The root of success in everything from academics to business to leadership to personal relationships and everything else, is thinking - whether it'ôs thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision-making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking.
So it is not a surprise that thinking more effectively is the key to success for students, business leaders, artists, writers, politicians, and all of us living our everyday lives. Doing anything better requires effective thinking - that is, coming up with more imaginative ideas, facing complicated problems, finding new ways to solve them, becoming aware of hidden possibilities, and then taking action.
What is a surprise is that the basic methods for thinking more clearly, more innovatively, more effectively are fundamentally the same in all areas of life - in school, in business, in the arts, in personal life, in sports, in everything. The other surprise is that those methods of effective thinking can be described, taught, and learned. They are not inborn gifts of a special few. They are not so esoteric that only geniuses can master them. All of us can learn them and use them, and that is what this book is about.
Michael Starbird's most popular presentations and workshops on Effective Thinking include:
--The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking:
Abstract. A wondrously romantic belief is that brilliant thinkers magically produce brilliant ideas: Einstein jostles his hair and relativity falls out. We can enjoy these fanciful visions of leaps of genius, but we should not be fooled into believing that they are reality. Brilliant innovators are brilliant because they practice habits of thinking that inevitably carry them step by step to works of genius. No magic and no leaps are involved. Habits of effective thinking and creativity can be taught and learned. Anyone who practices them will inevitably create new insights, new ideas, and new solutions.
-- Creativity by Intent
Abstract. Frequently people view creativity as a mysterious result of magical inspiration. But that concept has two defects: first, it's wrong; and, second, it's useless. Viewing creativity as magical is a useless perspective, because with that view, all we can do is to sit and wait hopefully. This talk will present practical steps that you can take that will result in new insights, new ideas, and new solutions in any field and in life. This method releases the creativity in us all.
Presentations on Education
What Students Can Keep for Life: Elements of Effective Thinking
Abstract. "Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten." - B.F. Skinner. The vast majority of our students soon forget the vast majority of the content details they learn in class - (sometimes, in fact, before the final). Let's intentionally design our courses to help students learn self-reliance, creativity, and independence. Our courses can help students to learn the elements of effective thinking to last a lifetime.
--Inquiry Based Learning: Teaching Thinking, Transforming Lives
Abstract. Methods of instruction called Inquiry Based Learning emphasize what the students are doing. Students discover ideas on their own and present their results to their peers. Expected outcomes for students include their developing skills of exploring the unknown and the ability to personally distinguish right ideas from wrong ones. Inquiry Based Learning experiences frequently help students to learn self-reliance, independent thinking, creativity, and willingness to make and learn from mistakes. Those habits can change lives permanently in every area of their experience.
--Michael Starbird has given dozens of workshops on effective teaching from one hour to 5 days in length. These interactive presentations can fundamentally change the perspective and strategies of teachers and other educators. All educators can benefit by thinking carefully about the long term goals of education--namely, to transform students into more effective future members of society--and then to construct student experiences that foster those life changing attitudes, skills, and habits of mind.
Presentations on Mathematics
--Inquiry Based Learning: Mathematics and BeyondAbstract. Methods of instruction called Inquiry Based Learning emphasize what the students are doing. Students prove theorems on their own and present their results to their peers. Expected outcomes for students include their developing theorem-proving skills and the ability to tell whether a proof is correct or flawed. But beyond those mathematical skills, an Inquiry Based Learning experience frequently helps students to learn self-reliance, independent thinking, creativity, and willingness to make mistakes. Those habits can change lives permanently in every area of their experience.
--Mathematical presentations for general audiences
--Talks for mathematical audiences accessible to undergraduates
You can hear Dr. Starbird speak at the Pomona College Commencement ceremony where he received an Honorary Degree in 2014. Immediately preceding him was Placido Domingo. '47' is an inside Pomona joke. Watch here