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which is really important to us because we want to change education, and having teachers exposed to this way of thinking and then passing it on to their students is a big help. And then we have individuals from the business world. But then we also attract people from all kinds of other fields. Lawyers, engineers, artists, nurses, attorneys—wherever there is a need to solve problems creatively, which is pretty much everywhere, is where we get students from. MC: I’m curious. You said you get a lot of educators in your program— how do you think they take what they learn and apply it to change either how they teach or how they encourage students to learn? GP: Well, they use the process skills, for one. We have two operating values in our graduate program: theory and application. A polarity. We think they are mutually beneficial, so we balance them. The educators are probably applying what they learn on a Monday night the next day in class. Hopefully. But you just talked about it in terms of the draft and the workshop. Maybe we should be managing this process a little differently. I mentioned the creative process in its streamlined form is four phases: clarification, ideation, development, and implementation. Clarify, ideate, develop, implement. We teach cognitive methods, cognitive tools, and strategies in each of these areas. So we give teachers a toolbox, teaching the tools around. Here are tools that you can use to clarify, here are tools that you can use to ideate, here are tools you can use to develop, and here are tools you can use to implement. And they teach those tools to their students. In writing, for example, when giving feedback, there is a tool we call POINT, which is an affirmative evaluation tool. Pluses, so the first thing you do when you’re evaluating something is you start with what you like about it. It builds momentum and honors what should be retained. Then you look for Opportunities. “What if you were to incorporate this?”, “What if you were to move in this direction?” It’s thinking about future developments. Then there is the “i” which stands for Issues or concerns. These are places where there are opportunities for specific improvement. We use problem solving language, like “How might you…?”, “How to…?”, and “What ways might you…?” rather than saying, “This is awkward,” “This doesn’t make sense,” “This isn’t clear.” You know, “How might you add a richness to this character?” See, when you pose it in the form of a question, it encourages thinking. Then comes the “NT” or New Thinking. In New Thinking you go back to the issues or concerns, and you say, “Alright, so now let’s use some new thinking to address the issues that came up.” So if a concern came up—How might you add complexity to this character?— we can now think as a pair or a team about how it can be resolved. And that creates collaboration. So Pluses, Opportunities, Issues, and New Windmill 11

Profile for Hofstra University

Windmill - December 2016  

The Hofstra Journal of Literature and Art

Windmill - December 2016  

The Hofstra Journal of Literature and Art

Profile for hofstra