Nature of Thinking

Human thinking has important contribution in the development of the world. Human being is
considered as great among all the species only because of its thinking-power. He is a thinker by nature. This power is a god gift to him. According to the psychology, thinking is a mixture of sensation, visibility, concentration, memory and imagination etc. There is a purpose in thinking activity of a person.He uses thinking to accomplish this purpose. A person has to make efforts to fulfill his willing or aim and to get success in this kind of work, he has to plan in beginning and has to work carefully for this planning, and then he gets succeed.Therefore it is important to emphasis on thinking and logical-power of children with the means of education.

Nature of Thinking

In previous chapters we discussed about learning process and knowledge development related phases such as, learning and interest, habit, construction, sensation and visibility, memory, imagination etc. these activities are included in the difficult process of learning. That activity or process in which we use our past experience to face new conditions and to solve a problem, that mental process is called thinking.
Psychologist T.C. Morgan presents his thought in this regard as: “Actually the word used in daily life ‘thinking’ includes detailed configuration of various activities.” At one side it means remembering or something more than memory. For example, sign boards on the roads displaying “Think, carelessness means accident”, here think means to think about the accident or keep in mind. In the same way if someone says that ‘tell after thinking’ then he says about to learn that thing which we have learnt somewhere. Some kind of thinking is involved in these situations of memory. On the other side the word ‘thinking’ represents that serious thinking process, in which a scientist is engaged in solving a complicated problem. He clashes with the principles of mathematics or think about various procedures, by which he can solve the problem.

Whether thinking is easy or complicated, a fact is always involved in it, a mediator activity. At the time of thinking we connect past problem with current situation. Gap between Stimulated situation and the activities we do for it, is filled by mediator activities. When we are engaged in solving a problem these activities creates those elements, which we possibly do it with trial and error method. Here is a popular example to explain it:

“Suppose you have to solve a jigsaw puzzle. The difficult way to solve the puzzle is to join it’s every part actually and see that it is matching with the other part or not, it is to solve the puzzle by ‘trial and error’. If there is large number of parts in this puzzle, then it will take more time and have to do thousands of ‘trial and error’ attempts. Possibly you will perform some of the activities out of it. But you will select two or three possible activities which are closer to the right activities, mostly you will think. There will be several activities in your mind, in which you can put parts like actually you are putting in ‘trial and error’ method. You will think before putting them by hand, that can they will be getting their right place or not? So you will do by thinking that you are placing the pieces to the right place. In the same way we can take example of the game of chess where we will think about the place of pawn before putting them at right place.

From above examples it is clear that how a thinking process work as the mediator. 

In the same way Psychologist Hughes has defined the word thinking process with the help of an example of a puzzle: our thinking process keeps on moving to solve a word group puzzle. We think again and again about the suitability of a word and then we concentrate on the thought included in a particular word. In this way various solutions of a problem arises within our mind. But it is not sure that the identified word is suitable to fill the gap. If you got excellence in finding group puzzles then it is also possible that the word in your mind is not correctly right after re-thinking. Therefore attempt to find right word and thought involve in word continuously run within the mind and at the end a solution which is right from every aspect suddenly rises. 

Thinking is a cognitive process. It includes obvious and imagination knowledge. In other words thinking or thought is involved in every mental activity of a person. It is the activity of human mind that prepares us to face any condition.Because of the thinking power a person imagine a possible activity of livelihood or prepare mental sketch of it and tries to adjust according to the upcoming circumstances. 
When thinking is made on a problem, various solutions arises within mind and the solutions which are not appropriate, we give up them. In this way we try to solve the problems with possible solutions. Therefore we can say that thinking is that mental activity, through which we can solve problems. To clear the meaning of thinking it is important to study the definitions of various psychologists. Which are as:

(1) Warren: “Thinking is an ideational activity which is symbolic in character, initiated by the problem or task the individual is facing, involving some trial and error but under directing influences of his problem set and ultimately leading a conclusion or solution of the problem.”
(2) Ross: “Thinking is mental activity in its cognitive aspect.”
(3) C.W. Valentine: “In Psychological discussion it is well to keep the term thinking” for an activity which consists essentially of a connected fl ow of ideas which are directed towards end of purpose.”

According to Woodworth thinking process involves following elements:

1. Looking towards an objective or goal. 2. Make efforts to get that objective. 3. Remember earlier experiences or inspected facts/elements. 4. Adjust the past experience into the new pattern. 5. Internal talking and posses.

Thinking process includes these elements. Educationalist Divi has also explained about the five argument situation within human brain in his book ‘How We Think’.

According to D.V. thoughts are completed by five steps:

  1. Thinking begins with a problem or trouble.
  2. Complete definition of situation arises within mind.
  3. A description of possible solutions prepared on the basis of various advises. 
  4. Best solution is presented for use after analyzing all the solutions.
  5. Solution is accepted or rejected according to the result of re-examination and use.
In this way thinking is a difficult mental job, which starts with the arising of a problem and continuous till the end of solution. In this way above steps are helpful in the solution of problems. 

In education, knowledge earning should be emphasizes by keeping this in mind. 

Thinking process is mainly possible at two levels. First stage is Preventive, Mr. Ross defined it as: “Mental activities related to those objects which are present with senses and affect them”, in this thoughts reaches to the mind through sensations. Sensation is the objective form of thinking. Appearing and sensation has been already discussed in previous chapter. Second stage is Conceptual. To understand this we have to concentrate on conceptual process and means of thinking. These are explained further. 

The Art of Thinking: as it said in above example that high thinking is made within mind during finding the answer of word group puzzle and thus, a person get a chance of introspection, due to which he is at a position to find out the following step in thinking process. Psychologist Hughes has defined these steps as:

  1. Appreciation of a problem
  2. Collection of adequate relevant data
  3. Arriving at a conclusion
  4. Testing the conclusion
With the help of above steps we can improve the thinking-process of children. These steps are explained as:

  1. Appreciation of Problem: Arising a problem is the result of experience and activities of person or whatever he thinks is useful. Child also appreciates a problem in the same way. Initially his problems are related to existing objects/things, not with words or not existing thoughts. For example, a child is play with water near the tap. He sees that water is coming through the tap. Then he questions in the mind or verbally from where water is coming? For him it is a problem which increases his curiosity. He can take help from somebody to solve this problem, but he himself think on it. When somebody starts him telling about how water is coming then he tries to understand the things and he starts thinking. Therefore introduce child with problem in such a way, in which he will really take interest and curiosity can born within him and will do stimulus work to solve the problem. As the physical and mental development take place then he also tries to think without actual things. At this time words became meaningful and a specific condition can be imagines. Therefore teachers need to choose subject-matter smartly and create problems for the thinking of child.
  2. Collection of Adequate Relevant Data: After understanding problem we start collecting those elements/facts can be helpful in solving the problem. Various advise appear in our mind will be controlled with our purpose. Facts can be collected by memory, study, inspection or questions. Here teacher have to see that student have right grasp the problem and then motivate them to awoke memory to collect required/important facts, instruct to repeat earlier gained knowledge, advise to study good books is the responsibility of teacher. Remembered facts are the main things of thinking-process. Here in education example of project method can be supposed. In this method work has a purposeful scheme/plan. Child selects a work of his choice. This work has a purpose. Problem is putted in front of him to fulfill the objective/purpose. He actively try to participate in solving the problem, thus gets knowledge of various subjects. When a problem arises in front of children then they are deeply engaged in collecting information and they tries to see the relation of one item of knowledge with another item.
  3. Arriving at a conclusion: Teacher should tell the process of creating record of elements collected earlier. With the help of it an item can be compared with another and it helps in reaching to conclusion. For example research related work and problem in science related scheme are presented, like research on physical and chemical equipments used in daily life, study of various plants and tree of garden. What conditions are required in budding of a seed? In this experiment effect of water, air, light, temperature etc. factors are observed and a conclusion came brought out by fine inspection of those observations. In this way children learn by their interest and efforts and get benefit from their experiences.
  4. Testing and Conclusion: Inspection of the result of thinking process is also important. These results should not against the pre-defined truths. If some kind of mistakes are there, then are inspection of collected facts and proper directions should be motivated. Solutions are accepted or rejected according to the re-inspection, experiment and result.

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