"Everyone thinks. But not everyone thinks equally well....rethinking shifts our educational focus from what to think to how to think in the most productive ways possible" (Root-Bernstien, 1).


What is this all about?
The emphasis of this chapter, and book for that matter, is on the many ways that we think. It is sometimes enough to just know. The authors highlighted many scientists, mathematicians, artists etc. whom just knew and sometimes had difficulty expressing their understandings in terms others could comprehend. Their subconscious was doing the work for them. The mathematician, Blaise Pascal said it best when he said, "The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know." (Root-Bernstein, 2). There is not always a logical reason for our interpretations or discoveries. We may think in colors and sounds or feel reactions. In fact, the authors say, "conventional notions of thinking are at best incomplete, for they leave out non-logical forms of thinking that can't be verbalized" (Root-Bernstein, 3).


Test your intuition...

There are many tests out there to test your instant reactions. Harvard has a variety of IATs that test everything from your instinctual reactions to races, gender and even religions. It is quite an eye-opener!



Why rethink thinking?

"Nothing could be more important, therefore, than recognizing and describing the intuitive "dialects" of creative thinking. As important as words and numbers are to the communications of insight, that insight is born of emotions and images of many sorts conjured within the imagination. Feeling as thinking must, therefore, become part of the educational curriculum. Students must learn how to pay attention to what they feel in their bones, to develop and use it. This is not pie in the sky. Various professions, including medicine, are beginning to recognize intuition as a necessary part of disciplinary thinking. Geri Burg, an art historian and social worker, formerly at Johns Hopkins University, believes that "emotional awareness, like observation and critical inquiry skills, is an important part of providing good health care." Dr. John Burnside, chief of internal medicine at the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, has argued this even more forcefully. "One of our educational failures," he writes, "is a lack of serious recognition and attention towards the 'gut feelings' or inclination of common sense. Perhaps because this inclination is non-numerical it is glossed over as the 'art of medicine,' implying instinct, passion, or the primeval. But I believe it can be defined and should be taught."

Whether we are attempting to understand ourselves, other people, or some aspect of nature, or simply provide excellent medical care, it is imperative that we learn to use the feelings, emotions, and intuitions that are the bases of the creative imagination. That is the whole point of...education." (Root-Bernstein, 13)