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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Creative Science Thinking

I've been thinking a lot about how far science has advanced and changed. My college genetics textbook is in desperate need of a second volume to catch up on all of the latest discoveries.

As students often hear during school visits,  I had to make many revisions of LEAP INTO SPACE as new discoveries were being made during my writing and researching phase and, even into the the proof stage.

Science is always on the move and scientists consistently need to open up their minds to changing the way they look at things. Their curiosity leads the way and they repeatedly pose questions as new ideas evolve.

I've also been thinking about how important this type of thinking --- creative science thinking --- is for everyone, not just scientists. This science-thinking is not the same as the step-by-step procedural methodology used by scientists to work an experiment or test a theory, but combines creativity with critical thinking. It's the way scientists look at life and their overall work.

Whether it is discovering surprising ethnicity through a DNA test, or looking at politics through a different lens, creative science-thinking might be the solution. And teaching students to look at life with curiosity, questions, and an ability to shift viewpoint will not only help them in science, but in life. It will lead to innovative thinking and higher-order cognition.

Perhaps it will also lead to adults who are able to cope more easily with problems and life-changing experiences. This is more and more important in our ever-changing world.

Class debates should not only teach students how to defend their point of view, but also to respect and listen to someone else's point of view. Creative science thinkers might find that they are also open to changing their point of view after delving deeper into the topic.

Scientists do not work in a vacuum. They build on the ideas and work of others. They cannot proceed ahead without looking behind.

Hey, teacher friends - - does this make sense? Is this already being integrated in classes other than science? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I think this type of thinking is even more important in this period of fake news and lying politicians. Critical thinking skills are crucial. What better way to approach the news and life then as a creative science-thinker?




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