The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking [NOOK Book]

Overview

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways...

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The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

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Overview

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities.

The book offers real-life stories, explicit action items, and concrete methods that allow you to attain a deeper understanding of any issue, exploit the power of failure as a step toward success, develop a habit of creating probing questions, see the world of ideas as an ever-flowing stream of thought, and embrace the uplifting reality that we are all capable of change. No matter who you are, the practical mind-sets introduced in the book will empower you to realize any goal in a more creative, intelligent, and effective manner. Filled with engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is written for all who want to reach their fullest potential--including students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, professionals, athletes, artists, leaders, and lifelong learners.

Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way.

To share thinking stories, go to: http://5elementsofthinking.wordpress.com

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Editorial Reviews

ForeWord Reviews
What do earth, fire, air, and water have to do with effective thinking? Everything, according to mathematics professors Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. In The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, the authors draw on these metaphor-laden elements from the natural world to demonstrate how to ask better questions, take calculated risks, learn from mistakes, and, ultimately, transform ourselves into more engaged and thoughtful citizens of the world. . . . The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a useful guide for anyone interested in tackling difficult subject matter, particularly in the classroom. The book also could serve as a solid supplementary text in courses on critical thinking.
— Jennifer Moore
South China Morning Post
If you remember being told by your teachers to think harder and having no idea how, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking should help. . . . This is a snappy, illuminating read that should appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a genius and is willing to strive, step by step, to become one.
— David Wilson
Guardian
Thinking is good, enthuses this book by two distinguished teachers of mathematics. You might think you're being creative or having intuitions or conducting a romance or whatever, but it's all thinking, right? And you can learn to think better! So you can, and the advice herein, which includes many practical tenets of 'critical thinking', will surely be useful to many a schoolchild or business leader.
— Steven Poole
Education Week
The authors aim to teach readers how to expand their intellectual and creative capacity by adopting habits that train the mind to see beyond the surface level of ideas in order to find innovative ways to solve problems. . . . Overall, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a quick, easy read that is entertaining and engaging. It's the type of book that you can read in one sitting or read over time as you grapple to master the elements.
— Catherine A. Cardno
Brain Drain blog
The challenge of books such as these is that, in the wrong hands, the contents can come across as banal generalities and just so much hokum. But the appeal of The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking lies in that its authors are mathematicians by profession, and it shows in how the book is written. It's a very systematic book about being organized and critical in one's thinking, written by individuals whose work demands that they are organized and critical in their thinking. Yet it isn't at all imposing; in fact, the discussion is often down-to-earth, and the fact that the book is structured like a playbook readers can easily apply certainly has its merits. In short, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is the kind of book I know would have helped me a lot in my days as a student. I'd like to think it will be helpful to students of today, too.
— Brian L. Belen
BusinessWeek's Coaching Tip blog
The root of success in everything is thinking—whether it's thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking. The surprising fact is that just a few learnable strategies of thinking can make you more effective.
— John G. Agno
Washington Times
Inspirational and engaging but also educational and immensely practical.
— Anthony J. Sadar
NACADA Journal
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird is a fun little book with great tips to improve overall thinking skills. . . . Suited for students who can employ the techniques in the book to earn better grades and become better thinkers.
— Brandon Kroll
ForeWord Reviews - Jennifer Moore
What do earth, fire, air, and water have to do with effective thinking? Everything, according to mathematics professors Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. In The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, the authors draw on these metaphor-laden elements from the natural world to demonstrate how to ask better questions, take calculated risks, learn from mistakes, and, ultimately, transform ourselves into more engaged and thoughtful citizens of the world. . . . The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a useful guide for anyone interested in tackling difficult subject matter, particularly in the classroom. The book also could serve as a solid supplementary text in courses on critical thinking.
South China Morning Post - David Wilson
If you remember being told by your teachers to think harder and having no idea how, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking should help. . . . This is a snappy, illuminating read that should appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a genius and is willing to strive, step by step, to become one.
Guardian - Steven Poole
Thinking is good, enthuses this book by two distinguished teachers of mathematics. You might think you're being creative or having intuitions or conducting a romance or whatever, but it's all thinking, right? And you can learn to think better! So you can, and the advice herein, which includes many practical tenets of 'critical thinking', will surely be useful to many a schoolchild or business leader.
Education Week - Catherine A. Cardno
The authors aim to teach readers how to expand their intellectual and creative capacity by adopting habits that train the mind to see beyond the surface level of ideas in order to find innovative ways to solve problems. . . . Overall, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a quick, easy read that is entertaining and engaging. It's the type of book that you can read in one sitting or read over time as you grapple to master the elements.
Brain Drain blog - Brian L. Belen
The challenge of books such as these is that, in the wrong hands, the contents can come across as banal generalities and just so much hokum. But the appeal of The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking lies in that its authors are mathematicians by profession, and it shows in how the book is written. It's a very systematic book about being organized and critical in one's thinking, written by individuals whose work demands that they are organized and critical in their thinking. Yet it isn't at all imposing; in fact, the discussion is often down-to-earth, and the fact that the book is structured like a playbook readers can easily apply certainly has its merits. In short, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is the kind of book I know would have helped me a lot in my days as a student. I'd like to think it will be helpful to students of today, too.
BusinessWeek's Coaching Tip blog - John G. Agno
The root of success in everything is thinking—whether it's thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking. The surprising fact is that just a few learnable strategies of thinking can make you more effective.
Washington Times - Anthony J. Sadar
Inspirational and engaging but also educational and immensely practical.
NACADA Journal - Brandon Kroll
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird is a fun little book with great tips to improve overall thinking skills. . . . Suited for students who can employ the techniques in the book to earn better grades and become better thinkers.
Teachers College Record - Jonathan Gravells
There is undoubtedly much here that would be of practical use to professionals from all walks of life, and indeed other educators, such as management trainers and coaches. As a practical and helpful guide, particularly for students seeking to improve the quality of their thinking and learning, The Five Elements of Effective Thinking is a thought-provoking and useful manual.
Canadian Teacher Magazine - Kent Miller
Teachers from primary grades to university courses can use the model in this book to deliver curriculum in a way that students are forced to develop thinking skills to successfully understand the material they are being taught and to identify their own next steps in learning. Although the authors draw most of their examples from the learning of mathematics, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking can be applied in any classroom where thinking is emphasized.
Biz India - Paiso Jamakar
This is a short book, easy to read and understand. But its value is very high because it teaches us how to change the way we think. It shows us how to think effectively. Our thoughts precede our actions and govern our lives. The way we think determines our success and happiness in life. If these are important elements to you, so is this book.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2013 Silver Medal in Self-Help, Independent Publisher Book Awards

"What do earth, fire, air, and water have to do with effective thinking? Everything, according to mathematics professors Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. In The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, the authors draw on these metaphor-laden elements from the natural world to demonstrate how to ask better questions, take calculated risks, learn from mistakes, and, ultimately, transform ourselves into more engaged and thoughtful citizens of the world. . . . The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a useful guide for anyone interested in tackling difficult subject matter, particularly in the classroom. The book also could serve as a solid supplementary text in courses on critical thinking."—Jennifer Moore, ForeWord Reviews

"If you remember being told by your teachers to think harder and having no idea how, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking should help. . . . This is a snappy, illuminating read that should appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a genius and is willing to strive, step by step, to become one."—David Wilson, South China Morning Post

"Thinking is good, enthuses this book by two distinguished teachers of mathematics. You might think you're being creative or having intuitions or conducting a romance or whatever, but it's all thinking, right? And you can learn to think better! So you can, and the advice herein, which includes many practical tenets of 'critical thinking', will surely be useful to many a schoolchild or business leader."—Steven Poole, Guardian (U.K.)

"The authors aim to teach readers how to expand their intellectual and creative capacity by adopting habits that train the mind to see beyond the surface level of ideas in order to find innovative ways to solve problems. . . . Overall, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a quick, easy read that is entertaining and engaging. It's the type of book that you can read in one sitting or read over time as you grapple to master the elements."—Catherine A. Cardno, Education Week

"The challenge of books such as these is that, in the wrong hands, the contents can come across as banal generalities and just so much hokum. But the appeal of The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking lies in that its authors are mathematicians by profession, and it shows in how the book is written. It's a very systematic book about being organized and critical in one's thinking, written by individuals whose work demands that they are organized and critical in their thinking. Yet it isn't at all imposing; in fact, the discussion is often down-to-earth, and the fact that the book is structured like a playbook readers can easily apply certainly has its merits. In short, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is the kind of book I know would have helped me a lot in my days as a student. I'd like to think it will be helpful to students of today, too."—Brian L. Belen, Brain Drain blog

"The root of success in everything is thinking—whether it's thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking. The surprising fact is that just a few learnable strategies of thinking can make you more effective."—John G. Agno, Business Week's Coaching Tip blog

"Inspirational and engaging but also educational and immensely practical."—Anthony J. Sadar, Washington Times

"The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird is a fun little book with great tips to improve overall thinking skills. . . . Suited for students who can employ the techniques in the book to earn better grades and become better thinkers."—Brandon Kroll, NACADA Journal

"There is undoubtedly much here that would be of practical use to professionals from all walks of life, and indeed other educators, such as management trainers and coaches. As a practical and helpful guide, particularly for students seeking to improve the quality of their thinking and learning, The Five Elements of Effective Thinking is a thought-provoking and useful manual."—Jonathan Gravells, Teachers College Record
"Teachers from primary grades to university courses can use the model in this book to deliver curriculum in a way that students are forced to develop thinking skills to successfully understand the material they are being taught and to identify their own next steps in learning. Although the authors draw most of their examples from the learning of mathematics, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking can be applied in any classroom where thinking is emphasized."—Kent Miller, Canadian Teacher Magazine

"This is a short book, easy to read and understand. But its value is very high because it teaches us how to change the way we think. It shows us how to think effectively. Our thoughts precede our actions and govern our lives. The way we think determines our success and happiness in life. If these are important elements to you, so is this book."—Paiso Jamakar, Biz India

"Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way."—World Book Industry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400844562
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/26/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 149,031
  • File size: 455 KB

Meet the Author

Edward B. Burger is the president of Southwestern University, and an educational and business consultant. Formerly he was a professor at Williams College and a vice provost at Baylor University. He has authored or coauthored more than sixty-five articles, books, and video series; delivered over five hundred addresses and workshops throughout the world; and made more than fifty radio and television appearances. His teaching and scholarly writing have earned him many national honors and the largest teaching award given in the English-speaking world. Michael Starbird is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and an educational and business consultant. His numerous books, lectures, workshops, and video courses have reached large national audiences of students, teachers, businesspeople, and lifelong learners. His success at teaching people to think has been recognized by more than fifteen awards, including the highest national teaching award in his field as well as statewide and university-wide honors selected from all disciplines.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Thinking Makes the Difference vii

Introduction
Elements of Effective Thinking, Learning, and Creating 1


1. Grounding Your Thinking 13
UNDERSTAND DEEPLY
Understand simple things deeply 15
Clear the clutter-- seek the essential 26
See what's there 31
See what's missing 41
Final thoughts: Deeper is better 44


2. Igniting Insights through Mistakes 47
FAIL TO SUCCEED
Welcome accidental missteps-- let your errors be your guide 51
Finding the right question to the wrong answer 64
Failing by intent 66
Final thoughts: A modified mind-set 71


3. Creating Questions out of Thin Air 73
BE YOUR OWN SOCRATES
How answers can lead to questions 75
Creating questions enlivens your curiosity 82
What's the real question? 86
Final thoughts: The art of creating questions and active listening 93


4. Seeing the Flow of Ideas 95
LOOK BACK, LOOK FORWARD
Understanding current ideas through the flow of ideas 98
Creating new ideas from old ones 106
Final thoughts: "Under construction" is the norm 117


5. Engaging Change 119
TRANSFORM YOURSELF


A Way to Provoke Effective Thinking 136
A Brief Review

Share Your Own Stories of Effective Thinking 149
Acknowledgments 151
About the Authors 155

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