Friday, November 27, 2015

Know your box!

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...(B)ut I find that a concentrated atmosphere helps a concentration of thought. I have not pushed it to the length of getting into a box to think,
Doyle, Arthur Conan; Books, Maplewood (2014-08-04). Sherlock Holmes: The Ultimate Collection (p. 20). Maplewood Books. Kindle Edition. 

For years I have heard the phrase "thinking outside of the box". Finally, I have found a reference to thinking "inside the box". The phrase above is actually said by Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, a novel by Arthur Conan Doyle. Thankfully, at last, I have a point to accompany the ubiquitous counterpoint.

A number of times I had the sense that the person using the phrase "thinking outside of the box" really and truly did not know nor understand the box itself.

Although I do believe that some people do develop an ability to do what is referred to as out-of-the-box thinking, I draw the line at pushing it as a primary goal of public education. In my mind, a primary goal of public education should be creating a firm box for thinking, and helping to enlarge that box over time.

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