Also called global thinkers.

People who are gestalt thinkers tend to grasp ideas as a whole, and understand specifics only in relation to that whole. Other traits often credited to global thinkers are: making decisions on emotions and intuition, preferring to work in an informal, unstructured, more flexible environment, taking frequent breaks, and learning best in small groups. The list goes on, but the a common theme with these 'optional' descriptors is that they apply very well to nearly any child. While children do tend to be gestalt thinkers, it may not be useful to lump all child-like traits under this term, as many adults are also gestalt thinkers.

As a rule, analytic thinkers are able to learn more quickly, in large part because things are usually taught in an analytic manner in the public schools, but also because analytic thinking does indeed seem to be a more efficient way to learn. On the other hand, most students, including high I.Q. students, think globally.

Thinking analytically comes later in life -- about the time you might start to teach in the classroom or write textbooks. Needless to say, having analytic teachers with gestalt learners is not the most efficient way to get things done.

To illustrate the idea, long division is usually taught using an algorithm that is easy to use -- but it is usually taught as a rote series of steps that 'magically' give you the correct answer. An analytical thinker is likely to be happy with this (or at least, less likely to think the whole thing is a stupid waste of time). A gestalt thinker is likely to be bored out of ier mind. Many gestalt thinkers will dump the algorithm altogether, and use methods involving things like estimation or 'successive refinement' (14 goes into 3248 = 1400{100 times}, 1400{100 times}, 140{10 times}, 140{10 times}, 140{10 times}, 28{2 times} = 232 times). A gestalt thinker is quite capable of understanding the standard algorithm, but it would take more time than most educators are willing to spend to build the necessary groundwork.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.