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News > Eaker’s ‘thinking’ seminar set to inspire
Eaker’s ‘thinking’ seminar set to inspire

Posted 6/30/2011   Updated 6/30/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


6/30/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Eaker Center will host a seminar on "thinking about thinking" featuring Dr. Grant Hammond, Air University professor of strategy and technology, at Kaysing Auditorium from 1 - 3 p.m. July 8. All faculty, support and staff personnel are invited to attend. Enrollment in advance is not necessary.

The discussion will address issues concerning critical, conceptual and creative thinking.

"The seminar will examine three different types of thinking in an effort to make people aware of different kinds of thinking and learning," Dr. Hammond said. "Some people are good at conceptual thinking, some at critical thinking and some at creative thinking. Rarely are people good at all three, but you can learn to think more and better, and develop your learning styles."

While "thinking about thinking" may seem out of the ordinary for a seminar topic, Dr. Hammond said he thinks it can have a major impact on today's Airmen.

"In an era of exponential change, which we are in, where much of what you may have learned in your first year of college in science and technology may be wrong or irrelevant by the time you graduate, learning how to learn for yourself is essential," he said. "If you don't know how to think well and quickly, you will not be able to keep pace with the change around you."

As more tasks become automated, Dr. Hammond said he believes that differentiating yourself by the way you think can be the best way to get ahead.

"If you can't 'reinvent yourself,' even in the military, you may not be necessary. The Air Force has shrunk by 40-50 percent every 25 years since 1960. That is not a budgetary reality but a technological one. People will have to have broader competencies as well as more specific skill sets and be able to keep learning if they are to contribute in all fields," he said. "Changing jobs is already a reality. [It] will only become more so in the future."

Dr. Richard Lester, dean of academic affairs at the Eaker Center, said he agreed that thinking correctly is the key to giving Airmen an edge in the professional environment.

"To stay competitive, you must have these skills. It's going to help Airmen step back, examine their thought process and make them more effective," Dr. Lester said.

"We're going to help them ask the right questions, challenge assumptions and see other viewpoints with clarity."

Dr. Hammond said he hopes attendees will learn how to think, but most importantly, that people will learn to be continually inquisitive.

"I would like people to be instilled with more curiosity, some vicarious experience and greater confidence so that they can learn what they need and want to learn and be better for it," he said. "They can improve their thinking on multiple levels and learn how easy it is to learn how to learn. As da Vinci thought, 'The knowledge of all things is possible.'"

For more information on the seminar, contact Dr. Richard Lester, Eaker Center Dean of Academic Affairs, at 953-7058.



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