注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

创新思维训练在英语写作教学中的实践  

2010-12-17 18:00:30|  分类: +英语写作教程: |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

    创新思维训练在英语写作教学中的实践*

 张在新

北京外国语大学英语学院

 *本研究课题(“英语写作与思维训练”)得到了北京外国语大学校级教学改革项目(2007-2009年)的资助,并得到了英语学院领导的大力支持。本文部分或主要内容先后在吉林大学召开的“第七届中国英语写作教学与研究国际研讨会”(2010.9.24-26)的教学工作坊、北外英语学院教师发展与研究委员会组织的专题讲座(2010.10.20)、辅仁大学召开的“第七届海峡两岸外语教学研讨会”英语组会议(2010.10.29-30))、浙江外国语学院英文系(2010.11.18)和北外“英语写作与批判思维能力培养高端论坛”小组发言(2010.12.18)中进行过交流。

 本文只集中探讨一个问题:什么是创新思维?及其在英语写作教学中的实践。这一教学实践依据的蓝本是积累、试用过多年的《英语写作教程——从创新思维到批判思维》(张在新主编,共四册),中的第一册《创新思维与写前技巧》(张在新编著),其重点是创新思维/写前构思技巧的运用及作文练习。

 什么是创新思维?[1]  这个问题可以从创新思维的特点和创新思维方法这两个方面进行分析:

1. 创新思维的特点

创新思维的主要特点具有三个基本要素:(1)流畅性(fluency),即思维的广阔性;(2)灵活性(flexibility),即思维种类的多样性;(3)独特性(originality),即思维的新颖性。这三个要素可简单归纳为思维的广阔、多样和新颖(Adams, 1979;Halpern,1984)。[2] 创新能力(creativity)是创新思维(creative thinking)的能力体现,培养创新思维即是培养创新能力。

由于创新思维讲求从多通道、多视角横向看问题,因此它也叫横向思维(lateral thinking)(De Bono,1980)。用横向思维的方法去解决问题体现在绕过常规方法、突破一成不变的思维定式去寻找答案的能力。以下面的故事为例:古时候一位商人债务缠身,为了免去债务,不得不同意年迈的债主提出的苛刻要求,即娶商人的年轻女儿为妻。债主假借天意,让商人的女儿从装有一黑一白两个石子的钱袋里掏出一颗石子,如果拿到白石子,她可以不嫁给债主;相反,就必须成婚。但是债主趁商人不注意的时候,从地上抓起两颗黑石子扔进空的钱袋里,这一切都被商人的女儿看到了。如果按常规,她可以直接揭穿债主的骗局,但是她运用了横向思维,将计就计从钱袋里拿出石子后,假装不小心把它掉在铺满黑白石子的地上,这时因为分辨不出拿出来的石子颜色,只好通过看钱袋里剩下石子的颜色(黑色),来推断刚才拿出的石子是白色。这样,商人的女儿聪明地绕过了难题,用完全不同的思路找到了解决问题的方案(Halpern,1984)。小女子运用了创新思维去解决具体问题,这体现了她的创新能力。

2. 创新思维方法

为了培养学生养成从多角度和不同侧面横向思考问题的习惯,教材第一册介绍了十几种创新思维/写前构思技巧和方法,帮助学生提高创新能力、开阔思路和挖掘题材的水平,下面简单介绍其中三种。[3]

(1)   大脑风暴(brainstorming)

创新思维的流畅性、灵活性和独特性等特点是建立在大量素材的基础上的,以最快的方式搜索信息对于成功拓展创新思维尤为重要,直接影响到解决问题和挖掘题材内容的质量。大脑风暴法就是针对这一目的由Alex Osborn在1963年首次设计的,主要用于小组创意活动,个人使用也有较好的效果。具体做法是先把要解决的问题或主题写下来,然后小组成员轮流把随意想到的思路不加任何思索地写下来。每人在前一个想法的基础上任意发挥,对任何想法的好坏不作任何思考、判断和议论。最重要的是在最短的时间内尽可能穷尽所有思路的可能性,最后才回过头来(运用批判思维)判断哪些想法更具合理性。

      (2) 反转法(the reversal method)

反转法包含逆向思维,即从事情或人物的反面进行思考,寻求横向思维完全不同于常规的答案。例如,有一位贵夫人因为身体超重而雇佣了许多医生为她减肥,但体重丝毫不减,因为她不愿采纳医生给她制定的近乎于忍饥挨饿的严格饮食标准。最后,有一位医生采用反转法打破了思维定式,他的逆向思维是不让病人采取饥饿性节食——不是少吃,而是多吃,即在每次吃饭前喝一杯加糖牛奶并吃水果,这自然影响了她吃正餐的食欲而达到节食的目的。结果节食成功了。再如在一次考试中学生做了这样一道创新思维题:在一家儿童医院里,由于年幼的小病人极其喜爱供他们在病房里玩耍的玩具熊,以至于在出院时把玩具熊带回了家。医院怎样运用创新思维解决这一问题呢?多数答案只停留在纵向思维的层面上,如收取玩具费以弥补丢失的玩具的损失;在玩具里嵌入报警装置(一旦玩具离开病房就报警);敦促家长教育孩子等等。这些方法不仅不尽切合实际,而且还把小病人当作“小偷”来定性,让人难以接受。只有反转法的对策把小病人看成富有同情心的“好人”最有创意:建议医院用纱布将玩具熊包扎起来,并对小病人说小熊也在住院,未治愈之前不能出院,从此病房里的玩具熊就不再不翼而飞了。

      (3) 切入点的选择(choice of entry point)

切入点是指对问题的第一关注点。对切入点的非常规性选择也是创新思维的方法之一(与反转法有一定的重叠,但切入点的选择不一定都是逆向思维),重点是在思考问题时要经常改变切入点。假如在一个网球邀请赛里,有111人参加单打循环淘汰赛,我们怎样计算出整个比赛的总场次呢?如果按常规将切入点选择在胜出的球员身上,由于是循环淘汰赛,就必须一直算到该球员赢完决赛之后才是比赛的总场次。要是把切入点改变一下,选择在被淘汰的球员身上,解决问题就容易多了。111人的单循环淘汰赛只能有一位赢家,有110个人输球,而每人只要输一次就被淘汰,因此整个邀请赛总共要有110场次的比赛。

       英语写作教学离不开英语作文和练习。虽然创新思维跟写前构思技巧一样,以开阔思路、拓展写作内容为教学目的,但两者本身又与英语写作相结合,成为作文和练习的组成部分。Taylor(1982)认为最佳的语言习得/学习状态不是从语言直接学习而来,而是在使用它去获取知识才是最有效的。换言之,通过使用英语书面表达来进行创新思维的训练可以到达既训练思维又同时学习英语写作的目的。下面是创新思维/写前构思的练习和作文的几个实例。

(一)创新思维/写前构思练习实例

1. Associative Powers[4]

The Royal Wizard

       Write ten suitable titles for the following tale and a statement to explain what each title means. Developing a focus on different aspects of the tale (i.e. the wizard, the king, and the lock) is crucial to this exercise.

       There once lived a king who depended greatly on his wise man. But, through one circumstance and another, he grew to doubt the powers and perceptions of his chosen adviser. So, to test him, he had him tossed into a rather comfortable dungeon with a huge door secured by a combination lock. The king promised that if the wise man could free himself, he would be restored to his former exalted post.

       The wise man examined the combination lock and calculated that there were 288,000 possible combinations. He further calculated that, at the rate of trying one combination per minute, working an eight-hour day, he would be free in 600 days at the latest.

       He made an elaborate chart to keep track of the combinations he tried, hung up his calendar, and buckled down to business as 599 days passed. Before noon of the last day, he twirled half of his quota of combinations and then had a light lunch.

       After lunch, he took down his calendar and returned to his job whistling happily. At 4:59 p.m., he had only one more combination to go, so he placed the rolled-up calendar under his arm and smiling confidently, twisted the final combination into place.

       Nothing happened! His mouth hung open in shock. He beat on the lock, but it stood firm. In frustration, he threw himself against the heavy door. Slowly, it swung open. It was then that he found that when he had first been imprisoned, the king had ordered that the cell bolt not be thrown.

参考答案

The Royal Wizard

(1)      600 Days Too Late

       Sometimes the cost is too high if you fail to locate a problem in time.

(2)      A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

       One may learn a lesson the hard way.

(3)      A Solution Made Complex

       Sometimes there may be a simpler solution to a problem.

(4)      A Test of Talent

       Tests of true talent have to do with solving problems in real-life situations.

(5)      Misplaced Patience

       Patience can be misplaced. (If the old man had been impatient with the numerous combinations of the lock, he would have turned to another, perhaps simpler, solution to the problem.)

(6)      Performance under Pressure

       People, even smart people, may perform badly under pressure.

(7)      Lack of a Questioning Attitude

       A questioning attitude may help you to realize there is a problem. (If the old man had had a questioning attitude, like the king, who doubted his powers and perceptions, he would have sensed there might be a problem with his solution to the problem at hand.)

(8)      Self-Imprisonment

       People sometimes limit themselves to fixed ways of thinking—vertical thinking—as if they lock themselves up in a self-constructed prison.

(9)      Limits of Wisdom

       Even the wisest person may slip and fall due to lack of constant application of creative thinking.

(10)  The Shrewd King

A person in power should not always act on the advice of others.

(11)  Unfortunate Calculations

       It may be unfortunate for you to be so good at a certain skill that you may be over-confident about it and refuse to try anything new.

2. Means-Ends Analysis

Crossing the Gorge

       Engineers were trying to build a suspension bridge over a deep and wide gorge. The whitewater at the bottom of the gorge was too violent for any boat to cross. How would you get the heavy cables from one side of the gorge to the other?

       (Hint: For a means-ends analysis, you need to think about subgoals before you can reach your final goal in solving the problem.)

参考答案

Crossing the Gorge

       Subgoal 1: Taking a detour in solving the problem, the engineers sent very light fibers across the gorge by attaching them to a kite when the wind was right, of course.

       Subgoal 2: These fibers were then used to pull strings across.

       Subgoal 3: The strings were used to pull ropes across.

       Final Goal: The ropes were used to pull heavy cables that were stretched across the gorge.

3. Random Word Stimulation

       The teacher randomly opens the dictionary three times for three sets of nouns from the selected pages, and for each option writes down the nouns on the board for the students to choose from. Each student can use any set of the nouns as random stimuli to generate information for a topic of his/her own choice.

参考答案

Random Word Stimulation

Topic: Writer’s Block

Dictionary: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Randomly selected page: Page 926

Selected nouns in the left-hand column: maple, maraca, marathon, marble

Definitions (it will be stimulation enough just to copy from the dictionary the English definitions of the words):

       maple: a tree with many-pointed leaves which grows in the northern half of the world, one kind of which gives a sugary liquid (maple syrup)

       maraca: either of a pair of hollow shells with small objects, such as stones, inside them that are shaken to provide a strong beat in Latin American music

       marathon: a running race of about 26 miles; an activity that tests one’s power over a long time

       marble: a sort of white or irregularly colored limestone that is hard, cold to touch, smooth when polished, and used for buildings, statues, gravestones, etc.

Stimuli:  the shaded words in the definitions (not limited to those words) have provided stimuli for the following ideas about the topic, writer’s block:

       “The northern half of the world”:  The two hemispheres of the brain – Writer’s block because of overuse of only one part of the brain? The verbal left-brain? How about switching to the non-verbal right-brain to overcome writer’s block? Using images to help me think? Forming mental pictures? Try some other creative strategies?

       “A sugary liquid,” “maple syrup”: Ideas dry up in writer’s block – I once watched a TV program on how to make maple syrup from the sugary liquid or sap of maple trees in Canada. When the sap stops dripping into the small bucket, does it mean the tree is too old, the weather conditions are not right (i.e. there isn’t much sunshine), or there’s been a shortage of rainfall? I’m not too old for writing yet (as one may say, “You haven’t lost all the juices of youth yet.”), then age is not a factor. But probably I’m not in the right mood for writing on this topic, so I’m stuck here? Or because I don’t know enough or I haven’t read enough about the topic; that’s why I can’t write another word? How can I get my creative juices flowing again?

       “Hollow shells”: Empty words in my writing – With writer’s block, I just feel like the hollow shells of a pair of maracas, without the stones inside them to make a sound. Just empty words, no vivid specific details. I’ve run dry, out of ideas. I feel empty; I feel shallow. I can’t produce quality work anymore. I’ve lost it. Or maybe that’s the problem with my writing – I’m too concerned with quality work, even before I start. I need to let it go; try some more creative strategies in prewriting to escape from it all, to escape for a while from this obsession with the right thing to say in my writing. Maybe my problem is I haven’t paid enough attention to specific details in writing. Then I need to show more than tell. But where? How? I definitely need the stones in the maracas to produce a strong beat for my music, but how? More prewriting.

       “Marathon,” “an activity that tests one’s power over a long time”: Maybe, the whole writing process is like a marathon. You may feel excited in the beginning. Or maybe it’s not like this in some cases when I never have the passion to write anything, depending on the topics. And sometimes you may feel exhausted on the way, just like in a marathon, like when you’re experiencing writer’s block. In times like this, you want to quit, you want to drop out of the race. Yes, writing is like a race in the sense that you’re taking dictation from your brain sometimes and you want to write as fast as you can to keep up with it. But you know you can get there to the finish line if you hang in there. Have some patience, develop your pacing, and slow down a little bit. It’s only a temporary phase thing, your writer’s block. Like a test of one’s endurance in a marathon, writer’s block is only a test of your ability to generate more ideas when you get stuck in your writing. You can eventually ride out this difficulty if you hang in there.

       “Irregularly colored limestone,” “smooth when polished”:

       Irregularly colored marble may be used as an analogue to show how prewriting as a process to overcome writer’s block can be done with creative methods. In prewriting, you don’t have to follow regular patterns; instead, you need to ignore logic, correctness of grammar, or any clear organizational patterns, in order to escape from old habits or fixed ways of thinking. Irregularly colored marble is what you’re looking for, not pure white, but irregularly colored. We can settle for irregular streaks of gray, or a combination of brown and white; anything goes in prewriting. This is what prewriting is about, to experiment, to explore. Of course, after prewriting, you need to go over what you’ve come up with and decide on what to use to develop a main point, one color, so to speak, in your writing. And then you smooth out the edges and polish the surfaces to make everything smooth in the revising stage before you hand in your writing.

(二)创新思维作文实例

1. Creative Strategy Report

A Game of Table Tennis

Solve the following puzzle in groups of three, with Student A responsible for taking notes on brainstorming, Student B for an outline (on different pathways), and Student C for the final report. The whole report is expected to show fluency, flexibility, and originality in creative thinking.

A man challenged a table tennis champion to a game of table tennis on the condition that he be allowed to choose the time and place of the match. The champion accepted the challenge but was defeated by the challenger. Why was the champion defeated?

参考答案

A Game of Table Tennis

Brainstorming

(1)     The challenger chose to play at night. The champion was night-blind.

(2)     The match was set in a space shuttle. The challenger was an astronaut, but the champion was not.

(3)     The champion had won his title at a local university, but the challenger was one of the best table tennis professional players of the nation.

(4)     The challenger chose to play on a slope, and the champion had to play at the bottom of the slope, thus giving the challenger an advantage in the game.

(5)     The game was played in the challenger’s hometown, a plateau like in Tibet. The champion was in bad shape because of the shortage of oxygen, so he was defeated.

(6)     The match took place in a lion’s cage. The challenger was the lion tamer.

(7)     The champion had a psychological problem, and he was scared of knives. The challenger wanted to play the game in a room full of knives.

(8)     At the match, a spotlight following the champion dazzled him, so he lost the game.

(9)     The match took place in the Arctic. The champion couldn’t stand the cold, but the challenger was an Eskimo.

(10) In the match room, there were a lot of attractive girls in shirts open nearly to the waist, so the champion couldn’t concentrate. And the challenger was gay.

(11) The champion was challenged to the game when he came down with the flu and was running a temperature. So he would be too weak to win the match.

(12) The challenger wanted to play in a boat, and the champion couldn’t keep his balance and got seasick, but the challenger was a seaman and quite used to the rocking of the boat on the waves.

(13) It was a game on the Internet. The challenger was good at online games while the champion was a rookie.

(14) The challenger was the boss, and in order to avoid hurting his huge ego, the champion lost the game on purpose.

(15) They both would have to walk on stilts and play. Only the challenger could manage it well, because he was an acrobat.

(16) The champion was a woman. She was challenged to the match when she was eight months pregnant.

(17) The challenger was still a child, but the champion an adult. The match would take place in forty years. By then, the champion would probably be in his seventies, too old to win the game.

(18) They played near a noisy airport where the champion was affected seriously. The challenger was deaf.

(19) They played on a cliff. With the cliff right behind the champion, he didn’t dare to move.

(20) The champion was placed on a trampoline.

(21) The champion was challenged to the game right after an important match, where he had used up all his energy.

(22) The challenger picked a full-blown garden as the venue of the match, and the champion was allergic to pollen.

Outline (Different Pathways)

       Pathway 1    When: the challenger sets a time that is inconvenient for the champion to be present, e.g. when the champion is heavy with a baby; or suppose a five-year-old boy challenges a thirty-year-old champion and arranges the time to be forty years later when the champion is too old to win the game or even too old to play.

       Pathway 2    Where: the challenger sets the place to his own advantage, like playing on a slope or in his plateau hometown. Or if the challenger is blind, he wants to play the game in the dark.

       Pathway 3    Who: the challenger tries to distract the champion’s attention by bringing in topless pretty girls or half-naked men, depending on the champion’s sex or sexual orientation. The champion is a subordinate under the challenger, so he loses the game on purpose. Or the challenger can make use of knives if the champion has a psychological problem with them. And it can be a game between a champion of a local university and a real table tennis pro.

Final Report (Best Ideas)

      How can a man beat a table tennis champion easily so long as he gets to choose the time and place of the match?

      We have found quite a few solutions to this puzzle, and not all of them have to do with the privilege the winner is given. If we set aside the question of time and place, we are faced with a simpler question: How can a man easily defeat a table tennis champion? The key to this question is to define “the man” and “the champion.” It is possible the man is himself a table tennis master and may have won a medal in an international competition while the so-called “champion” enjoys such a reputation only in a local university. It is also possible the “champion” is long past his prime, say, in his 70s, while the man, though still training to be a professional player, is full of energy.

       Now we take into consideration the man’s privilege of choosing the time. In what way can the question of time make a difference? The man can choose a time most inconvenient for the champion, so inconvenient that the champion has to lose, such as when the champion lies terribly sick in bed, is eight months pregnant (the champion can by all means be a woman).

       The privilege of choosing the venue of the match is also well worth exploring. For instance, the champion is prone to seasickness, and the challenger takes him on a ship for the game on the sea; the champion is allergic to pollen, so the challenger chooses to play in a full-blown garden; the champion has weak lungs, then the match is set in Tibet, the challenger’s hometown; the champion is night-blind, and, you guessed it, the match takes place at midnight in the open air.

       The list goes on, and we are quite sure we have not exhausted all of the ideas in this report, which is not so much about solutions as about how we come up with ideas. This exercise has convinced us that with a mind at once imaginative and critical, we can make many seemingly impossible things happen.

2. Open-Ended Story

Doorbell

       Describe the open-ended picture story below in your own words, think of three or four endings for the story, and comment on what you have learned from the exercise.

思维训练写作教学法的实践 - bfsutheory - 张在新思维训练写作教学法的实践 - bfsutheory - 张在新思维训练写作教学法的实践 - bfsutheory - 张在新

 

参考答案

Doorbell

       Description of the story

       A man, walking down the street, passes a house and notices a child trying to reach a doorbell. No matter how much the little boy stretches, he can’t reach it. The man calls out, “Let me get that for you,” and he bounds onto the porch and rings the bell.

       Convergent ending:

l  The boy’s mom opens the door, and both the boy and his mom thank the man. And the man says “No problem.”

       Divergent endings:

l  “Thanks, mister,” says the kid. “Now let’s run.”

l  Someone opens the door, but the boy says “Sorry, wrong house. Come to think of it, wrong street.” The boy is playing a prank on the man, or he suffers from amnesia.

l  No sooner has the boy’s mom opened the door than the man snatches the boy from the doorway, pushes the mom aside, barges into the house, and slams the door behind him. He’s a burglar. He’s been watching this house for a long time.

       Comments

       Jones (1998) says, “What makes the anecdote funny is that our mind has quickly conjured an image—a pattern—of a nice man helping a sweet little child, when suddenly we discover we are fooled. It’s a prank. We misidentified the pattern.”

       Since it’s possible for the boy to be naughty or forgetful (or even mentally disturbed), it’s also possible for the man to be evil—we don’t have to stick to only one identity of a person. Identities can be multiple and reversed in problem solving. In this way, we can learn to be divergent in any situation.

参考文献

Adams, James L. Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1979.

De Bono, Edward. Lateral thinking: A Textbook of Creativity. Middlesex: Penguin,1982.

---. Lateral Thinking for Management. New York: American Management Association, 1971.

Halpern, Diane F. Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1984.

Jones, Beau F. and Lorna Idol. Dimensions of Thinking and Cognitive Instruction. Hillsdale: Erlbaum, 1990.

Raudsepp, Eugene. Creative Growth Games. New York: Perigee, 1977.

Taylor, Barry P. “Teaching ESL: Incorporating a Communicative, Student-Centered Component.” TESOL Quarterly 17 (1982): 69-88.

张在新,《开放作文——创新意识和创新思维》,《写给中学英语教师的书》,穆林华、张玲棣(主编),中国青年出版社,2005年。第78-87页。

张在新,《开放式作文:如何考察创新能力》,《中国教育报》,2004年3月10日第8版。

张在新(主编),《英语写作教程——从创新思维到批判思维》,外语教学与研究出版社,2010年。

 


       [1] 这部分的介绍是在张在新(2005)一文的基础上修改而成的。

       [2] 另外创新思维还有联想力(Raudsepp, 1977; Halpern, 1984)、怀疑态度(Adams, 1979)等特点,其中怀疑态度的特点是以多视野、多通道为前提的,因此它不是批判思维而是创新思维的特点。

[3] 参见De Bono (1982)。

[4] Adapted from Eugene Raudsepp (1977)


 

  评论这张
 
阅读(477)| 评论(0)
推荐

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017