New Habits

A colleague of mine at Close Up told students at beginning of our week-long democracy seminars to switch the wrist on which they place their watch. Such actions create a wedge of consciousness, he enjoyed explaining, which opens the mind to new ways of thinking for the week.

This New York Times article agrees. Here are two additional insights.

“Researchers in the late 1960s discovered that humans are born with the capacity to approach challenges in four primary ways: analytically, procedurally, relationally (or collaboratively) and innovatively. At puberty, however, the brain shuts down half of that capacity, preserving only those modes of thought that have seemed most valuable during the first decade or so of life.

The current emphasis on standardized testing highlights analysis and procedure, meaning that few of us inherently use our innovative and collaborative modes of thought.

And continues with an important lesson for teachers.

three zones of existence: comfort, stretch and stress. Comfort is the realm of existing habit. Stress occurs when a challenge is so far beyond current experience as to be overwhelming. It’s that stretch zone in the middle — activities that feel a bit awkward and unfamiliar — where true change occurs.

(H/t Mark E)

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One Response to “New Habits”

  1. Steve Says:

    Very interesting. Glad I came across this randomly.

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