Here are some topics discussed over the seminar:
Out of the box thinking
“Out-of-the box” thinking is an ability to see the problem from a fresh perspective. In order to do so, one should be able to get aware of his/her unstated assumptions/mental habits, which may be an uncomfortable experience. In order for children to embrace “out-of-the box” thinking later in life, it is important to present them with complex, counterintuitive problems that require one to step out of one’s mental comfort zone, early on. The necessity to recognize and re-learn one’s mental habits is recognized as a cornerstone in various disciplines, ranging from business organization to science to healthy living.
One of the best ways to get children interested in to immerse them in intellectual culture that supports innovative and divergent thinking. It is extremely important that parent demonstrate their readiness to try new things and to learn from mistakes. Don’t be afraid to look silly – your bravery in stepping out of your comfort zone will be appreciated and modeled by your children.
Sometimes, parents find it very engaging and supportive to form parent co-ops or weekend clubs, so that students and parents alike come and make hands-on presentations on various exciting topics to other participants. For math, parents may consider math circles and math festivals. For divergent thinking, consider a fun family activity of coming up with list and description of “ useless inventions” and share with the family. For engineering fans, Rube Goldberg machines are not just fun, but also very educational.
Some basic terminology that can be helpful in development of " out of the box thinking" in children:
“Out-of-the box” thinking vs school experience
It is a common concern of the parents that that several years into school children start seeing their curriculum, especially math curriculum, as dreadful and boring. A lot of gifted children also quickly learn that they “know the answer” to any single problem presented in class, and lose the interest to the subject. It is very important to keep the ability of divergent and creative thinking in this age. If not done systematically, children may get scared of solving anything out of ordinary in later grades.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.