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Book Review

The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

This book presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for all of us to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren’t a special breed—they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques they describe, Burger and Starbird assert that ordinary thinkers will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and discover new ways of looking at the world and themselves—revealing previously hidden opportunities.

The book offers real-life stories, explicit action items, and concrete methods that the authors believe will allow us to attain a deeper understanding of complex issues, exploit the power of failure as a step toward success, develop a habit of creating probing questions, see the world of ideas as an ever-flowing stream of thought, and embrace the uplifting reality that we are all capable of change. The mind-sets introduced in the book are designed to empower readers to realize  goals in a more creative, intelligent, and effective manner. The book offers engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life.

In the preface to the book, Burger and Starbird write: “We… did not begin our careers with the goal of discovering strategies of effective thinking. We began our careers teaching the abstract ideas of mathematics. But over the years we came to realize that what actually makes a difference are a few habits of thinking that people can apply in everyday life—methods that are not mathematical at all.”

The elements of effective thinking described in this book offer insights that teachers at all levels could employ to help their students understand
materials across the curriculum.