Thinking Out Loud – Tips for Success in American College

Thinking Out Loud – Tips for Success in American College

October 26, 2019 2 By Stanley Isaacs


Thinking Out Loud “Thinking out loud” is an expression in English that means to speak before you actually know what the answer is or what the solution to a problem is. You think in order to hear yourself say the words and have the ideas and come in through your ear and use a different part of your brain to come up with connections an solutions and ideas. Now, studies have shown that people from western cultures are better at thinking out loud than people from asian cultures. Now, I don’t think this is because our brains
are different. I think it’s because our thinking styles are different. Thinking styles are developed because you think of something and it creates a pathway. This is how our brains create pathways. We have a thought or an activity and that makes a connection in our brain. If we keep thinking or doing the same thing, the pathway gets reinforced and the brain connection becomes thick and robust. If you have a thought or and idea and don’t really use it very much, it stays thin and weak. It’s kind of like muscles: you use them, they get bigger; you don’t use them they stay weak. So thinking out loud is a thinking style that western culture develops, and so, yea, people in western cultures are better at it because they have more practice. So it may be that your thinking our loud muscles are weak and I can understand how you wouldn’t want to do it because you don’t want to feel incompetent and and foolish. However, thinking out loud is a big part of the classroom style in America. So, if you want benefit from studying here you have to be willing to do what makes you uncomfortable, or feel a little bad or shy and try it. Staying back with your own style means you won’t learn deep things that our education has you see. Not the surface. You might do fine learning the information. You might do fine in your grades in class. But you won’t have gotten the best of what the American education system has to offer – which is how we work as much as what we know. If teacher calls on you in class you must say something. You might not have any idea what the answer is. You must say something. If you remain silent after three seconds your teacher and your other classmates will feel uncomfortable. If you remain silent, they will see your behavior as rude and even aggressive and they will judge you poorly. If you say something, anything you know about the topic of the question, the teacher can help you come to come to the answer. The teacher can practice thinking out loud with you. For example, if a teacher asks, “What about the three main characteristics of Tom Sawyer that make him such an American hero?” and you have no idea. You can say, “Tom Sawyer is a boy.” Now, that’s not the right answer, okay? But the teacher now something to build on, a base to build on. “Yes, Tom Sawyer is a boy but that’s not a quality. “Qualities come from… “Éwe can judge them from what he does. “What does Tom Sawyer do, for example?” See? The teacher is helping. “Tom sawyer plays tricks on his friends.” “Oh, okay. So what’s a quality? Make that a quality.” “Ummm, he’s Étricky?” “Exactly.” And so the teacher, through questions, pushes you and guides you in the direction of the right answer, or at least a good answer. The teacher is thinking out loud with you. So, if you say something, the teacher has a ground to build teaching. If you say nothing, the teacher can build nothing. So it’s very important when you are in class in America, whether you are comfortable or not, when the teacher calls on you, you must not stay silent. You must say something. This will help you learn how to think out loud and as you move through the american college system, you will have more and more success and you’ll be happier with your college experience