking, searching, figuring out, etc. Examples; 1.

There are many people without houses. What are some solutions that can be found for this problem?



Build more houses



Design cheaper houses so that more can be built for the same cost

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Divide houses into apartments, which accommodate more people



Move people around so that each person lives in a house that is only big enough for his or her needs.

2. In a blizzard a group of boys is lost on a mountain. A search party is sent to look for them •

The first solution suggested is that the party simply set out and looks for them.



This is improved by the suggestion that the party, split into four smaller parties.



The next improvement is to divide the area into small squares and each party search a sequence of these squares.



The final improvement is to guess where the boys are most likely to be and to start with these areas.

3. There is an increasing amount of garbage but no one wants the job of collecting it. •

It is not possible to pay enough money to attract people to the job just for the money.



What can be done?

There is difficulty in solving this problem, so in the end we create a new problem: to find an incentive other than money which will be attractive. On this new problem we use the whole PISCO process again. In the first example the emphasis is on alternative solutions. It may seem that these are approaches more than solutions, but no distinction between the two need be made. Overlap should also be ignored, for instance “build more houses” overlaps with “design cheaper houses so more can be built.”

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So long as a solution offers some point of difference it can be treated as an additional solution. In the second example the emphasis is on improving the first solution. For practical purposes any improvement may be treated as an additional solution even though it arose from the original solution. The third example is an important one because it shows that when a solution cannot be found the correct procedure is to formulate a new problem. This is the alternative to finding a solution. This new problem can then be tackled as a separate thinking situation in itself with stage-by-stage use of the whole PISCO process. But the new problem must be clearly defined.

FINDING THE SOLUTION This key section puts into practical operating form the principles involved in the lesson. What it amounts to is: 1.

Concentrate deliberately on finding solutions.

2. Find at least three alternative solutions.

3. If you cannot find a solution define a new problem.

4. Try to improve the solutions you have.

5. Do not try to choose the best solution at this stage.

1.

When you are clear that you have an exact purpose and are satisfied that you have sufficient input—then you set out to find solutions.

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2. Always try to find at least three alternative solutions rather than be content with the first one. 3. If you cannot find a solution then define a new problem. 4. When you have found a solution you should always try to improve it. 5. Treat the alternative solutions as equal until you come to the Choice stage.

TYPES OF SOLUTION This section is more important in this lesson than it has been in preceding lessons since it is necessary to explain the processes instead of just listing them. In the Solutions stage of thinking we can look at five different types of action: 1.

Obvious solution: Merely thinking about the purpose and the input can sometimes suggest an obvious solution. This should certainly be noted as one of the alternatives.



An obvious solution should never be rejected just because it is obvious.

2. Copied solution: Copy what is done in similar situations by other people—or what you have done in the past. •

Copies what is done in situations that are not exactly the same but have something in common.

3. Found solution: Find a solution by the “something” method. Imagine a “something” that can accomplish everything you want done. •

Define all the requirements and then see if you can find the “something.”

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4. Improved solution: Take any of the above solutions and try to improve upon it. •

Treat the improvement as an alternative solution and try to improve upon it again.

5. New problem: If you cannot find a solution then define your “sticking point” as a new problem in itself. •

You can now concentrate on this new problem and carry out the whole PISCO process on it. But you must define the problem first.

In general all these solution types can be tried.

It is important to end up with alternative solutions rather than the “best” solution since that is to be decided in the Choice stage. Obvious solutions should always be put down first even if they seem unsatisfactory. Then the thinker should look around to see if it is possible to copy a solution that he or she has used before or that someone else has used in the same or related situations. No one should be ashamed of using related situations. No one should be ashamed of using obvious solutions or copying useful solutions. Effectiveness is the aim - not novelty for the sake of novelty. A “found solution” refers to a solution that is not obvious but is found by deliberate effort. The single technique suggested here is the “something” technique. The thinker describes all the properties and qualities the solution will have. For example: “I need something that will hold fluid, but it must be small enough to lift in one hand, it must not be too hot to hold, it should stand upright when put down, it should not be very expensive. Page 104

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Solution: a cup.” As in the recognition process the hope is that by spelling out all the required features the actual solution may be found. An improvement upon any of the previous types of solution is treated as a separate alternative solution. An effort should always be made to improve a solution since the form in which it is first stated is unlikely to be the best and a good solution may be missed if no effort is made to improve all solutions and to extras the maximum potential from each. Finally if no solution can be found - and even if a solution can be found— there is an attempt to define a new problem. This new problem becomes the starting point for repeating the whole PISCO process. The end result of the Solutions stage should be a number of alternative solutions.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done by individuals on a written or open-class basis - or in group discussion (3 minutes). The students are asked in particular for alternative solutions or approaches, rather than the best solution.

Item One. •

There is a desert country where the rainfall is too low to grow most crops.



The country does have a coastline.



Fortunately it also has oil.



How would you solve the agricultural problem?



Give as many alternative solutions as you can.

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Suggested points: 1.

Try to make it rain

2. Desalinisation of sea water 3. Drill for water 4. Import water in giant tankers 5. Find crops that require little water Teachers Notes: In this item the students are not asked to provide alternative solutions but to make a deliberate effort to improve the solution that is given. Group (3 minutes) or individual item.

Item Two. •

Only four people have the key to a certain room.



A valuable painting disappears from the room.



None of the four people will admit taking it.



The solution suggested is to divide the price of the painting into four and make each of the people pay one quarter.



How could you improve upon this solution?

Suggested points: 1.

Allow the four people to cross-examine each other and write a report on who they think is guilty.

2. Allow the four people to use a lie detector on each other. 3. Allow them to draw lots, if they prefer, to determine who pays the full amount. 4. Tell each of them that the cost will be shared and note who is pleased and who is displeased.

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Teachers Notes: The group can discuss the problem (4 minutes) and suggest a solution or define a new problem.

Item Three. •

A historic castle dating back to the thirteenth century needs a lot of repair work to the roof and walls.



The owners who live in the castle want to make the repairs but they do not have enough money.



The castle is far from a town or main road.



How would you solve this problem?



Try to find a solution with the “something” method and also try to define a “new problem.”

Suggested points: 1.

They need something that will entice people to travel a long way to see the castle or at least be near it.

2. The people who visit the castle must be able to contribute toward the repairs. 3. Solution: set up a school for young builders to learn restoration work. 4. New problem: to find a way in which the castle can generate money without people actually having to visit it. Teachers Notes: This can be done on an open-class basis with students suggesting what might be placed under each heading. This is preferable to a group discussion.

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Item four. •

Every country needs an army for defense even if the army is small.



There is a problem because no one wants to become a soldier.



Suggest something under each of the following headings:

1.

Obvious solution

2. Copied solution 3. Found solution (using the “something” method) 4. New problem. Suggested points: 1.

Obvious solution: pay high wages

2. Copied solution: give long vacations as in the teaching profession 3. Found solution: “something” that will provide soldiers without their having to join the army: a citizen army in which everyone does some training each year. 4. New problem: to find and remove those things which make army life unattractive Teachers Notes: Group item (4 minutes) or may be done on an individual written or openclass basis. Four alternative solutions are to be offered. A solution that is a modification or improvement on an existing solution can be accepted.

Item five. •

The residents on a road notice a strong smell of gas.



There is a danger of a gas explosion, but the engineers cannot find exactly where the leak is.

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They think it might be from a tiny hole in the main pipe.



How would you solve this problem?



Give four alternative solutions if you can.



You may use the “something” method or define a new problem if you wish.

Suggested points: 1.

Find out where the’ leak is, then dig up and replace the entire pipe.

2. Pump coloured water into the main pipe and see where the soil is stained. 3. “Something” that will crawl down the pipe and notice a leak. Pump air into the pipe and notice at which point a candle flame flickers along the surface. 4. The new problem of blocking off the pipe a small section at a time to test for a decrease in gas pressure. 5. The new problem of blocking a leak without first having to find it. SUMMARY

This is the working-it-out stage of thinking. The effort is to find alternative solutions.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: As usual, the projects are done on an individual written basis, either in special project time or else towards the latter half of a double-period lesson.

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The number of project items attempted will depend on the available time. The written work can be done in the form of notes instead of essays.

Item One •

Some people want to build a special playground for children but they do not know what would be best.



Find the exact purpose of their thinking, put together the input you feel they need, and find some alternative solutions.

Suggested points: 1.

Students are requested to go through all three stages:



Purpose,



Input



Solutions.

The project should not end up just with suggestions for various types of swings but with ways by which the organisers might find out what children would like best (e.g., ask children, copy others, trial and error).

Teachers Notes: As usual, the projects are done on an individual written basis, either in special project time or else towards the latter half of a double-period lesson. The number of project items attempted will depend on the available time. The written work can be done in the form of notes instead of essays.

Item Two •

A teacher is teaching a class of fifteen-year-old girls. The discipline in the school is poor and the girls in class are poorly behaved.

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The teacher finds that teaching them is too stressful. Describe the input to her thinking and some possible alternative solutions.

Suggested points: 1.

The Input stage is again asked for in this item (background, foreground, future ground and surround).

2. Alternative solutions should then be given. Teachers Notes: As usual, the projects are done on an individual written basis, either in special project time or else towards the latter half of a double-period lesson. The number of project items attempted will depend on the available time. The written work can be done in the form of notes instead of essays. What is required here is a method or approach which the school might use for training youngsters to set up a business of their own.

Item Three •

A school wants to train youngsters to set up their own businesses. How can this be done?



1.

Give solutions under the following headings:

Obvious solution

2. Copied solution 3. Found solution (using the “something” method) 4. New problem.

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Suggested points: 1.

Obvious solution: give the students some money and let them learn by trial and error.

2. Copied solution: use an apprenticeship system, as has been done in the past.

3. Found solution: “something” a student can do that will give the same training but can be done at school - perhaps business games.

4. New problem: to find types of businesses that can be run in the school itself.

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Lesson 8 Choice The decision process. Choosing between the alternative solutions. Priorities and the criteria for choice. Consequences and review of the decision.

INTRODUCTION

With the Choice stage the picture can be used directly as explanation. The “alternative” solutions are shown to narrow down to a filled-in circle. The narrowing down is the same symbol as for the Contract stage of TEC. The filled-in circle corresponds to the empty circle that was at the centre of the Purpose stage. There the exact purpose was defined. This purpose is now “filled in” by the choice of final solution. The exploratory phase of thinking is over. The decision and action phase starts. From the alternative solutions produced in the Solutions stage, just one has to be chosen for action. No matter how good, or bad, all the solutions may seem, only one may be chosen. The Choice stage of thinking covers choice, selection, judgement, decision, picking the winner, etc. In the previous stages the student was encouraged to think as broadly as possible. Here the student is asked to narrow down and choose a solution. In doing so, however, the student must consider a wide range of things. These are discussed later in the lesson. Which of the alternative solutions is best?

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“Best” means best in the circumstances. This may mean for society, for the thinker, for everyone involved. The definition of “best” depends on how the exact purpose of the thinking was defined in the first place.

CHOICE The Choice stage is indicated in the illustration of the total PISCO process. The filled-in circle corresponds to the open circle in the Purpose stage. At that stage the exact purpose could be defined. In the Choice stage the purpose is going to be filled in by a solution. The lines converging on the filled-in circle are similar to the symbol in the Contract process because the Choice stage is similar to the Contract process. The Choice stage is involved in narrowing down the alternative solutions generated in the Solutions stage to yield one definite solution. •

Which of the alternative solutions is the best?



Which solution should I choose?



Which of these alternatives is most suitable?



Which solution fits my requirements best?



One of these solutions must be better than the others



I cannot use all the solutions. I have to choose one of them.



At this point a final choice is required.



The thinking must be narrowed down to a single definite solution.

These are all different ways of saying that at this stage a final solution must be chosen. The expanding step is over and the contracting step must narrow down to a definite solution. The student notes offer alternative ways of looking at the choosing process.

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Examples; 1. •

A girl was offered jobs in two different stores. In the small store the pay was higher but there was no chance of promotion.



In the larger store the pay was lower but there was a very good chance of promotion.



She chose the job with the higher pay.

Her reasons were as follows: •

She was not sure she would like working in a store and she thought the smaller store would be more pleasant. While she was making up her mind about this type of work she might as well get good pay.



If she found she did like the work and wanted to make a career of it she could always move to the bigger store and would then have some experience behind her.

2. A man wants to buy an old car full of character but his wife asks him to draw up a list of the sensible requirements: size, fuel consumption, cost of repairs, resale value, reliability, etc. •

Reluctantly he agrees to buy a sensible car but he does not like it and does not take good care of it.



His friend who bought the old car he had wanted takes very good care of it, polishing it every week and treating it almost like a child.



The first man had left out of consideration his own likes and dislikes, which must be included when making a choice.

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3. An inventor tries to borrow some money from a friend to produce his newest invention. •

The friend has to decide whether to lend the money and finally does so.



Many years later the invention is a huge success and the lender is repaid one hundred times his loan.



At the time of the decision he had considered the possibility that the money would be lost, but it was not a large amount.



On the other hand if the invention was a success he might benefit greatly.



He was aware of the possible consequences and risks and decided to take the risk.

In the first example two definite alternatives are given. A choice is to be made. In fact the girl could choose to go on looking for a job, to take neither job or to take a different type of job —but we assume the girl does want to make this decision between the two. We see that she chooses the job with the higher pay. This choice is based on emotion, on how it suits her, on her requirements and on the consequences.

The second example is intended to show that “emotion” must play a part in choice. Choice should not be based entirely on emotion but emotion should not be ignored. It is not clear from the example which of the two men was better off. One man clearly has an interest in his car but the other may be enjoying more miles of trouble-free driving, even though he has neglected his car.

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The third example illustrates that a decision based on a proper evaluation of the consequences may still include an intentional element of risk taking. The point is that the lender knew the risks he was taking and still chose to take them. Had the sum required been larger he might have decided not to lend the money.

MAKING THE CHOICE A practical summary of this section amounts to the following: 1.

Make a deliberate effort to choose the best solution.

2. The suitability of the solution is important. 3. It is important to be sure about the choice. 4. The choice must be the thinker’s in the end. 5. The thinker must be clear about the reasons for the choice.   1.

When you have collected alternative solutions you should make a deliberate effort to choose the best one to act on.

2. Choose the solution that is best for you or whoever is going to have to carry it out. 3. Go on with the decision-making process until you are quite sure about the solution you have chosen. 4. You can ask for help in making a choice but in the end the choice must be yours. 5. Once you have chosen the solution you ought to be able to state clearly your reasons for making that choice.

TYPES OF CHOICE This important section discusses the bases for making a choice. The actual process of choice is covered here - it is suggested that the chooser evaluate an alternative under each of these headings in turn. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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In the Choice process the following bases for choice can be used. It is suggested that they be used in the order given.

1.

Emotions:



Which of the alternative solutions do you like best?



Which do you dislike or feel indifferent about?



Can you see what it is that you like or dislike about these alternatives?



Emotions should always be taken into account.

2. Ease: •

Is the solution within your capabilities?



How difficult would it be to carry through?



Is the solution complicated or expensive?



One alternative may be very good in itself but if it is too difficult to carry out then it is of little use.

3. Requirements: •

Make a full list of the requirements which the solution should fulfil.



Pick out the priorities in these requirements.



Examine each alternative solution to see which requirements it fulfils and which it does not.

4. Consequences:

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Look carefully at the consequences of each alternative.



What are the dangers?



What might go wrong?



Consequences include the risks but also the possible rewards.



If the choice proves wrong can it be reversed?

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5. Plus/Minus: •

List the plus points (strengths, advantages) for each alternative and the minus points (weaknesses, disadvantages).



These should include any of the matters listed under emotions, ease, requirements, consequences, and any other considerations about that alternative.

6. Review: •

Once the choice has been made it should be possible to state in a definite manner the reasons for the choice.

  1. •

The emotional aspect is important. If the solution liked by the thinker also turns out to be the best choice, that is very useful.



A solution that is liked may often be made to work. Conversely a solution that is disliked may not be used effectively.



An effort might be made to isolate the reasons for like or dislike determining if they are important or irrelevant.

2. The “ease” aspect covers the simplicity of the solution the cost, the disruption caused. •

How easy is it going to be to operate this alternative solution? This aspect also includes the suitability of the solution for whoever is going to have to use it.

3. Seeing how well the alternative solutions fit the requirements is the key operation. •

The requirements are listed first and then the priorities are selected.

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Each alternative solution is then tested against these to see which requirements are fulfilled and which are not.

4. The “consequences” basis for choosing involves looking at the risk and reward, the dangers and what is likely to happen with each alternative solution. •

Is the choice permanent and irreversible or can it be changed if it does not work?

5. The plus/minus examination is a summary listing of strengths and weakness for each alternative considered. •

These should cover all that was found under the preceding headings and aspects that have not yet been considered.



The objective is that these different ways of looking at the alternatives will reveal one to be more suitable than the others.



If this is not the case then the requirements can be looked at again to see if they are specific enough.



If all alternatives still seem equal, then emotional factors and ease factors should determine the final selection.

6. Once the decision or choice has been made, the chooser ought to be able to review it by giving the definite reasons for the choice. •

It sometimes happens that the reasons are not as good as they had seemed, once they are brought out into the open - and the choosing has to be done again.

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PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done on an open-class discussion basis with students giving suggestions. It can also be done as a group discussion (3 minutes). What are required are not the reasons for making one choice rather than another, but the basis for the choice.

Item One. •

A school drop-out is offered a choice of two jobs: one is with the government and the other with a private company.



The pay is equal and the jobs are similar.



One job is with an insurance company and the government job is in the tax department.



Show on what grounds the individual might choose.

Suggested points: 1.

Security

2. Pay with cost-of-living increases 3. Promotion prospects 4. Job satisfaction 5. Experience acquired. Teachers Notes: Group discussion item (3 minutes). The students are asked to set up requirements first and then to examine the alternatives.

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Item Two. •

An elderly woman is very popular in the town where she lives. Some people get together and decide that she should have a party for her ninety-fifth birthday.



1.

The alternatives suggested are:

A small surprise party

2. She should be told about the party one week in advance 3. She should be told months ahead and should help in the planning of a large party 4. She should be told the party is to celebrate something else and then find out at the last minute that she is the guest of honour In choosing between these alternatives list the requirements, pick out the priority requirements and evaluate how well each alternative fulfils these.

Suggested points: 1.

The output from the groups must show how the alternatives fulfils the requirements.

2. For example if one of the requirements is to show the woman how much she is appreciated, then letting her know in advance would seem to fit this better than the other alternatives. Teachers Notes: Group, open-class, or individual written basis. Discussion time - 4 minutes. Two definite alternatives are given and the students are asked to examine each of these with regard to emotions, ease, requirements, consequences, plus/minus points. The students are not asked to give a decision.

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Item Three. •

A country has only a small amount of money which can be spent on medical services.



The money can be used for a big hospital which will treat very ill people and carry out very special operations or it can be spent on clinics which will help more people but will not be able to treat the very ill.



If you were in the government how would you choose between the two alternatives?



1.

Go through the different bases of choice:

Emotions,

2. Ease, 3. Requirements, 4. Consequences, 5. Plus/Minus. Suggested points: Suggested points (in favour of town clinics): 1.

Emotions: the very ill people might die - this is an unattractive aspect.

2. Ease: probably easy to organise. 3. Requirements: to use money effectively, to keep the bulk of the population happy and productive, to eliminate certain diseases 4. Consequences: health of the general population might improve, significantly increased productivity could mean more money for medicine in the long run, some doctors might move elsewhere for higher-paying jobs.

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5. Plus/minus: •

More people will be treated (plus)



Healthy people will be more productive and happier (plus)



General hygiene can be taught (plus)



Some doctors might leave (minus)



Very ill people will die (minus)

Teachers Notes: Group discussion (4 minutes) or individual written work. This time the headings can be taken first and each alternative considered under that heading.

Item four. •

A farmer owns some land near an attractive town. A businessman wants to buy the land to turn it into a trailer park; he is willing to pay a very high price.



The farmer’s family wants him to sell because they want the money.



The townspeople don’t want a trailer park.



The farmer has an alternative offer from another farmer who wants to buy the land to add to his own farm.



1.

The farmer’s alternatives are:

Sell the land to the trailer park man

2. Sell the land to the other farmer 3. Keep the land 4. Develop the trailer park himself 5. Try to sell the land to the town. Evaluate the different bases for choice and make a decision.

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Suggested points: 1.

For example under the “emotions” heading we find that keeping the land would be best.

2. Under the “requirements” heading we might put: 3. Need for money, 4. Need to keep on good terms with townspeople (in which case trying to sell the land to the town might be best). 5. It is possible to do the item by defining the requirements first in an open-class discussion. Teachers Notes: Groups (3 minutes) or individuals are asked to comment on the decision and then to suggest why it was made. The decision to put money into improving airports is given.

Item five. •

The government of a country decides that the transportation System needs to be improved.



They can spend money on roads, railways airports or canals and rivers.



They choose to spend the money on airports.



Is this a good decision?



Why do you think they made this choice?

Suggested points: 1.

A bad decision, because air transportation is expensive, is not suitable for bulk cargoes, the aeroplanes have to be bought as well, serves only a few people.

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2. Possible reasons behind it: the government did not want ordinary people to travel freely, the government did not want people to spend money on cars or gasoline, or a new cheap type of aeroplane has been invented. SUMMARY

There comes a time when a choice of solution or a decision has to be made. Which solution fits the requirements and suits the chooser best?

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: Projects are always done by individuals and the output is written - either in essay style or in the form of notes. Projects may be done during a double lesson period or as homework between lessons.

Item One •

A schoolgirl is very rude to her teacher and refuses to obey.



The principal is called but the girl is rude to her and again refuses to obey.



What alternatives are open to the principal and how should she choose the best one?

Suggested points: 1.

The students are first asked to suggest alternatives and then to suggest the best choice from among these.

2. There may be two decisions: an immediate one and a longerterm one.

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3. One of the requirements of the immediate decision is that it be made quickly. Teachers Notes: Projects are always done by individuals and the output is written - either in essay style or in the form of notes. Projects may be done during a double lesson period or as homework between lessons.

Item Two •

A boy leaves the country but he promises a girl that he will return in two years and marry her.



They do not keep in touch.



Two years pass and the boy does not return.



The girl wants to marry someone else. Then the boy returns and says that he still wants to marry her, but she is not sure what to do.



How should she make her decision?

Suggested points: 1.

The important point to stress in this item is that the girl is not sure how she feels.

2. It is not a matter of her trying to get out of her promise. 3. Students are asked to describe how the decision should be made - not necessarily the decision itself. Teachers Notes: Projects are always done by individuals and the output is written - either in essay style or in the form of notes. Projects may be done during a double lesson period or as homework between lessons.

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Item Three •

There is not much space in the middle of the city.



A zoo has the following alternatives:

1.

Keep a lot of different animals in cages in the city

2. Keep only a few animals but give them more open space 3. Move the whole zoo out to the countryside 4. Evaluate the different bases for choice and make a decision. Suggested points:

1.

What is required is a careful and planned choice.

2. For each of the alternatives the requirements, consequences, plus/minus should be written out.

3. A final decision is required.

4. The reasons for making this decision should also be given.

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Lesson 9 Operation Operation, Implementation the carrying through the results of the thinking. Setting up the specific action steps that will bring about the desired result. Putting the thinking into effect.

INTRODUCTION Operation is the final stage of the PISCO process. The four vertical lines suggest four operating steps that form the action plan for putting the solution into operation. There may, of course, be more than four steps but there would at least be four. Otherwise there is a tendency to deal with the operation in too general a manner saying “Now we will put it into effect.” In the Operation stage, students are required to detail the steps by which the chosen solution can be put into operation. The PISCO process could have stopped with the chosen solution but putting the solution to work is the main point of the whole thinking process. The plans for doing this must be practical and realistic. They also must start with the “immediate steps.” The emphasis is on getting something specific done, rather than dealing with general intentions that never result in something definite. The purpose of numbering the operating steps is to emphasise concentration on definite steps which succeed each other.

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OPERATION The Operation stage is the last of the five stages of the PISCO process. The solution has been chosen and now it is a matter of putting it into operation. •

How can the solution be put into operation?



What are the action steps?



What needs to be done to put the solution into operation?



What is the first step, and the next, and the next?



What action is needed?



What do we do now?



How can we implement this solution?



What is the plan of action?



How do we get going on this solution?

These are all different ways of saying that once the solution has been selected it has to be put into operation. The actual operating steps have to be set up. There has to be a definite plan. The student notes provide alternative ways of expressing this concentration on action planning.

The emphasis is on “getting going.”

Example; 1.

Due to over-fishing, a country finds the catch of cod has diminished very rapidly. This means that many fishermen will be out of work. The suggested solution is to fish for other types of fish. The operating steps decided upon are as follows:

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Investigate what other sorts of fish have been popular at different times in the past (e.g., Mackerel)



Determine what other types of fish are eaten in different parts of the country or in other countries



Determine whether other types of fish are sufficiently abundant for large-scale fishing



Set up an operation involving a pilot scheme and an advertising campaign for a more available type of fish.

2. There has been a heavy wind and many trees have been blown down. Driving along early in the morning a man finds a tree blocking the road. What should he do?



He decides the most important thing is to warn other motorists, so he leaves his lights on and stops his car near the tree so that his headlights shine through it



As soon as another car stops he sends the driver off to warn the police



When other cars have stopped he organises the drivers into a team to try to shift the tree



He suggests that motorists on either side of the tree with very important journeys should swap cars for the day

3. A new producer is given the opportunity of organising his own radio programme. He sets up the following operating steps:



He researches all the past programs that have been successful and the ones that have been failures and tries to find out what made the difference. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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He asks a lot of people what their favourite programmes are and the reasons why they like these programmes



He develops his own ideas



He tries to put together all the factors such as budget, time of day, ingredients of a good programme.

The first example suggests three “exploratory” or information-gathering steps before setting up the pilot fishing operation. These could all have been lumped together under the one heading “explore the situation” but this sort of general heading is not practical enough since it covers many things but defines nothing. In the second example the driver’s actions may not have been the best. They may not even have been very sensible. Nevertheless he did have a definite action plan. This is important. The example may be discussed in terms of alternative action plans but they must be at least as definite as the driver’s plans in the example. The third example illustrates that the operating steps can themselves include sub-steps. For instance the way in which the producer is going to ask people about their favourite programs has to be planned. Who is he going to ask? Is he going to use a questionnaire? In discussing these examples there may be some difficulty in deciding what constitutes an operating step. How detailed is an operating step? How much does it cover? There is no complete answer. The emphasis is on something definite that can be done rather than a general intention to do something The more definite it is the better. Nevertheless it can still include even more definite and detailed sub-steps. Page 132

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SETTING UP THE OPERATING STEPS

This key section puts into practical form the purpose of the lesson: 1.

Decide on the very first step.

2. Be practical.

3. Plan ahead.

4. Recognise difficult areas.

5. Stick to the chosen solution.

1.

Decide on the first thing that has to be done to get the solution into action.

2. Choose steps that are simple and practical and can easily be done. 3. Plan as many steps ahead as possible. 4. Recognise sticking-points of “new problem” areas where some more thinking has to be done. 5. Be sure that the operating steps are carrying out the chosen solution. TYPES OF OPERATING STEPS Within each broad type of operating step there may be several actual steps. For instance if asked to put down some operating steps, a student may put down four steps, all of which fall under the “immediate” category. The important thing to keep in mind is the general framework of the different types of step. Are we looking for immediate steps or development steps?

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What follow-up steps have we planned? There are different types of operating steps. These may be carried out in sequence or there may be several within each type.

Immediate: •

These are the very first things that have to be done to get the solution moving.



These immediate steps may be very small ones but they are important.



They must always be things that can be done at once.

Development: •

These are bigger operations and involve setting up the solution.



Exploration, preliminary work and trials all can come into this development phase.

Full-action: •

This is the main operating phase.



The solution is now Operating with full force.

Follow-up: •

These are the operating steps that consolidate the solution and follow it up so that it continues to work.



Dealing with problems and difficulties that have arisen is part of this phase.

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In general these steps are concerned with preparing for the solution, carrying it through and following it up. The “immediate” steps are the ones which can be done now. Just as a journey of a thousand miles starts with one small step so the immediate steps are important. They serve to get things going. There may be a number of immediate steps. The “development” steps are the preparation steps. They involve setting things up. The development steps usually include investigation, exploration, gathering information and testing things out. At the end of the development steps, everything is ready for putting the solution into full action. The “full-action” steps imply that the solution is in action. This is full implementation. The thinking and preparation are over. The solution is at last being used. The “follow-up” steps refer to the continued use of the solution. They involve dealing with the problems and difficulties that arise and need correcting. Follow-up involves after-care and maintenance. Follow-up involves continued responsibility for the solution instead of just the responsibility for initiating it. Follow-up steps usually involve some sort of maintenance structure or monitoring operation.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done as an open-class discussion with students suggesting different immediate operating steps for each of the solutions. It can also be done as a group discussion (4 minutes). There is no one answer. Many suggestions may be given. The teacher may question whether a particular step is indeed an immediate step.

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For instance the suggestion that the street should be washed is not as immediate as warning people.

Item One. •

In each of the following situations what is the very first operating step that you would take?

1.

A container carrying radioactive waste on the back of a truck is found to be leaking. The truck has passed through the middle of a town.

2. An inventor claims that he has developed a new sound-echo device for helping blind people get around. 3. A woman finds out that her neighbour has been telling untrue stories about her. 4. A scientist has a theory that the oldest child in a family is braver than the younger ones. Suggested points: 1.

Trace the route and use a Geiger counter to monitor radioactivity

2. Ask the inventor to demonstrate the device with his eyes covered. 3. Double-check; to be sure it is the neighbour. 4. Look through a list of Governmental “Bravery Medal” recipients to see how many are awarded to the oldest children. Teachers Notes: Students are asked to suggest a solution and then give four operating steps for putting it into action.

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This is primarily a group discussion item (4 minutes) but it can also be done as a written item by individuals.

Item Two. •

An athletics committee in a country is very dissatisfied with the performance of its runners at the Olympic Games.



They are determined the team should do better next time.



Decide on a solution to this problem and then give the first four operating steps.

Suggested points: 1.

Solution: Devise a better system for finding potential athletes.

2. Operating steps: •

Contact schools and athletic clubs.



Organise local races to identify athletes.



Give all promising athletes concentrated training.



Find a way of allowing good athletes to train full-time.

Teachers Notes: This item calls for comment and criticism on the operating steps chosen by the supermarket management. Students are not asked to suggest their own steps. This is primarily a group discussion item (3 minutes) but it can also be done as an open-class discussion.

Item Three. •

There has been a lot of shoplifting at a supermarket and the management has decided on the following operating steps.

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1.

Call in consultants

2. Put up warning signs indicating that shoplifters are being watched 3. Hire more plainclothes store detectives 4. Start searching the shoppers as they leave. •

What do you think about these operating steps?

Suggested points: 1.

It might make more sense to observe the shoplifters in action (hidden TV cameras) than to frighten them off at once.

2. Because of the warnings, the shoplifting might stop until the extra detectives leave. 3. Searching all shoppers could be very unpopular and timewasting. Teachers Notes: This is a group discussion item (3 minutes) but it could also be an openclass discussion. The students have to list four definite operating steps.

Item four. •

A man with a wife and two children aged four and ten decides to be a vegetarian.



What operating steps should he take?



Give the first four steps.

Suggested points: 1.

He should discuss it with his wife, giving his reasons and asking how much trouble it would cause.

2. He could agree on a trial period for himself alone.

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3. He could suggest an occasional vegetarian meal for the rest of the family as well. 4. He could suggest a trial period for the whole family. Teachers Notes: This can be used as a group discussion item (4 minutes) or individual written exercise. Examples of each type of operating step are required.

Item five. •

A company that produces canned foods such as baked beans wants to introduce some new products.



What operating steps should it take?



Give an example of each of the following types of step:

1.

Immediate,

2. Development, 3. Full-action, 4. Follow-up. Suggested points: 1.

Immediate: look at successful products in other countries; appoint someone to have responsibility for this specific new product

2. Development: collect ideas, work them into products, and pretest the products 3. Full-action: launch a pilot scheme in which products are offered in stores. 4. Follow-up: note immediate acceptance, effect of advertising, repeat purchases, long-term acceptance

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SUMMARY

The Operation process involves setting out definite steps for putting the chosen solution into operation.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: As usual the project items are done by individuals in written form: either essay or note form. One or more items may be chosen but discussion is facilitated if all students tackle the same item. The items may be done between lessons as homework or as written work in the second half of a double-period lesson. About 10-20 minutes should be allowed for each item.

Item One •

A scientist is trying to find out how homing pigeons always find their way back to their lofts.



What operating steps should she set up to investigate this?

Suggested points: 1.

This item involves setting up investigations and experiments.

2. For example the scientist may start by asking pigeon owners whether there were any conditions (clouds, etc.) which caused the birds to take longer to reach home. 3. Isolating the possible influences (landmarks, magnetic fields, etc.) is another step. 4. Finding ways of testing these is yet another.

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Teachers Notes: As usual the project items are done by individuals in written form: either essay or note form. One or more items may be chosen but discussion is facilitated if all students tackle the same item. The items may be done between lessons as homework or as written work in the second half of a double-period lesson. About 10-20 minutes should be allowed for each item

Item Two •

A clothing manufacturer has decided that it is cheaper to glue material together than to sew it.



What operating steps should the manufacturer take?

Suggested points: 1.

The first step might be to assess the real savings.

2. He might then set up testing procedures to determine whether the glued garments were as durable as the stitched ones. 3. Then he might move on to public acceptance trials and finally an advertising campaign. Teachers Notes: As usual the project items are done by individuals in written form: either essay or note form. One or more items may be chosen but discussion is facilitated if all students tackle the same item. The items may be done between lessons as homework or as written work in the second half of a double-period lesson. About 10-20 minutes should be allowed for each item.

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Item Three •

A lot of people seem to be falling ill with a particularly severe type of influenza which keeps them out of work for one month.



What operating steps should the health authorities take?



List immediate steps, development steps, full-action steps and follow-up steps.



This is a complex problem involving investigation of the extent of the illness: is it an epidemic?

Suggested points:

1.

Investigation of vaccines and protective measures

2. Protection procedures at work

3. Monitoring progress

4. Separation of people at work

5. Staggering travelling hours to prevent crowding

6. Closing schools and restaurants might also be considered

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Lesson 10 TEC PISCO Using the whole PISCO sequence. Consolidation of the total TEC-PISCO framework in which the first three tools (TEC) are used to define and elaborate each of the five stages of the PISCO procedure.

INTRODUCTION The picture shows the TEC procedure being applied to the Input (I) stage of the PISCO procedure. This lesson is designed to provide additional practice in the PISCO procedure and to show how the TEC procedure can be applied to any point which seems to require further thinking. Such a point becomes a “target” for the expanding and contracting steps of the TEC process. The emphasis is on the integrated procedures. Each stage has been dealt with separately in the preceding lessons. The time has now come to put them together as a total framework. The purpose of the framework is to provide a series of defined thinking tasks. The mind tackles these tasks instead of drifting from point to point. What is the thinking task at this point? How can I apply the TEC-PISCO framework to this problem?

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TEC - PISCO In this lesson the whole PISCO procedure is put together. In addition the TEC procedure is applied to different stages of the PISCO procedure. The Target-Expand-Contract (TEC) operation can be applied to anything, so any point in the PISCO operation can be considered a suitable “target.” The illustration shows the TEC operation being applied to the Input stage of the PISCO procedure.



Can we consider this point more fully?



Can we elaborate on this stage?



Is there anything else we must think about here?



Can we expand this?



Are we sure this is correct?



Lets do some more thinking here.



Let’s focus on this for a moment.

These are all different ways of suggesting that some more thinking can be done at some point. That point then becomes the target for the TEC operation. The student notes express different ways of indicating that more thinking is required at some point. This point then becomes the target for the TEC procedure.

Examples;  1.

An engineering company sets out to design a pump that will be useful for irrigation in dry countries. It is required to pump water from river beds and through irrigation channels.

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The exact purpose of the design is as follows: •

“A low-maintenance pump that will provide a steady flow of water.”



We can use this as a target and in the expand step we have:



How much water must it pump?



What about fuel,



Who is going to run it?



How much will it cost,



How many will be needed?



From this we then contract down to:



It must be cheap to buy, to maintain and to run.



We could go on further and suggest it might run on solar energy since fuel will be expensive unless the river itself is used.

2. It is felt that there is no good way for people with different opinions to express them. A committee is set up to consider this problem. They go through the PISCO process and their thinking is as follows:

(P): •

There is a need for people to feel that their point of view can be heard.



There is a need for people to feel they are not being suppressed.



The specific purpose of the thinking is to find a practical way of allowing people to express their own opinions for others to hear.

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(I): •

We need to consider the type of people: what they have to say:



Whether trouble is likely to arise;



How much they have to say;



Whether it is best said or written:



How many people may want to say something?



Whether the same people will always be offering their opinions.

(S): •

Possible solutions include:



TV, radio,



Newspapers, and rallies.



Meetings in halls.

(C): •

The method must be simple and cheap and it must be fair.



No one must be forced to listen.



The simplest method is to set aside an area where people can be provided with loudspeakers and can express their opinions to anyone who wants to listen.

(O):

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Set aside the area.



Publicise it.



Set up ways of making known who is to speak.



Provide supervision to prevent chaos.

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3. Someone is trying to design a new card game. In the Choice stage of the PISCO process he lists as requirements that it should be easy to learn and interesting. We use “interesting” as a target and expand upon it:



The progress of the game should be obvious



There must be some idea what will happen next



Each bit of play must be interesting to all players



The objective must be clearly seen at all times

All this can be contracted down to: At all times each player must be able to see how he or she is advancing toward winning.

The first example shows how a defined purpose can be treated with the TEC procedure. In the Expand step the element of cost and energy comes to the fore. This cost consideration is then seen to be a vital part of the design. The TEC procedure has served to focus attention on something that had not been sufficiently emphasised in the original statement of purpose. The second example illustrates a typical full PISCO procedure. It could be improved at each stage but it serves as an example of average thinking on this problem. The third example again shows the use of the TEC procedure to expand specifically upon the “interesting” requirement in the design of a new card game. What results is a fuller definition of “interesting.”

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USE OF THE TEC-PISCO PROCEDURES These are the practical points which summarise the purpose of the lesson: 1.

Use the TEC procedure for simple things.

2. Use the PISCO procedure for more difficult things.

3. Any point in the PISCO procedure can be treated with TEC.

4. Opening up and narrowing down are basic to both procedures.

5. The framework provides definite tasks at each stage.   1.

The TEC procedure is used on its own if you simply want to think about something.

2. The PISCO procedure is used when the matter is important or complicated and you want to be sure that your thinking has reached a sound conclusion. 3. Whenever the PISCO procedure is used any single point in your thinking can become the target for the TEC procedure. 4. Both the TEC and PISCO procedures have stages which involve opening up, looking for alternatives, and considering more things as well as stages which involve narrowing down, choosing, concluding, defining an exact purpose, etc. 5. By using the TEC-PISCO procedure you set out a definite framework and provide yourself with a definite task instead of just drifting from idea to idea. The object is that the thinking take place within the framework rather than the framework be fitted around thinking that has already taken place.

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PROBLEMS THAT ARISE Only the two most basic difficulties are treated here. The first difficulty is that of not having anything more to say on the matter. It applies both in the Expand step of TEC and also in the Input and Solutions stages of PISCO. The suggestion is given that the thinker should try to build upon what has already been said. It is difficult to conjure further ideas out of thin air. In the end one has to exercise some sort of cut-off and move on to the next stage.

1.

Difficulty in expanding: At any of the expanding stages you cannot think of anything further to say. In the PISCO Input stage you cannot find anything further to consider.



The solution is to take points you have already considered and try to elaborate upon them and see if they lead you to other points.



Finally, be practical and consider that you may have expanded enough and must move on to the next stage.

2. Difficulty in contracting: At any of the choosing or contracting stages you are unable to decide what the choice or conclusion should be.



The solution is to try several and evaluate them.



Finally, choose the one that is easiest for you to work with.

The opposite difficulty involves deciding between alternatives or narrowing down the expanded stage of thinking to a definite conclusion. The solution is to imagine oneself choosing one alternative at a time and imagining what it would feel like to have chosen each one. In the end it is best to choose the alternative that is easiest for the thinker to work with. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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With both these difficulties there are no hard and fast rules except the need to be practical and to move on. It is always better to be effective than to be perfect.

PRACTICE ITEMS Teachers Notes: This item can be done on a group basis (4 minutes) or as an open-class item. With open-class discussion the teacher asks for suggestions for each stage of the PISCO procedure.

Item One. •

A fourteen-year-old girl named Jenny is very shy.



Her parents are worried about her and wonder what they can do.



They sit down to discuss it.



Go through the PISCO procedure for them and under each heading put something that might enter their thinking.

Suggested points: 1.

(P) To look for general cures for shyness to look for a cure for Jenny

2. (I): school and family background brothers and is it bad enough to require treatment? Won’t it get better as she grows older? Jenny’s friends Jenny’s interests and occupations

3. (S) Change school take up some sort of hobby that involves meeting people hypnosis train confidence in some activity such as music

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4. (C) The cure should be permanent it should be natural and not cause distress it should not cost too much Jenny must agree final choice: take up singing in a choir

5. (O): find a choir or singing group in the neighbourhood go with her best friend, for confidence make friends with the others in the group practice at home with some of these new friends Teachers Notes: This item may be done as open-class discussion or as a group item (3 minutes). In either case the students must be quite clear about the target for the thinking. This target may be chosen by the teacher in open-class discussion or by each group for its own thinking.

Item Two. •

A man is running a bicycle shop and suddenly finds that he is losing money and is going to have to close the shop. He sits down to think about it and his thinking is as follows:

1. •

(P): Why is the shop not a success? Specific purpose: to find out why it has started to lose money and what can be done about it.

2. (I): What is happening to the bicycle trade in general? •

What are the other shops doing?



Is there a new competitor?



Are prices too high?

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Is the weather unusually cold for cycling?



How many people already own bicycles?



Has public transportation improved?



Why did people buy more bicycles in the past?

3. (S): Try to get information from the manufacturers, trade associations, competing shops and the public. •

Offer reduced prices for a month (sale) and see what happens.



Advertise more.



Look for other things to sell as well.

4. (C): The first stage is to get information and to find out whether it is his shop that is doing badly or the whole bicycle trade. This is the choice of solution.

5. (O): •

1st Find sources of information.



2nd Write to manufacturers and trade associations.



3rd Visit other shops and tries to find out how they are doing.



4th Visit other shops in different towns.



Focus on any one point in this whole process, use it as a target, go through the TEC procedure and see what else you have to say about that point.

Suggested points: 1.

Focus on the word “started” in the P stage.

2. Did the shop suddenly start to lose money or was it a gradual loss? 3. Could this starting point be related to anything?

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4. Had the shop ever been very successful? If so, were there any special reasons for this? Teachers Notes: This item should be an open-class discussion. It could also be done as group discussion (3 minutes). The task is to find further alternative solutions or to elaborate on those already given.

Item Three. •

There is a state visit by the head of a foreign country.



Someone has made a mistake and the wrong flag is flying from all the flagpoles lining the route.



You are in charge of the visit.



Someone suggests the following alternative solutions (S stage of PISCO):

1.

Cancel the visit

2. Take another route 3. Admit the mistake 4. Say the flags were for the last visit and there has been a strike Carry out the TEC procedure on this whole Solutions stage and see if you can arrive at some other possible solutions.

Suggested points: 1.

Change the procession time to night-time, when the flags will not be seen.

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2. Point out the mistake, and suggest that more public awareness of the other country is needed. 3. Allow the visitor to comment on it himself/herself. Teachers Notes: Open-class discussion item by individuals or group discussion with definite recommendations (3 minutes). The problem need not be examined in great detail; it is enough that something be put down under each heading.

Item four. •

It is found that politicians with the most attractive faces and a show-business manner tend to win elections.



You are asked whether this is a good thing and what can be done about it.

Do a PISCO on the situation.

Then pick one point out of this situation and elaborate further with TEC.

Suggested points: 1.

(P): To remove the effect of having a show-business-type personality on the chances of getting elected.

2. (I): The need for the public to see and hear the politicians. The effect of physical appearance on voters. The difficulty of banning politicians from TV.

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3. (S): Choose leaders for their TV personality. Have a special TV politician who appears alongside the party leader for TV broadcasts. Use still photographs on TV. Stop TV shows a month before elections.

4. (C): Have a special TV politician appear alongside the party leader.

5. (O): Consider active politicians to see if one can be trained for this purpose. Look around for someone to train. Recruit a good TV performer to the political party. TEC might focus on still photographs and from this might arise the idea of politicians producing their own shows so that they appear at their best.

SUMMARY The five stages of the PISCO procedure are used as a total framework, as are the three steps of the TEC procedure.

The important thing is to have a framework for thinking.

PROJECT ITEMS: Teachers Notes: As usual the projects are done on individual written basis by students either in project time or toward the end of a double-period lesson. One or more projects may be attempted, though in the case of this particular lesson the project items are likely to take 20 minutes each.

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Item One •

You are planning an expedition to recover silver bullion from an old Spanish galleon that is supposed to have sunk hundreds of years ago on a reef in the West Indies.

Do a full PISCO on the expedition.

Suggested points: 1.

The full PISCO is likely to involve the planning and purpose of the expedition, the need for information, and legal points as to ownership, methods of working including partnerships, financial considerations, etc.

Teachers Notes: As usual the projects are done on individual written basis by students either in project time or toward the end of a double-period lesson. One or more projects may be attempted, though in the case of this particular lesson the project items are likely to take 20 minutes each.

Item Two •

A boy of sixteen has joined a gang which has been defacing telephone booths.



His parents suspect that they also mug older people.



He refuses to leave the gang.



How can his parents deal with this problem?

Do a full PISCO on this.

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Suggested points: 1.

The students are asked to put themselves into the parents’ shoes. It is a matter of being as realistic as possible about the situation. The resulting PISCO should be clear and definite and suggest a course of action steps.

Teachers Notes: As usual the projects are done on individual written basis by students either in project time or toward the end of a double-period lesson. One or more projects may be attempted, though in the case of this particular lesson the project items are likely to take 20 minutes each.

Item Three •

There is a complaint that school drop-outs cannot do the simple mathematics required for factory work.

Write down the Input side of the PISCO procedure in this problem and then do a TEC on any point you have written down.

Suggested points: 1.

What factors have to be taken into consideration here?

2. Who is involved?

3. All these things go into the Input side of the PISCO procedure.

4. The TEC procedure is then used to elaborate upon any point already written down.

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THE TEST MATERIAL 1.

PURPOSE OF THIS MATERIAL

2. WHEN TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 3. HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL 4. ESSAY TYPE 5. CRITICISM TYPE 6. ASSESSMENT 7.

EXPERIMENT

8. RESEARCH 1.

THE TEST MATERIAL SERVES THREE MAIN PURPOSES:

a. Individual: During the thinking lessons, the students work in groups and do not get much chance to work as individuals. The test material gives them this chance. It also gives them enough time to work over a problem more fully than is possible during the lessons. b. Achievement: Some students are apt to believe that thinking is natural and that their own thinking is perfect. The test material provides an opportunity to see whether this is indeed the case. The material is a means of tightening up the lessons. Conversely, the test material provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate achievement and to practice the thinking skills they have learned during the lessons. c. Effectiveness: The test material provides a means for teachers to assess the effectiveness of their own teaching.

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2.

WHEN TO USE TEST MATERIAL

There are two main uses of the test material: a. Interspersed: With high-achieving students, older students, and students used to tightly structured subjects, the test material can be interspersed with the lessons.This is especially necessary when the lessons appear to lack purpose in the view of the students. Use of the test material after every third or fourth lesson would be appropriate.

b. Experimental: This is to test the effect of the lessons on the students. In this case, material usually would be used at the beginning of the course and again at the end. It could also be used at the beginning and then after a particular lesson.

3.

HOW TO USE THE TEST MATERIAL

Time and place: In schools where it is customary to give students material to work on in their own time, the test material can be used in this way. Otherwise, one of the thinking lesson periods may be given over to the test material. It is not advisable to try to tackle a full thinking lesson and also test material in the same period (unless it is a double period). The test material can also be used as essay material and therefore can serve a dual purpose. In this case, it would be administered in the usual way essays are administered. Time allowed for the test material would vary from 15 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the nature of the item chosen. Output: The student’s test output is always written otherwise it would be no different from the thinking lessons themselves. For this reason the material is not suitable for younger children or remedial groups. The written output can take two forms:

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Essay: Students write down their thinking in essay form. Obviously students work as individuals.

Notes: Individuals or groups can put down their output in written note form.

Material: Test material can come from various sources. •

The project items in the lessons can be used for the essay type of test.



Teachers may wish to make up their own problems.



A further selection of problems is given below.

I

4.

ESSAY TYPE

Below is a selection of items which can be used for the essay type test material. These are in addition to the unused project items from each lesson which can also be used. 1.

Should students inquire whether they are supposed to use a PMI CAF etc, they can be told to do as they think fit.

2. What do you think of the idea of having weekend prisons for minor offenders? 3. Should students be part of the rule-making process in schools? 4. What do you think of the idea that students should be paid a small wage for going to school?

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5. There is a suggestion that when graduating from high schools, students should spend one year doing social work (e.g. helping old people, hospital work, cleaning up the environment). Do you think this is a good idea? 6. A boy is trying to decide between a career as a teacher or a law officer. How should he make his decision? 7.

A grocery is losing so much money that the store owner may soon have to close the store. Why do you think the store is losing so much money?

8. It has been decided to teach students by internet at home, instead of having them attend schools. Do you think this is a good idea? 9. There is a new type of vacation in which you earn money in the morning and enjoy yourself the rest of the day. What is the purpose behind this idea and what do you think would happen? 10. What would happen if young people, adults and old people had to abide by different laws? 11. Should people be subject to a dress code? 12. If about half the people dislike some law can it still be a good law? 13. How often should rules be changed and who should ask for them to be changed? 14. Gasoline rationing is introduced. Why do you think this might happen and what would happen as a consequence? 15. What do you think of the idea that students should be able to leave school as soon as they can read and write? 16. Because of increasing mechanisation, there comes a time when everyone retires at 40 so that there are enough jobs to go round. What effects will this have?

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17. A new type of marriage that only lasts for three years is suggested. Is this a good idea? 18. Should a Company making shoes change the style as often as it can? 19. What do you think are the objectives and priorities of people running TV Companies? 20. A man is found to have stolen a large number of left shoes. What do you think he is up to? 21. An architect declares that he prefers to build ugly houses - why? 22. The government decides to raise the minimum age for leaving school to 20. Discuss this idea. 23. The police are given different coloured hats to wear (red, blue, green, etc.). What is the point of this? 24. Someone tells you that someone else is saying nasty things about you. What should you do? 25. If you were in the government and had to raise money by taxation, which things would you choose to tax? 26. Would it be a good idea for political parties to choose all women candidates rather than men? 27. A city council decides to remove all traffic lights in its city. Discuss this idea. 28. If you had to choose, which would you prefer: to be smart, to be hard-working, or to be well-liked? 29. If you wanted to make lots of money, how would you set about doing it? 30. If you were a parent, would you allow your children to smoke, and if not why not? What are the arguments on each side?

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5.

CRITICISM TYPE

In the essay type of material, the students are asked to generate ideals about a situation. In the criticism type, they react to ideas which someone else has generated. Some possible examples are given below. If teachers wish to generate further examples of their own, they should not try deliberately to include mistakes but should set down a piece of thinking and allow the students to point out the mistakes. Topical items can be used here. 1.

“A medical school decides that since the world needs more doctors it would be better to make the medical course shorter and easier. This would mean that some of those who become doctors would not know as much as before, but this risk would have to be taken.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

2. “In order to reduce the cost of living the government increased the tax on cigarettes and alcohol but introduced a subsidy for meat and bread.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 3. “A Company decided that research was too expensive. So instead of their own research they waited for other people to make new discoveries and then either borrowed the ideas or bought the company involved. This way other people took the risk.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 4. “A principal decides that his students are not working hard enough, so he insists that each week the students must take a test. If the students in a class do badly in the test, then the whole week’s work has to be repeated.” Criticise the thinking involved here. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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5. “A boy is confused over which girlfriend he really likes best, so he pretends to be bored with both of them. He reasons that if he does not see either of them he will soon be able tell which one he misses most.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 6. “A girl leaving school has to choose a career, so she writes down on a piece of paper all the things she likes. She then asks her parents to write down what they think she will be good at. She then sees how the two lists compare. Those items that occur on both lists she puts in a hat and draws one out.” Criticise the thinking involved here. 7.

“A doctor finds that he has too many patients to handle. He thinks this is because his patients are always bothering him with matters that are not very serious. So he invents a very bad-tasting medicine which he gives to everyone of his patients no matter what illness they have.” Criticise the thinking involved here.

8. “A company makes a point of employing only people who are smart but not the smartest. The company says that the smartest people are not used to working hard and will not take orders from someone less intelligent than them.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 9. “The leaders of a certain union are just about to make a wage increase demand. They know these will get all they ask for. They also know members of their union do not like strikes. So they ask for a very large wage increase - that way, if it comes to a strike there will be something big to strike about.”Criticise the thinking involved here.

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10. “Because newspapers find that bad news is more interesting than good, it is suggested that there should be a tax on bad news so that only the bad news that was really important would be published. Then people would get less depressed.”Criticise the thinking involved here. 6.

ASSESSMENT

What happens to the test material output? The teacher will want to make some sort of assessment which can be used as a basis for a class discussion. The main basis for such an assessment would be as follows:

Comprehensive: By looking through all the outputs, teachers can get a good idea of the important points. They may also have some of their own which no one had mentioned. The emphasis here is on whether the main points have been touched upon or left out.

Organisation: Although a rigidly structured organisation of ideas is not desired, the ideas should be presented in some sort of order and with clarity

Interest: Sometimes, one student may bring up a point which though not a major point is novel and interesting. This is given credit so long as it is relevant.

Opinion: Teachers may disagree with various points raised. They should voice this disagreement (not to the extent of saying that the other point of view must be wrong, but by saying that they do not agree).

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Thinking process: The deliberate or implied use of a particular thinking process can be commented on. Similarly, failure to use a process can also be commented upon. For instance, if someone fails to pay any attention to consequences, this can be noted. This sort of thing can be done by comparison between individual outputs or on a group basis.

7.

EXPERIMENT

There are two main ways in which the test material can be used for experimental purposes in order to see what difference the lessons have made to the thinking of the students: control groups and crossover. Control Groups In schools where one class is doing the thinking lessons and a parallel class is not, then it is sometimes possible to give the same test items to the two groups and then compare the output. This can be done in the form of an essay. Naturally, the group which has done the thinking lessons should not be given any special instructions to remember them. Crossover Here the class serves as its own control group. One half of the class tackles test item “A” and the other half test item “B”. Later the two are reversed and the group that tackled item A now tackles item B. In this way the effect of the lessons on tackling both A and B can be seen since there are before and after results for each item. For instance, the first stage of the crossover can be done before any lessons are given and the second stage at the end of the term.

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8 RESEARCH

The most important thing about the lessons is that they should be effective in developing thinking skill. There are three main ways in which the teacher can help:

Observation: In the course of running the lessons, the teacher cannot fail to notice certain things: how the students react, which lessons work best and which worst, the types of responses, difficulties, points which arouse most interest, the type of problem liked best or least. Observations may be of a general nature and apply to the atmosphere of the class or the general performance of the students. But observations can also be much more specific and be about individuals. For instance, one teacher noticed how a boy who was on the verge of being sent to a remedial group suddenly brightened up in the thinking lessons and became the leader and spokesperson of a group that contained the brightest students in the class.

Variation: The teacher may decide to alter the way the lessons are run. These alterations may apply to the basic format or individual practice items. If these variations work, it would certainly be most useful to hear about them. There are, however, two dangers. The first is that the teacher tries alteration after alteration just for the sake of this. The whole thing can become very gimmicky and the students thoroughly confused. The second danger is when the variation results in a lesson which might be very interesting in it-self, but is only remotely connected with teaching thinking as a skill. This can easily happen with general discussion lessons, role-playing, debates, etc. The most useful sort of variation is when the teacher notices something that works particularly well during a lesson and then tries to introduce this deliberately as a variation. © Copyright 2012 Devine Media Ltd All Rights Reserved

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Output:

Students’ individual comments can be reported back, as they are often very revealing. One school had its students do a PMI on the thinking lessons themselves and this was a very good idea. Written output either in note form or essay forms from tests or from ordinary lessons can also be sent. So can video-recorded discussions. Whether teachers use the test material and format suggestions in this site or devise their own, the results would be of great research interest. Results may not seem to be important to the person sending them, but when put together with results from other Schools they may help complete the picture.No one should be timid about sending material, no matter how inadequate it may

Thank You

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