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Thought process and intelligence: Description of concrete experience: My experience in making intelligent thoughts began when I was elected the organizing secretary of a Youth for Climate Change. Some of my duties included coming up with better ways through which the youth can be brought together to address the issues of climate change. Considering that most of the youth are actively involved in colleges and their own individual issues such as traveling, going out clubbing and having have, I had to come up with ways by which they could be brought together, have fun but still discuss about the environment and its conservation (Meador, 1997, p. 32). In my two and a half years as the organizing secretary, the CBO managed to attract a total of two thousand youth most of whom as still with the organization to date. After the two and a half years I was hired as the regional coordinator of all the youth groups in the region. I managed to attract most youth by organizing for fun based activities like 'green drinking' and camping. In green drinking, youth could meet in a club where they had fun by drinking and socializing but at the same time talking about issues that affect the environment. Since the current generation of youth like having fun, the strategy so a number of youth attend group meetings.
Reflection: looking back at the first time I was involved with youth, I can clearly say my thinking capacity has improved in the sense that I can get the attention of the youth and make them productive to the society and the environment in particular without restricting them or putting them under pressure. I have come to understand that you do not have to push youths to do the right thing, its how you deal with them that matters. If you want to show them how tough the law or rules are, they will definitely show resistance. I have leant that you have to think like the youths would think for you to get their full attention (Meador, 1997, p. 35).
Generalization/principles; the thought process involves the use of information to reason out on issues and solve problems however little the information might be. Thinking could be classified into two categories: problem solving and reasoning. Reasoning involves using the available information to find conclusions about a field of interest. Similarly, problem solving is about finding solutions to tasks that we might not be familiar with, using the available knowledge. In order to get the youths attention, I have learned that you have make them enjoy the whole process and make them feel like they are not being pushed or forced to do it, but they are doing it for their own good. I have learnt that the key to intelligent thinking is drawing from previous experiences and at the same time also getting enough insight and restructuring the problem into a form that best fits the situation at hand. For instance although there might be very many other ways of addressing climate change, the way you would approach the problem with the you needs to be appealing to their conditions or else they won't fully participate in the process.
Testing and application; in the beginning, the organization used to advertise occur the media for the importance of prevention for climate change but very few people were involved in the process of environmental conservation. The youths claimed to be very busy with studies or hanging out with friends. When idea of 'green dinking' and camping for climate change came up, I realize that this was the best way to get the youths attention. In green drinking, the youths could meet at a given club especially during the weekends or the evening and hold meetings while taking a drink. Only those with 18 and above years could participate in green drinking because of the preconditions of entering a club by the government. It was easier to get the youth's attention while they have firm that talking to them through the media. Since the participation of the youth is very vital in combating climate change, I have learnt that you need to first understand their psychology and how they think so as to find a way that will attract most of them to the whole process.
Subtopic 2: rational verses intuitive problems-solving of concrete experience
I have come to realize through my experience with YCC that it is very important to critically look at a problem before making a conclusive decision. Analyzing the situation to understand whatever is going on should be the first step. You then have to look at what you want to achieve and what can be done about the problem. Talks about climate change have been all over the news, but in most cases it ends with the talking. I have come to learn that in order to solve this problem you have to discuss the consequences of the problem and evaluate the effectiveness of the solutions (Meador, 1997, p. 65). Youth are the future leaders and therefore developing the awareness of environmental conservation is the key to gradual solving of climate change.
Reflection: when I was first appointed as the organizing secretary, YCC was a dormant organization that claimed to aimed at creating awareness in the youth to take part in conservation of the environment. I was able to look into the problem and come up with the two strategies: green drinking and camping for climate change (Weightman, 2004, p. 56). I found that these strategies were essential to making the youth understand that as much as the big industries and the transport industry might be blame for this problem, the youth will one day take up executive positions in these industries and so it was important that they face this problem as early as possible.
Generalization principle theory: early in my position as organizing secretary, I learnt that problem solving needs to be addressed in a rational manner where you address the problem by looking at it from all angle. Mr. Johnson Hafs, the organizations director by then taught me that you have to look at the consequences of your decisions before you make them official. For instance I leant that a decision is not right because you feel it is convenient to you but because It has better consequences or returns than other decisions you would have made. Moreover, I also got to understand that as much as it might be important to consider the immediate solution to a problem, the future solution or long term solutions are most important (Meador, 1997, p. 65). In addition , I came to understand that as a leader you have to be confident in what you think but also give consideration to what other members feel. Thinking at the best of the rest of the group is just as important.
Testing and application: through my position at YCC, I have learnt to think beyond the surface of any problem but instead look at the deeper meaning or consequences of every decision I make. Moreover, I have also learnt to sharpen my analytical skills to understand better how to tackle a problem like environmental conservation by addressing the root causes and working with the nearest and relevant groups to tackle the problem. Providing the youth with conducive environment where they can freely express their feelings is a very vital tool in them taking in very important issues as big as combating climate change. In stead of using the normal procedure of seminars and class room lectures on climate change, the problem can still be tackles in a different way, where people can enjoy but still actively participate in the process. Actually this initiative has seen most youth to really understand that climate change is a global problem but solving it begins with me. As Meador (1997) puts it, this understanding makes it possible for me to think critically (p. 70).
Subtopic 3: reductionist versus holistic problem solving of concrete experience: Since YCC deals with climate change issues, its important that the individual causes of the problem such as pollution, and over extraction of natural resources like fossil fuels and forest are addressed. With the help of my chairman, I have developed extensive notes on the analysis of climate change of which the youths discuss and understand what the individual causes of climate change are affect the environment. By understanding these problems it helps gauge the youths to tackle each problem at a time which in terms helps solve the oval problem. It also helps in creating awareness of the root cause of the problem and not only concentrating on the overall problem.
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Reflection: as a fresh employee, I used to teach and discuss with the youth climate change as one huge problem and try to come up with ways of preventing it as a whole. With time I came to realize it was almost impossible to deal with the issues as a whole. Instead, the solution was in addressing each of the causes of climate change separately but as part of the bigger problem. My first five months with the organization were somewhat difficult because I used to tackle the problem as a whole. I however began to change the procedure slowly and after the first year in office, most of the members began to understand better and become actively involved in the process. There was a greater understanding of the adverse effects of climate change and its causes. Most of the members even began proposing very critical ways that I had not even thought of. For instance some suggested that we avoid using goods from companies that are not working towards reduction of industrial effluents into the environment.
Generalization principles and theories: since I took up the idea of employing the reductionist approach, the youth began understanding the causes of climate change better. I also realized that for me to make the youth understand the problem better, I had to make them understand the root causes and tackle each cause by itself. Although the holistic approach might be geared towards solving the same problem of climate change, it does not give much emphasis of the individual causes of the major problem. I leant that the reductionist approach was more effective since it addressed the individual threats which add up to form the bigger problem (Weightman, 2004, p. 87).
Testing and application: in problem solving, I have found that as much as the holistic approach might be important, it is better to consider the reductionist approach as to deal with the problem section by section. This helps analyze each root cause one by one and therefore a better solution will be found. It has come to my knowledge that the key to better solutions is a clear understanding of each cause and finding the solution to each of them. This makes it possible to find a better solution (Meador, 1997, p. 71). When discussing these problems with the youth, I have come to realize that there should be gender sensitivity in assigning of duties so that everyone feels part of the group. Similarly, all cultures should be equally considered and avoid blaming an individual group for the problem. The understanding capacity of ladies might not be the same as the male and therefore it is also important to tackle the issues in a slow manner giving consideration to all.
Subtopic four; analytic versus synthesis in problem solving of concrete experience: I have discovered that most people waste a lot of time going round a problem instead to solving it. I have leant that before solving a problem you need to identify, collect and analyze data to make you realize that the problem is real, then identify and prioritize causes that make the problem real. Analytic approach of problem solving provides the quantity or percentage of focus unto the problem at hand. Synthesis approach of problem solving might also be useful because it enables me to put together different pats of the problem at hand and join them in helping find a solution to the problem. However I have to learn that analytic problem solving enables me to look at the both the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions to the problem at hand which makes me select the best solution among the many that I might have come up with (Meador, 1997, p. 72). By analytically solving the climate change problem, we are able to find specific solutions to the causes of climate change. In most of the times, so many ideas are provided on how to tackle a given problem, but I ensure that the best approach is chosen among the many provided.
Reflection: it has become evident to me that problem solving is not just about discussion of ideas and choosing one of then, you have to critically analyze the problem by looking deeper into the causes and the implications of the solution. I have also come to understand that in problem solving, the sustainability of the solution to the test of time is also an important ting to consider. A great solution is that which will be applied for a long period of time and in various circumstances. It should not be tied to a certain community of gender. It should be all inclusive in the sense that a member from any community can find it applicable. For instance, you cannot say that the industries should shut down because they pollute the environment. Instead, you can introduce the popular pay principle where the more an industry pollutes the environment the more it has to pay for the cleaning up process.
Generalizations/principles/theories: I have come to find out that synthesis analysis involves the ability to join together various parts of the problem that have been analyzed with some more information such as data derived from various other sources to come to a conclusion. However, it is important to critically analyze the implications of the decisions I make. As Meador (1997), analytic problem solving therefore involves listening to the ideas of every member and the support given them discussing it with the rest of the group but not dismissing it or quickly agreeing to a solution (p. 73). Both the positives and negatives have to be addressed and the solutions with more benefits and less disadvantages picked. I have also used information from previous surveys to come up with better solutions to climate change.
Testing and application: through my experience, I have found out that both analytic and synthetic problem solving are important in one way or the other because each of them brings with it some useful ideas to the table. In synthetic analysis, various ideas from previous discussions are brought before the group and their implications analyzed I comparison with the current situation. In analytic problem solving however, these problems are further looked deep into to understand the implications of the decisions in a deeper or different scenario. Both the advantages and disadvantages are addressed and the best solution chose (Weightman, 2004, p. 76). One disadvantage with analytic problem solving is that it is time consuming but considering the magnitude of the problem at hand, there is no offense with taking as much time as possible to come up with a long lasting solution.
Subtopic five: convergent versus divergent problem solving of concrete experience: At the beginning of my career, the chairman taught be that it is important to think out side the problem at hand apply the finding to the current situation. This way you will be able to find comprehensive solutions. The idea is to locate the problem at the center then begin looking for appropriate solutions of else where. I realize that you should not only concentrate on one approach in solving a problem but rather look at more and better ways.
Reflection: looking back at my approach to problem solving when I began my career, I have come to realize that there is more to problem solving than meets the eye. Creativity and new perceptions should also be employed if a better and long lasting solution is to be found. It is not enough to address a problem by following text book examples and day to day approaches. You need to think outside the box and address the problems in context with the current situation. A solution that might have worked two years a go or in a different community might not necessarily work for the present situation.
Generalizations/principles/ theories: convergent thinking has enabled me to locate a problem they gather outside information to try and find solutions to the problem. With convergent thinking, I have learnt to look for single best solution among many more that might exist. However with divergent problem solving, I have leant that rather than taking the problem and putting it at the center of focus, I should branch off and look at various other ways of addressing it while using creativity and new perspectives. For instance, rather than preach to the youth on daily basis to care for the environment, they can be made to have fun but still show their support for the environment (Meador, 1997, p. 72). Although camping might be an interesting experience, it also creates an opportunity o bring the youths together a find better solutions to climate change.
Testing and application: my ability to think creatively has enabled the youth to fully participate in addressing climate change and with time, the issue will be a priority for every youth. This will definitely help raise awareness in the families and in future in the big industries since the youths will one day occupy executive decision making positions in these industries. Although the idea might not yield instant solutions to the problem of climate change, it will gradually come to solve the problem in the years to come. I have come to learn that it is wise to both divergently and convergent look at the problem of climate change so that to stone is left unturned in the quest for better solutions.
Subtopic six: Traditional versus creative problem solving of concrete experience: The approach by which a problem is solved is just as important as the solution it self. I have come to learn that unlike in the traditional way of problem solving where I would have been the expert, creative problem solving takes into consideration all the thoughts and ideas from other group members (Weightman, 2004, p. 76). Each member's point of view is addressed with the seriousness that it deserves. In fact the youth are considered as the experts since all the ideas that should be applied come from them. At the beginning of my career, I was the sole inventor of the assessment procedures to the problems (Meador, 1997, p. 78)). However after some time, I came to learn that the full involvement of the youth in the decision making procedure and problem solving creates practical solutions that the youths can address by themselves unlike if solutions are imposed on them.
Refection: creative thinking is essential in solving climate change problems because if we continue teaching it as subject in schools with no practical applicability, then it will haunt as for ever. I have learnt that for the attention of the youth to be grasped, they need to be given a chance to express their ideas in a way that they will not feel pressed by the system. The best way is therefore to allow them to have fun but at the same time engage in something more constructive to the society at large. Creative thinking has enabled be use less energy in addressing such a global issue that begins with each individual's contribution.
Generalizations/principles/theories: as much as traditional problem solving might have been used for quite sometime and in many ways in the world, creative problem solving is more comprehensive and considerate of various points of view. Creative problem solving tackles the problem at hand by looking deeply into the better ways through which the problem could be addressed. For instance, it is very easy for a lecturer to stand before a class and teach the students the best possible ways by which climate change could be solved. However, it is very likely that the youth will only use this knowledge in passing exams and even getting distinction. The applicability of these lessons is however in doubt. With creative problem solving, the youth are able to practically contribute to the solution of these problems by engaging in fun activities but still tackling the issue at hand.
Application: through my experience of dealing with the youth, I have come to realize that there are better ways of addressing the issue of climate change. Creativity is very important in solving environmental problems especially by the involvement of the young generation that will one day be decision makers in various positions. Passing of knowledge to the youth is not all about what you say but the manner in which you say it. If problem solving could only be addressed in a different way than the traditional one where the practitioner is the expert and all the rest have to follow what he says, then the issue of climate change could easily be tackled. The decisions should however come from the individual members and not the leaders.