Teachers, Parents, and Instructional Designers; refining facts into an opinion is a high value skill in any human, but especially in children. What’s more, we all begin life knowing how to Ideate.
How can any child, student, or adult learn to refine facts into knowledge? By asking questions!
“I keep six honest serving-men
They taught me all I knew.
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
Rudyard Kipling. 1905.
Whenever you, your child, your student, or even a business, encounters an issue, whether it is a fact, opinion, problem, opportunity, information, or a decision, try this simple exercise.
Start by asking and answering a couple of questions about the issue, beginning with Who, and then a couple more beginning with What, and then four more, each beginning with Why, Where, When, and How. Take some time. Think hard about your answers. If more questions come to mind, ask and answer those too.
The point of this exercise is that the person asking and answering these questions and filling in the blanks with their ideas or answers has now effectively interrogated the issue under consideration at least 12 times, with written outcomes. That’s a huge cognitive learning improvement; accomplished simply by questioning and answering in a fun way, which of course humans enjoy doing.
As well as teachers and parents, instructional designers and learning officers should take a close look at what a 12 times cognitive advantage might mean to their company and career. And this system applies at all ages and to any issue.
Once anyone has examined the subject matter from all angles, they are in possession of sufficient objective facts and can now proceed to the next step which is to refine these facts into a subjective point-of-view on the issue. This is now your truth; your knowledge; your Ideation.
There are four more steps left in order to finish refining these data into knowledge.
First, vote or decide which are your best five or six answers. This works well in a team.
Now, spend time thinking critically about each answer and ask further questions of the top five answers and get more answers.
Next, place your best answers in order of importance.
Now brainstorm and try out transition words and phrases connecting the ideas into a coherent statement of opinion. See the video below.
The video example is for students and the subject they are examining is Math and why it matters. The subject matter could just as well be Customer Service, fixing a project, and why they matter.
At the end of this Terego Ideation session, you will have YOUR authentic, well-reasoned justified belief about any subjective issue. You have used facts and synthesized them with your new discoveries to come to a rational conclusion. And you can defend your position by demonstrating in writing (or a video etc) how you arrived at it. And this method ensures not only that the right problem is solved, but there is a better chance that the right decision is made.
This process is called IDEATION and the best news is this: children are born knowing how to do this using their hybrid skillset. You don’t have to teach them ideation. Just encouragement and love are needed. And we don’t lose these hybrid skills, or our need for encouragement and love.
The Terego Ideation Method™ is designed as a playful but structured learning system to get children or adults to practice and get into a habit of always approaching a problem or issue systematically. Either alone or in teams.
What this all means to all of us -children and adults – is that we will become skilled at forming authentic opinions: we become truth seekers. The alternative is adopting the opinions and lies of others. Think of this method as an Infoliteracy weapon.