The Divergent Thinker

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Jessie
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The Divergent Thinker

Post by Jessie » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:22 am

We're delighted to feature a piece from Dr. Deirdre Lovecky's Gifted Resource Center of New England here at Third Factor! We hope that by giving it a signal boost, her foundational piece on the subject, The Divergent Thinker, will reach more people who can benefit from it.

So what did you think? Are you a divergent thinker, and did this reflect your experiences?

aLore
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Re: The Divergent Thinker

Post by aLore » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:08 am

The author of this article puts a positive spin on a set of learning difficulties that made my own school (and I suppose I could say life, while I was at it) experience fairly stressful. I like the idea of looking at what felt like disabilities through a different lens - it affirms areas I now know to be strengths as an adult and, in a strange way, it is healing to connect the strengths with the weaknesses as a package deal.

On the other hand, I can’t help feeling that I would be a less effective person today if I had been too highly valued as a child for divergent thinking instead of pressed to develop in areas that felt unnatural to me. My gifts would be less accessible to use in the service of a mission if I did not have the hard won discipline of “playing to the audience”.

I think of my first high school experience with real research papers, for example. I had a terrible time getting going on things, especially when there was a novel element in an assignment. I got swept away with reading about my subject (reading being easy and familiar) and then, with only an hour left before it was due, dashed off an essay containing connections and conclusions that went beyond any of my sources. With so little time left and with my lack of experience, I could not backtrack to quote my way through my thought process and did not end up able to provide a single direct or indirect reference before I had to submit the paper.

Although the teacher made a passing mention that it was interesting (and he was aware it was not plagiarized because I had written the entire thing in his classroom after school), I received a rather deflating grade for not actually producing a formal research paper. It felt very intellectually stifling at the time and my teen self was outraged, but the grade drove home the fact that I was going to suffer if I refused, so I swallowed the pill and eventually found it possible to write well and also give credit for formative ideas.

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