In the last post (as opposed to The Last Post when you’d hear a trumpet sound) I outlined some of the positive aspects which students saw in brainstorming. In the studies I’ve done, students have consistently identified some of the negative aspects of brainstorming – because I asked them what they did not like about brainstorming. What’s interesting is that a) many students in each study comment that there is nothing they don’t like and b) students’ comments on negative aspects are about behaviour as opposed to learning, sharing ideas and cooperation. Comments from students relate to brainstorming sessions being noisy e.g. “Too many people shouted and no-one listened to me”; or being argumentative e.g. “They were all arguing and I got fed up with it”. My favourite was in one study where two students write the same thing when asked what they did not like. They wrote “Amy was in a mood”. When asked later to say how they had chosen their group topic, from a list including interest, prior knowledge etc, they both wrote “Amy chose it”. Amy will go far.
Last weekend, my wife and I were visiting friends (thanks Colin and Doreen) in the picturesque highland village of Fortrose which is very historic e.g. the cathedral was built in the 13th century. It’s also known for the dolphins which many people have seen. Until last weekend, despite many visits to Fortrose, we had never seen the dolphins. On Sunday, however, 2 dolphins appeared and gently rose out of the water and back in again. No leaping in the air, just a casual sway. I only had the standard lens on the camera, so there’s not much dolphin to be seen below but it was a lovely afternoon and the red sailing boat added to the scene.