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Teaching for Inspiration

Paper Three: Teaching for Inspiration


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Language and Thought

We are accustomed to hearing the benefits of multilingualism being extolled, and the advent of rapid globalization throws into even sharper relief the foolhardiness of confining oneself to the “prison house” of the mother tongue. In “Does Your Language Shape How You Think?” Guy Deutscher discusses recent attempts to reinvestigate the architecture of this prison. The investigation follows decades of polite avoidance of the subject as new studies, Deutscher says, are providing linguists with ways of thinking about the relationship between primary language and cognition that are far more sophisticated than Benjamin Lee Whorf’s now much-derided claim that Native American languages, for example, “impose on th

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Creativity and Utility

In their article, “The Creativity Crisis,” Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman briefly describe the activity of “paracosm” creation, a form of play most often observed in middle childhood. Those who, as nine and ten year olds, demonstrated a special affinity for fantasizing entire alternative worlds seem to be very well represented in high-profile clubs of future movers and shakers like MacArthur “genius” award recipients. But, the authors say, “From fourth grade on, creativity no longer occurs in a vacuum; researching and studying become an integral part of coming up with useful solutions.”

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