ERIC Number: ED102052
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Expressive Thought and Non-Rational Inquiry.
Newton, Richard F.
A significant problem with inquiry teaching is that too much emphasis is placed on inquiry as a logical, scientific, and rational way of knowing. Feelings and mood are rarely dealt with except in rather off-handed remarks about intuitive leaps and creative encounters. Few consider what a model of inquiry based on mood and feeling might look like. The purpose of using inquiry strategies is to train students in the formulation of bold conjectures as well as the process of severely testing those same conjectures. It is most essential that these conjectures be bold but not necessarily rational, logical, or scientific. Rationality is identified with four features which include a formal set of rules, use of language, clarity for its own sake, and the connection of results with other test results. This conception of rationality dominates all thinking about inquiry at the expense of other forms of knowing. What was begun with good intentions has become a straitjacket around the development of expressive thought. The need for allowing feeling and mood to become a part of classroom inquiry becomes more apparent when some of the recent research on the functioning of the human brain is considered. The right side of the brain deals with appositional functioning and expressive thought as in the production of art, music, and poetry. Since social science teaching is predominantly rational, one function of the brain is being unused in social science education. According to the author, rational thought in inquiry teaching should not be abandoned but integrated with more nonrational thought processes. (Author/DE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies, College and University Faculty Assembly (Chicago, Illinois, November 1974)