Synectics and application on ELT


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Synectics is a new term in ELT classes. Here is a presentation I prepared for Erol Bey's lesson for Master Program. Hope u enjoy it.

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Synectics and application on ELT

  1. 1. Synectics and Enhancing the Creative Thought By Muzaffer Çetin
  2. 2. <ul><li>Schools are becoming increasingly diverse, </li></ul><ul><li>no matter how hard it is ,we must meet every child’s needs. Modern education system insists that teachers reach all of the students all of the time. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The twentieth century saw major advances in educational sciences, offering teachers new perspectives into the invisible process of learning. Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky led the way studying cognitive development and the construction of knowledge through qualitative observation and experimentation. Advances in the medical field, including technology to monitor brain activity, provided quantitative explanations to further illuminate the mystery of learning. In order for teachers to apply this wealth of insight to educational practice, they themselves had to be educated. They needed training not just in the concepts but also in effective ways of integrating those concepts into their teaching.
  4. 4. <ul><li>Constructivists reject the objectivist assumption that teachers provide knowledge and students merely store it. Instead, they believe learners construct their own versions of reality by forming personal connections between new and existing knowledge </li></ul>
  5. 5. THOMAS GRADGRIND. A man of realities. A man of facts and calculations. A man who has the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over.Thomas Gradgrind asks a nerdy student:‘Your definition of a horse.’ ‘ Quadruped. Herbivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring. Age known by marks in mouth.’
  6. 6. Objectivism Constructivism <ul><li>Knowledge as objective reality </li></ul><ul><li>Situate in real world </li></ul><ul><li>Predefine the perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis is on gaining content knowledge and skills </li></ul><ul><li>We set objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate against objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge exists in the head </li></ul><ul><li>Strip down at first </li></ul><ul><li>Get it from multiple perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on developing thinking and learning skills </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives emerge </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate against individual goals </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Pioneer-constructivist Jean Piaget explains this process with schema theory. He claims learners organize knowledge by constructing schemata, intellectual structures comprised of the cumulative characteristics the learner has come to associate with a concept. When he encounters a new stimulus, the learner attempts to assimilate it into his existing schemata based on its familiar characteristics. When a new stimulus will not fit any of his schemata, the learner accommodates it by either adapting an existing schema such that it can assimilate the new idea or creating a new schema.Metaphorically speaking, teachers provide the blocks, but the learner decides what to build with them. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Through metaphor, Synectics empowers students to make meaningful connections between ideas, connections that take advantage of students’ unique experiences and understandings. In doing so, it enables teachers to facilitate conceptual understanding among diverse students. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Synectic thinking is the process of discovering the links that unite seemingly disconnected elements. It is a way of mentally taking things apart and putting them together to furnish new insight for all types of problems. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>It is a creative problem solving technique which uses analogies. This technique has been developed by Gordon and Prince. The synectics method distinguishes 2 phases: </li></ul><ul><li>* making the strange familiar; * making the familiar strange. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>What is Synetics? </li></ul><ul><li>The term Synectics from the Greek word synectikos which means fusion of diverse ideas. Although inventors engage in “making the familiar strange”, student benefit more from “making the strange familiar”. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Aristotle: “Metaphor (meta-phora) consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else, the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, or on the grounds of analogy.” Since creativity involves the coordination of things into new structures, every creative thought or action draws on synectic thinking . </li></ul>
  12. 12. Before 1944 most psychologists considered creativity a mystical, subconscious process that science could not measure without disrupting the process itself. Gordon in 1944, however, believed identifying the subconscious processes and bringing them into conscious thought would not disrupt the creative process; in fact, he believed that doing so would enhance it.
  13. 13. <ul><li>A man becomes creative, </li></ul><ul><li>whether he is an artist or scientist, </li></ul><ul><li>when he finds a new unity in the variety of nature. He does so by finding a likeness </li></ul><ul><li>between things </li></ul><ul><li>which were not thought alike before </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Since creativity involves the coordination of things into new structures, every creative thought or action draws on synectic thinking. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>It can also be described as a series of techniques designed to induce imaginative problem-solving or creative activities. Techniques include deliberate efforts in right-brain thinking and positive supportive behaviour. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>What is its purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages the ability to live with complexity and apparent contradiction * Stimulates creative thinking * Mobilises both sides of the brain, the right brain (the dreamer), and the left brain (the reasoner) * Provides a free-thinking state of consciousness * Synectic Trigger mechanisms catalyze new thoughts, ideas and inventions * Synectic Theory is based on disruptive thinking </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Method for enhancing creative thought </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Synectics ’ means the joining together of supposedly irrelevant elements (stacked wet leaves =====> Pringles) </li></ul><ul><li>We can help learners become more creative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All is metaphorical, with comparisons jogging creativity </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Synectics in action (Weil & Joyce, 96) <ul><li>Describe problem in detail </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm analogies. What’s like this? </li></ul><ul><li>Stretch to considering how a rhinocerous ( far out comparison) is like the problem; focus on attributes that rhino and problem share </li></ul><ul><li>Ask how the new way of thinking about it can be useful </li></ul><ul><li>Are any feelings useful, any feelings surprising? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Creative behaviour occurs in the process of becoming aware of problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, bringing together in new relationships available information; identifying the missing elements; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses.  </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Three fundamental precepts of synectic theory: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Creative output increases when people become aware of the psychological processes that control their behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>2. the emotional component of creative behavior is more important than the intellectual component; the irrational is more important than the intellectual component </li></ul><ul><li>3. the emotional and irrational components must be understood and used as &quot;precision: tools in order to increase creative output. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>1. The Synectic Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>•  Synectics encourages the ability to live with complexity and apparent contradiction </li></ul><ul><li>•  Synectics stimulates creative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>•  Synectics mobilises both sides of the brain, the right brain (the dreamer), and the left brain (the reasoner) </li></ul><ul><li>•  Synectics provides a free-thinking state of consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>In a free-thinking state, analogies between perceptions, concepts, or even systems and abstractions tend to occur repeatedly. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Creativity demands flexibility and imaginativeness but also tightly organised thought processes, matched by a high degree of emotional and psychological freedom. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>The Synectic Trigger Mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Synectic Trigger mechanisms catalyse new thoughts, ideas and inventions </li></ul><ul><li>Synectic Theory is based on disruptive thinking - similar to the PO operation of Edward de Bono </li></ul><ul><li>The creative process is a matter of continually separating and bringing together, bringing together and separating, in many dimensions - affective, conceptual, perceptual, volitional and physical - </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The Synectic Ways of Working </li></ul><ul><li>Synectics is based on the fusion of opposites </li></ul><ul><li>Synectics is based on analogical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Its action produces a result which is greater than the sum of its parts. </li></ul><ul><li>The world is totally connected. Whatever explanation we invent at any moment is a partial connection, and its richness derives from the richness of such connections as we are able to make . </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>* First of all, you must identify the problem you have and write it down. * Next, you must gather information about it to mix in with the information already stored in the brain. * Take creative action by using the trigger questions to transform your ideas and information into something new. These questions are tools for transformational thinking and may lead you to some great discoveries. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Enhancing one ’s creative problem-solving skills is a task similar to exercising. </li></ul><ul><li>Just like the person who works the physical body to lose weight and firm up muscles, so must the creative problem solver work his mental muscles to firm up his strategies for solving problems. </li></ul><ul><li>There are various ways to do this, and each person must apply various means into their thinking mechanism to accomplish their intended purpose. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Following are some five general ideas for improving one ’s creative problem solving skills. By taking these principles and applying them into one’s life, the individual will be accessing his or her own abstract mental processes of problem solving. </li></ul><ul><li>All problems have solutions.   </li></ul>
  28. 28. 2. Allow yourself space to think.  
  29. 29. <ul><li>3. Free association and open-mind thinking.  A great way to improve your creative problem solving skills is to begin a series of free association word patterns related to the problem at hand. This allows you to be open-minded to a variety of different channels within and outside of yourself for reaching a rational, yet creative solution. </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>4. Weighing in on the options.   </li></ul><ul><li>Begin making mental or written notes with a list of potential creative solutions. Select one solution at a time and look at the pros and cons of each. After carefully analyzing each choice, decide which method or option is best. Apply it. When it comes to creativity, remember not to block yourself or allow yourself to “feel stupid” at some of the ideas that might burst forth. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>If you are in a group situation, you might feel extra pressure and embarrassment and not want to share your thoughts and ideas freely, but each person in the group must be assured that ALL ideas are welcome, no matter how silly they may seem. Many great ideas and solutions have come from these types of brainstorming sessions </li></ul>
  32. 32. Conclusion <ul><li>It motivates students of all temperaments, edifies students of all levels and accommodates students of all learning styles. Since Synectics codifies the process of creative thinking, teachers provide students with mind-opening generative learning experiences. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Since it is difficult to reach everybody in the crowded classes, modern research strongly supports the use of Synectics to reach this goal. </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Thanks for listening to me. </li></ul>