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The joy of changed thinking

Updated on March 18, 2009
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Ben is scientist, teacher, researcher and author who loves to help you to be more, do more and achieve more. He is an Amazon kindle author


The joy of changed thinking

By Benjamin S C Ugoji



The experience: dialogue between a tutor and learner




This article is based on a conversation between a tutor and learner during a teaching session. On a typical day we share experience of how my student has faired during the week in his school work so as to inform our learning as to how to make progress. One important thing I had always cherished in my tutoring is that through our meetings that they will discover for themselves, "how to learn" as opposed to "what to learn."

Learning involves thinking, and being able to employ our "brain power," through tapping into the different areas of our brain will impact the way we approach learning and hence make sense of our world. This requires training on how the brain works and it's a skill to be learned. I have always set out to challenge my students on how they think and also watch how they approach problem situation during our lessons.

This article is a reflection of a conversation between me and one of my students so as to shade light on the effect of changed thinking on academic performance. It highlights the joy of self-discovery of problem solving amidst an individual's learning journey.

The experience: dialogue between a tutor and learner

We were just about to finish a typical day's lesson in Science (Biology), when my student interrupted the discussion as if to share something of great worth with me. I gave him audience, waiting patiently to hear what he had to say; while he went on to ransack his school bag. As I waited for him, he brought out four pieces of marked school work. The following are the discussions that ensued between us. For the purpose of this dialogue between us I shall be using the symbols T and L for tutor and learner respectively.

L: Sir, see the result of my end of year Maths test. I got two A* and two A's. In fact, in one test I got 100%.

T: Mute for a while. Well done! Looking up and asked; what has changed? Why have you performed so well in these tests?

L: ...Hmm...! I have learnt that there is other ways of looking at a problem.

T: What you mean?

L: I have developed a new way of approaching any problem. I have discovered that there could be better ways to solve a problem.

T: What is the result?

L: It provides me the opportunity to see the problem in a new way and enables me to make progress in solving it.

T: Can you see the result of changes thinking in other words "divergent thinking." It helps you to look at different ways of approaching a problem situation, as oppose to convergent thinking. This is what I had always pointed out to you.

L: Sir, I think it's very good because it helps me to approach issues in a new way.


This conversation was driven by a student who experienced success in his studies by using divergent thinking as a tool for problem solving. I was very pleased and as a follow up continued to share with him the power of using one's whole brain theory as a tool for improving performance during learning. This theory is based on combined research by Ned Herrmann on right brain/ left brain differences with research on the Triune brain to create a metaphorical model that illustrates that each person basically has four brains when it comes to process of thinking and learning. The conversation was profitable since it resulted in sharpening his mind on how he could become a better learner so as to maximise his potential and therefore make progress. In the future when faced with a problem he has developed the mindset that asks: "how can I do it?" Not say "I can't do it." He has developed a positive attitude as well as improved self confidence as a learner.


Personally I was thrilled by this experience. It's like an "Aha..." moment, because I felt our interaction has created an opportunity for him to discover thinking in a new way. In deed he is making good progress in his learning journey and I am happy to be part of it.


The following web sites could help you learn more about Herrmann Whole Brain or Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument:

Thinking Styles and Learning Styles

© 2007 B. S. C. Ugoji


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