This is one of the Dispositions (the other one is
Inventing) that often gets labeled ADD (or if combined with Performing the
label is ADHD). This is also the Disposition that is sometimes referred to as
withdrawn, shy, moody, or “spacy.” These students are often hands-on and/or
whole body learners.
What is the genius of the Thinking/Creating person?
This student brings creativity, openness, and a new way of looking at things to
the learning situation. Often this student’s comments seem to be coming out of
nowhere, or out of “left field” – in other words, completely unrelated to the
topic at hand. It is then assumed that the student can’t focus, doesn’t pay
attention, etc. What is actually happening is that this student hears or reads
something…which triggers other thoughts…which triggers this imaginative and
creative brain to come up with something imaginative and creative! This is how
this student learns best.
These students tend to lose track of time because they
can get so focused on the project at hand that they forget about everything
This is the disposition of great philosophers,
mathematicians, scientists, poets, writers, artists, musicians, designers, etc.
This student is often passionate about (and talented
in) theoretical math and science, music, art, cooking, building, or a
combination of these. In general, this student learns best when involved in
activities that allow him/her to be freely creative. The most important thing to
this student is ideas: getting ideas, trying out new ideas, contributing new
ideas. While Inventing people are going for an end product that will usually
solve some problem, Thinking/Creating people are happy to just come up with the
ideas. They don’t necessarily follow through to completion, because they move
on to another new idea!
When planning a school program for the Thinking/Creating
student, you can integrate the learning style needs with the various subjects. These
students learn best when the teaching materials and techniques allow for time
alone and involve the arts and/or the creative process. They thrive in
atmospheres that allow for unscheduled time to think and create. If the student
is in a traditional school setting, you can ask the teachers to encourage
hands-on assignments, drawing and doodling during study and “listening” times, experiential
projects, and creative expression in the classroom. If the student is
homeschooling, give plenty of opportunity to wonder, think, and express himself/herself
Copyright 2009 Reflective Educational Perspectives, LLC