The differentiation I make as an educator between linear and global
thinking can be best described with examples. The linear thinker moves
one mental step at a time down the path of logic, consuming and digesting
each piece of information before moving to the next. The global thinker
(also known as branching logic) pursues multiple paths of information
gathering and processing simultaneously, bringing all relevant parts
together at the end.
Linear thinkers tend to be left brain dominant while global thinkers tend
to be right brain dominant. Our educational systems have traditionally
valued and encouraged left brain development and linear thinking patterns
while dismissing right brain development and global thinking patterns.
Conversely, we tend to think of linear processors as "slow" because they
often take more time to reflect before speaking and work through an issue
fully before acting. Global processors are often "quick" and respond much
sooner to a stimulus than their linear counterparts. They often make more
mistakes, are generally risk takers, and more often gregarious.
Linear is not bad, but it may not be the ideal model of thinking for a
fast-paced and rapidly changing environment.
Praxis Learning Systems
Chapel Hill, NC USA
Vana Prewitt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <email@example.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>