About the Book
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren't a special breed--they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself--revealing previously hidden opportunities.
The book offers real-life stories, explicit action items, and concrete methods that allow you to attain a deeper understanding of any issue, exploit the power of failure as a step toward success, develop a habit of creating probing questions, see the world of ideas as an ever-flowing stream of thought, and embrace the uplifting reality that we are all capable of change. No matter who you are, the practical mind-sets introduced in the book will empower you to realize any goal in a more creative, intelligent, and effective manner. Filled with engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is written for all who want to reach their fullest potential--including students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, professionals, athletes, artists, leaders, and lifelong learners.
Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way.
To share thinking stories, go to: http://5elementsofthinking.wordpress.com
Edward B. Burger is the president of Southwestern University, and an educational and business consultant. Formerly he was a professor at Williams College and a vice provost at Baylor University. He has authored or coauthored more than sixty-five articles, books, and video series; delivered over five hundred addresses and workshops throughout the world; and made more than fifty radio and television appearances. His teaching and scholarly writing have earned him many national honors and the largest teaching award given in the English-speaking world. Michael Starbird is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and an educational and business consultant. His numerous books, lectures, workshops, and video courses have reached large national audiences of students, teachers, businesspeople, and lifelong learners. His success at teaching people to think has been recognized by more than fifteen awards, including the highest national teaching award in his field as well as statewide and university-wide honors selected from all disciplines.
"Thinking is good, enthuses this book by two distinguished teachers of mathematics. You might think you're being creative or having intuitions or conducting a romance or whatever, but it's all thinking, right? And you can learn to think better! So you can, and the advice herein, which includes many practical tenets of 'critical thinking', will surely be useful to many a schoolchild or business leader."---Steven Poole, Guardian
"Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way." - World Book Industry
"The 5 Elements is an enormously insightful examination of what constitutes effective thinking. Everyone will find something of value in it."—Morton O. Schapiro, president of Northwestern University
"I highly recommend this book for instructors who care more about their students than test scores, for students who care more about learning than their GPA, for leaders of society and masters of the universe who care more about serving the public good than increasing their profit margin, and for artists who constantly remind us of the human condition. The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking provides comfort in a world that has lost its equilibrium."—Christopher J. Campisano, director of Princeton University's Program in Teacher Preparation
"If you remember being told by your teachers to think harder and having no idea how, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking should help. . . . This is a snappy, illuminating read that should appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of being a genius and is willing to strive, step by step, to become one."---David Wilson, South China Morning Post
"Teachers from primary grades to university courses can use the model in this book to deliver curriculum in a way that students are forced to develop thinking skills to successfully understand the material they are being taught and to identify their own next steps in learning. Although the authors draw most of their examples from the learning of mathematics, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking can be applied in any classroom where thinking is emphasized."---Kent Miller, Canadian Teacher Magazine
"Our brain is our greatest asset in life, so it is a 'no brainer' that we should invest some time learning how to use it effectively. In this concise and carefully crafted book, renowned professors Burger and Starbird demonstrate their talent for making difficult concepts accessible. An average reader can peruse this book in only a few hours, but for many people those will be the best hours ever spent on a book. Highly recommended."—Brett Walter, president of the Homeschool Buyers Co-op
"The authors invoke Michael Jordan, Warren Buffett, and Winston Churchill to illustrate practical approaches—including failing—to understanding, creativity, and wisdom. Their observations apply to honing any skill from sports and school to leadership and citizenship. Knowing how to listen and learn has become a rare art—The 5 Elements is a timely tutorial."—Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates
"This book is just what American education needs. It guarantees invention and discovery."—Barbara Morgan, former NASA "Teacher in Space" astronaut
"Edward Burger and Michael Starbird became renowned scholars and educators by demonstrating that mathematical expertise is within the reach of the general population and not confined to those with the 'right' aptitude. With the publication of this remarkably wise and useful book, they extend their pedagogical principles to the general realm of practical affairs and the entire range of academic endeavor. Regardless of the reader's background, The 5 Elements offers highly applicable and original lessons on how to think."—John W. Chandler, president emeritus of Hamilton College and Williams College
"The root of success in everything is thinking--whether it's thinking disguised as intuition or as good values or as decision making or problem solving or creativity, it's all thinking. The surprising fact is that just a few learnable strategies of thinking can make you more effective."---John G. Agno, Business Week's Coaching Tip blog
"The challenge of books such as these is that, in the wrong hands, the contents can come across as banal generalities and just so much hokum. But the appeal of The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking lies in that its authors are mathematicians by profession, and it shows in how the book is written. It's a very systematic book about being organized and critical in one's thinking, written by individuals whose work demands that they are organized and critical in their thinking. Yet it isn't at all imposing; in fact, the discussion is often down-to-earth, and the fact that the book is structured like a playbook readers can easily apply certainly has its merits. In short, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is the kind of book I know would have helped me a lot in my days as a student. I'd like to think it will be helpful to students of today, too."---Brian L. Belen, Brain Drain blog
"Inspirational and engaging but also educational and immensely practical."---Anthony J. Sadar, Washington Times
"What do earth, fire, air, and water have to do with effective thinking? Everything, according to mathematics professors Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird. In The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, the authors draw on these metaphor-laden elements from the natural world to demonstrate how to ask better questions, take calculated risks, learn from mistakes, and, ultimately, transform ourselves into more engaged and thoughtful citizens of the world. . . . The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a useful guide for anyone interested in tackling difficult subject matter, particularly in the classroom. The book also could serve as a solid supplementary text in courses on critical thinking."---Jennifer Moore, ForeWord Reviews
"The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird is a fun little book with great tips to improve overall thinking skills. . . . Suited for students who can employ the techniques in the book to earn better grades and become better thinkers."---Brandon Kroll, NACADA Journal
"The authors aim to teach readers how to expand their intellectual and creative capacity by adopting habits that train the mind to see beyond the surface level of ideas in order to find innovative ways to solve problems. . . . Overall, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking is a quick, easy read that is entertaining and engaging. It's the type of book that you can read in one sitting or read over time as you grapple to master the elements."---Catherine A. Cardno, Education Week
"[A] short and brilliant book with tips on being a better thinker. . . . [I]nspiring."—Derek Silvers
"In this compact and remarkable book, two renowned professors share decades of teaching experience with anyone—from students to business people—seeking advice on how to improve skills and expand learning. It should be read, studied, and cherished—then reread."—Fay Vincent, former commissioner of Major League Baseball and former president of Columbia Pictures
"So this is how Newton stood on the shoulders of giants! Burger and Starbird outline the basic methods of genius—so that ordinary people, too, can see further than others."—Robert W. Kustra, president of Boise State University
"This is a short book, easy to read and understand. But its value is very high because it teaches us how to change the way we think. It shows us how to think effectively. Our thoughts precede our actions and govern our lives. The way we think determines our success and happiness in life. If these are important elements to you, so is this book."---Paiso Jamakar, Biz India
"I've applied some of the ideas and they give real food for thought in terms of comparing and contrasting different approaches."---Ian Baulch-Jones, Quality World
"Think...fail...question...understand...change...learn: in their powerful new book, Burger and Starbird show students, teachers, and everyone else how to harness the genius of learning. The 5 Elements argues that the door to knowledge is not opened by a magical test. Instead, the key is for each of us to boldly embrace a willingness to fail while organizing persistent approaches to thinking. Even more than helping one master content, this book can lead to a satisfying and rewarding life of the mind."—Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association
"I remember as a kid in school being told by teachers to think harder and having no idea what to do. This book solves that once and for all. We now have a guide for people of all ages to learn how to think more effectively. I highly recommend this book."—Jack Canfield, cocreator of the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles
"There is undoubtedly much here that would be of practical use to professionals from all walks of life, and indeed other educators, such as management trainers and coaches. As a practical and helpful guide, particularly for students seeking to improve the quality of their thinking and learning, The Five Elements of Effective Thinking is a thought-provoking and useful manual."---Jonathan Gravells, Teachers College Record
"Winner of the 2013 Silver Medal in Self-Help, Independent Publisher Book Awards"