Yesterday, I posted how the students connected imperialism to an object. When I tweeted the link to the blog, Garreth Heidt responded with what the students were doing.
You’re using a modified version of “Force Fitting.” Taking two objects (concepts, etc) and finding similarities in order to create a greater synthesis of understanding. The brain is a pattern finder/creator. This is metaphorical/analogical thinking. Such great stuff.
Garreth has a wonderful way of simplifying what I’m thinking and doing. He further commented
Another way to conceive of it is as “Attribute Analysis.” Essentially, you’re giving them two objects and the brain starts running down a list of all the attributes possessed by one and looks for similarities to the other. I think I learned that from Roger von Oech.
I loved the students’ deep thinking and the complex connections they made. They were doing what Garreth spoke to. They were looking for similarities. Their brains were firing to make the connections that normally aren’t connected.
Coupled with my progress in Range by David Epstein I continued this type of thinking. I had the students draw two bubble maps: one on a justification for imperialism; another, on a concept they recently had gone over in class in science.
Again, the students blew me away. Some asked why we were doing this type of thinking; I spoke to the work in Range and the concepts Garreth had responded with. In one of my classes, Garreth had just responded to my post and I was able to share the why behind what we were doing.
Here are a few of the connections they made.