Behaviors Indicating Difficulty in Thinking
Raths’ theoretical approach to teaching thinking resembles that of needs and values areas, where he identified patterns of behavior associated with incomplete or inconsistent thinking. Raths found it more useful to identify behaviors that are likely to manifest with people who have difficulty in thinking. He did not name behaviors associated with effective and critical thinking. However, he tentatively suggested some patterns of behavior as a starting point for research.
Can we identify some symptoms of human behavior that reflect inadequate thinking experiences? Are such “symptoms” significant and tend to reduce opportunities for learning and growth? Do all professionals perceive such traits in themselves? Can current habits or dispositions for action be modified? There is some evidence that some people’s behaviors change after being exposed to a program that emphasizes thinking. I propose that we discuss some of these behaviors:
Impulsiveness: the behavior of students who “jump” at the first suggestion, who jump the gun, who actually don’t stop to think.
Excessive Dependence: the pattern of needing help at every step of a process, having difficulty working independently.
Inability to Concentrate: some students have difficulty staying on task. Misinterpretation of means and ends - a pattern of failing to recognize the link between current steps and long-term goals. Teachers often see students with this pattern as “thoughtless”, as if they do not understand how actions in the “now” contribute to achieving future achievements.
Rigidity and Inflexibility: a behavior of not being able to think outside the student’s own box; the tendency to repeat mistakes and difficulty finding alternative solutions.
Dogmatism: a characteristic found in people who are overconfident in their conclusions and try to force them on others. Dogmatism resists investigation.
Extreme Lack of Confidence: a behavior found in students who are prone to not participating in class, who choose not to share their opinions with others for fear of being embarrassed. Teachers see students with this pattern as quiet and withdrawn.
Not Grasping the Meaning: a pattern of not being able to see the main themes of paragraphs or reports. Students with this type of difficulty often miss the humor in jokes or cartoons. Students who tend to miss the meaning are apparently weak in interpreting contexts and situations.
Resistance to Thinking: Some students resist problem-solving or planning. Their attitude, often expressed with some stridency, is that teachers should tell us what to do, and we should do it. They tend to be action-oriented, “let’s just do it, without all the talk”.
In summary, identifying these behaviors can help instructional designers create learning solutions that emphasize thinking and help students overcome their ineffective behavioral patterns. Raths’ approach to teaching thinking can be applied in instructional design, providing a framework for designers to work with professionals who exhibit these behaviors. The goal is that, when exposed to thinking experiences, these professionals can mature and overcome their ineffective behavioral patterns.
Identifying these behaviors can be useful for designers to develop a learning plan that meets the needs of professionals. For example, professionals who exhibit impulsivity may benefit from activities that encourage reflection before making a decision, while professionals who have concentration issues may benefit from activities that reinforce the connection between current steps and long-term goals.
Raths’ theory also highlights the importance of providing ample opportunities for professionals to engage in Thinking Operations. This includes activities that encourage critical reflection, problem-solving, and informed decision-making. These activities should be designed to help professionals mature and develop more effective thinking behaviors.
In summary, Raths’ approach to teaching thinking emphasizes the importance of identifying ineffective behavioral patterns and providing ample opportunities for people to engage in thinking operations. This can help professionals mature and develop more effective thinking behaviors. Instructional designers can use these principles to develop a teaching plan that meets the objectives and helps professionals and companies reach their full potential.
In summary, Raths’ approach to teaching thinking emphasizes the importance of identifying ineffective behavioral patterns and providing ample opportunities for people to engage in thinking operations. This can assist professionals in maturing and developing more effective thinking behaviors. Instructional designers can use these principles to develop a teaching plan that meets the goals’ needs and helps professionals and companies reach their full potential.
Comments and Limitations
While the eight categories of inertial behaviors are useful for indicating the orientation of learning solutions, instructional designers should remember that they are not compartmentalized, and professionals do not fit exactly into one behavior. Additionally, changing habits is a process that requires time and patience, as well as a friendly and careful approach. Therefore, instructional designers must be willing to work in collaboration with professionals and understand their individual needs.
Although these behaviors may not apply exactly to all professionals, they can be useful for indicating the orientation of learning solutions.
These behaviors are usually practiced for a long period, making it difficult for professionals to change their habits quickly and easily. The work of changing habits requires continuous cooperation, which can take many months. Instructional designers need to be patient, careful, friendly, and competent to help professionals change their behaviors.
The integration of materials and methods related to the thinking process is essential to help instructional designers understand inertial behaviors and help professionals change them. Knowledge of these materials and methods can help instructional designers identify key gaps in professionals’ thinking process and develop personalized learning solutions to meet their needs.
Research with test results has proven since the 1930s that children forget much of what they learn in school. R. W. Tyler and James E. Wert conducted some studies on the lack of learning recall in university students. They found that the thinking skills they had learned - interpretation of data and application of principles - had not been forgotten, but that there was no good retention of specific factual learning. This may be another reason to emphasize thinking; it is a skill habit that tends to be retained and extremely important for any professional.
It is not uncommon to find instructional designers who tell us that their students are not prepared to truly think about problems; therefore, these same designers tend to emphasize a learning function that focuses on information. The content of higher mental processes may suggest to some that the mental processes operating in professionals in the job market are quite different from those found in primary school children. However, when we see that almost all of these mental operations can be found in the first years of primary school, we can ask what is meant by higher mental processes. The expression probably indicates processes that distinguish humans from other animal species. It does not indicate processes that are different and characteristic of different age levels in the development of maturity. Children in primary school, older students in universities, as well as professionals in the market - all need continuous practice in these thinking operations.
Designing for Thinking
- Design for Thinking: A Strategy for Effective Decision-Making in Instructional Design
- Reflections on D4T and its Implications: A Comprehensive Overview
- Terminology of Design for Thinking: A Glossary of Key Concepts
- Analyzing the Environment: A Crucial Phase in Design for Thinking
- ➡️ Inertial Behaviors: Recognizing and Establishing Goals, Directions, and Priorities
- Thinking Operations: Making Decisions and Choices for Effective Learning Solutions
- Central Problem: Identifying the Core Issue for Effective Instructional Design
- Collaborating with SMEs: Conducting Effective Meetings to Identify Challenges and Solutions
- Content Coding: Structuring Information in a Logical and Consistent Manner
- Learning Arc: Guiding the Design of Learning Solutions
- Case Study: Designing an Effective Credit Real Estate Course Using D4T
- Step-by-Step Guide to D4T: A Comprehensive Guide for Applying the Strategy in Your Projects