Loopiness As a Pedagogical Methodology

Anne Dalke and Paul Grobstein
May 2002

The clashing point of two subjects, two disciplines, two cultures --- of two galaxies as far as that goes --- ought to produce creative chances.

C.P. Snow, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution

But it was from the difference between us, not from the affinities and likenesses, but from the difference, that [understanding] came, and it was itself the bridge, the only bridge, across what divided us.

Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

"Together we reconstruct the texts that have been our classrooms in hope that others may find here useful accounts ..."


"... don't depend on people knowing in advance what is "right," but rather on people having confidence in the creative potential inherent in groups of people sharing different perspectives and ideas, in exactly the same sense that they have (or should have) confidence in the creative potential inherent in all individuals, themselves included."


Questions, Intuitions, Revisions: Telling and Retelling Stories About Ourselves in the World

Additionally informed by and intersecting with ...

Creating a conversation ...

Sharon Burgmayer

Noticing, valuing, and facilitating the internal conversation ...

The Brain's Images: Reflecting and Creating Human Understanding

Some outcomes ...

A few months ago my impressions [of Sharon Burgmeyer¹s "Cube and Sphere"] were: "The cube seems to suggest linear thinking, i.e. logic and reason. The ball suggests something whole or complete (intuitive knowledge?) perhaps the missing puzzle pieces of logic must become painted w/ the various shades of intuitive knowledge . . . perhaps the cube will eventually become the ball!". . . . At the beginning of the term, I resisted the "cube of applied logic," secretly favoring the multi-colored "sphere of intuitive knowledge." (The resistance should have been a clue: in my experience it usually means the avoidance of learning something!) The bold colors of logic and critical thinking suggested limitation, and a lack of mental "freedom." Reasoning represented an often cumbersome, painful process requiring patience and discipline. However .... Gradually I found that the exploration of various models of thinking could be interesting and even exciting. I discovered that intuitive thinkers like myself need not fear theoretical models of applied logic. Theoretical models are simply different glasses through which to observe and interpret the world. While I have been busy learning to "think" in new ways, it seems that I have been revising my attitude towards thinking, as well. I have learned that exploring new models or frameworks encourages a certain fluidity of thinking and keeps the mind reaching for new understandings.

Eveline Stang, csem student, December 2001

Everyone in the class taught me things about themselves, human nature ... life; things I desperately needed to learn. For a few examples:

Chelsea Phillips, csem student, December 2001

Some lessons and issues ... continuing the conversation