There’s always one in most every class, family, or just about any group gathering: Questions, Questions!, Questions! It’s enough to give you a headache.
This child, or even adult, is often labeled as ADD, and the tendency is to try and find a way to make him or her shut up – or better yet, disappear.
However, in this week’s essay, Mariaemma Willis, MariaemmaWillis.com, alerts us to the fact that we might be stifling some of society’s most productive members. It is our responsibility as parents, teachers, advisors, friends to learn how to channel that inquisitiveness into to effective production.
Let me take this time to wish you all a very happy holidays from everyone here at Clarendon Consulting.
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” ~~Gyorgyi, Albert
The Inventing Disposition: Need for Discovery!
Who are the famous inventors you know? There is Johann Gutenberg, Thomas Edison, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Madam Curie, Henry Ford, Richard Feynman, and, more recently, Bill Gates.
What is it that all inventors have in common? Their focus is on their inventions. Nothing matters to them as much as the project they’re working on. Meals don’t matter. Doing chores doesn’t matter. Getting to soccer practice on time doesn’t matter.
People with an Inventing Disposition prefer subjects or activities that allow experimentation. To a person with an Inventing Disposition, there is nothing quite so compelling as a mechanical problem that could be solved in a creative way.
Getting the job done quickly is not important. Getting the job done efficiently is not important. Above all, the aesthetics of the device, structure, or creation are not important. It doesn’t have to look good. What is important is that it works in a unique way.
People with Inventing Dispositions will spend long periods of time reading or surfing the Internet for ideas and theories that shed light on practical problems that interest them. Even if these people don’t enjoy reading, the desire to “know” more, to find a solution is often stronger than the aversion to reading.
Not all Inventing people become famous or create innovations that are marketed. Most Inventing people apply the skills of this Disposition to everyday life situations—figuring out how to get the window to stay propped up, how to transform an old recipe into a new dish, how to run the computer wire so that it doesn’t show, how to set up the dog dishes for continuous feeding, etc.
Inventing people love to have unlimited time to do whatever it is they need to get their ideas to work. Because they get so focused and involved in their projects, they often lose track of time and are late for or completely miss appointments.
As a rule, Inventing people enjoy brainstorming and debating, if they can do it with “sharp” people who are knowledgeable about the topic being discussed. However, once they are absorbed in their exploration or project, they are not inclined to interact, and view talking as a waste of time. They often prefer working independently rather than in groups.
Inventing people also view writing as a waste of time. They just can’t understand why someone would take the time to write a report on something that has already been written. If you need information about satellites, for instance, you go find books about satellites, look up what you need, and apply it in a practical way to what you are working on.
From their point of view there is no need to write the old information all over again—they could be spending that time doing something more worthwhile, like creating something new or finding the solution to a problem!
As children, these people are very inquisitive and the adults around them are often annoyed at the number of questions that they ask. This is the child who is told in class to stop asking so many questions and just listen. Sometimes this child seems to ask questions that have nothing to do with the lesson, which makes matters worse, as the teacher thinks that he is not paying attention.
In reality, the child was paying attention, which is what stimulated the questions in the first place, triggering new ideas and, perhaps, earning him the label of ADD. In other cases, adults become exasperated because they don’t know the answers to the questions, and classmates are irritated because they view this child as a nerd or a know-it-all.
The Inventing Disposition is best described by the word DISCOVER. The underlying objective of this style is to be smart and competent.
How do Inventing people learn best?
Inventing people prefer subjects and activities that are experimental by nature, that provide inspiration and new solutions, and give opportunities to question, design, and discover. They learn best when the teaching materials and techniques used are direct and offer “intellectual” ideas, theories, models, and time for exploration.
Inventing people need flexible spaces that provide room for labs, experiments, and models. They thrive in atmospheres that encourage questioning, exploring, debating, and unscheduled time to work independently.
What are the contributions of Inventing people?
Inventing people bring focus, enthusiasm for learning, and a sense of discovery to a situation. They have the ability to be independent and can speak directly to the point. They contribute an interest in the sciences, technical know-how, and problem-solving skill.
What motivates Inventing people?
Inventing people are motivated when they are acknowledged for being clever and smart, for making discoveries, and for solving problems. It is also highly motivating for them when people actually put to use their contributions, inventions, and technical know-how.
Helpful strategies for the classroom or homework time:
- Engage the student in a debate on the subject being studied.
- Encourage study techniques that involve drawing or constructing a model.
- Provide computer programs to teach or reinforce a subject.
- Have brainstorming sessions; “collect” and “classify” the information
- Provide hands-on models or visual representations (videos, CD ROMS) whenever possible for the subjects being studied.
- Ask the teacher to allow projects in place of written reports.
People with the Inventing Disposition are often discounted for their technical know-how and problem solving skill. They believe that their intentions to discover and “make things better” are misunderstood. When this Disposition is not acknowledged, these children doubt their intelligence or they feel rejected.
In either case, they will seek validation in their discoveries and could become loners. They then grow up to become adults who have trouble relating to others, so they keep to themselves. It is important that these children learn appropriate interaction and organizational skills, so that they can integrate their Inventing Dispositions into their daily lives.
Copyright 2012 by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, M.S., Victoria Kindle-Hodson, M.A. /
Reflective Educational Perspectives LLC