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T.H.I.N.K. Acronoym For "Turning Hunches Into New Knowledge"

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovative Teaching Techniques

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1189.1 - 10.1189.9



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Paper Authors

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Robert Martinazzi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

2568 T. H. I. N. K. ACRONOYM FOR “TURNING HUNCHES INTO NEW KNOWLEDGE” Robert Martinazzi, Richard Youchak University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Abstract On February 11, 1998 ABC News presented a Primetime Live segment on the comparison of test scores of United States high school students with those of other countries. The results were embarrassing when U.S. students were compared with students in forty (40) other economically advanced countries. Overall, the U.S. students outperformed only seven (7) countries in the world! It turned out that our top students were only average in the analysis.

Surprisingly, factors such as class size, newer schools, more technologically advanced equipment, stricter discipline and slavish studying by the foreign students were not the reasons for their superior performance. The researchers from the Primetime live segment implied answer to improving the U. S. ranking did not involve less television viewing, more homework, better teachers, school uniforms and more passion on the part of students and teachers! Rather, the secret to exceptional student performance and learning in the United States will involve changes in what we teach and how we teach it! The conclusions from the Primetime Live segment stressed that we can learn from other countries in this regard.

This paper focuses on an innovative concept best represented by the key words of what and how we teach our students. It discusses a new problem analysis methodology developed to encourage another mode for student learning. The concept has been successfully applied to several Engineering Technology courses and received excellent reviews from the students who give witness to its effectiveness in helping them learn.

Traditionally, subjects are presented in terms of these are the rules, equations, procedures and methods for solving a problem. The underlying assumption implies that if students learn the applicable math and engineering expressions they now know the subject material. In reality nothing could be further from the truth for effective learning.

The “Turning Hunches Into New Knowledge” (“T.H.I.N.K.”) concept is unique in that it provides students with a comprehension of the concepts underlying the solution to a problem. It fits naturally into a class when new material must be presented. With "T.H.I.N.K"., the professor limits the initial formal lecture on the subject and then assigns the students a problem related to the new material. Students work in teams and begin to "T.H.I.N.K." about the unfamiliar problem and what is required to solve it. During this interactive and contemplative time students make a significant intellectual and emotional investment in obtaining a solution. Gradually solution ownership takes hold and becomes part of the student’s desires.

Proceedings of the 2005American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Martinazzi, R. (2005, June), T.H.I.N.K. Acronoym For "Turning Hunches Into New Knowledge" Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14681

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