Ideational Fluency


Inquiry that Incites Insight


Critico-Creative Process


Beyond Thinking - Revelatory Teaching



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Ideational Fluency is the capacity to fluidly weave ideas throughout the thought process.


It is also considered to be an integral part of how the mind processes information, therefore it includes emotional cognitive elements to form a unique dynamic in how we dwell within ourselves and within the environments we enter on a daily basis.


Ideational Fluency embraces the following bulleted areas of our being:





    critical thinking




    mind / dream weaving

    personal / professional development

    problem finding / solving



      This original poem below, first composed in the summer of 1992, is a poetic example of ideational fluency.  It represents the incept, or the spark, of an idea about living in our present age of technology, as well as the figurative attempt of the poet to describe the spirit of our time as the world turned toward the year 2000. The poem attempts to illustrate the creative process, from its origin to final result, and hopefully exhibits the eleven bulleted areas above that describe ideational fluency. 




as a gecko


I tell you

I struggle to feel the

pulse of this land


occluded by greed’s fungus

besmirched with the scorch of pride


as a kestrel


I see people sway

crowds swirl

lightning flash



in slow echoes

the bite of technology


in the crunch of air


as a man


I feel the

taint of progress

like a lizard

rapidly scuttling

across the brain pan of awareness


in systolic rhythm

in the

press of paradise


in counterpose


blooming in a riot of color

spoonbilled hope

an oleander spray of wishes

an ibis of

diastolic flamboyance

spills into the media of our time


a statice of a people’s mood

empurpled with desire


within a

vellumed fragrance






in the


eyes of cameras

lush with power

pot–bound in false dreams






A. Keith Carreiro                          ©  1992                        Pinellas Park, Florida




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         By examining this form of inquiry–posing instruction, the practice of helping students attain greater discernment becomes not only more palpable, but it also embraces and embodies a practice involving a hunger for discernment, a passion for learning and a great cognitive joy amidst the labor for meaning (p.10).           


                     William James once said that we learn to

                     swim in the winter and to skate in the summer.


                                                     — Rollo May (1985, p. 45)
                                                     The courage to create


incite   [MF inciter, fr. L incitare, fr. in- in- + citare to put in movement, summon — more at cite]


               1 :     to move to a course of action

                    :     stir up

                        :     spur on


     :     urge on  <inciting the people to rebel>  <incited to further effects by his mother’s enthusiasm> 


               2 :     to bring into being


     :     induce to exist or occur   <such behavior is likely to incite inspiration>


     syn       instigate | foment | abet


     : incite may also indicate both an initiating, a calling into being or action, and also a degree of        prompting, furthering, encouraging, or nurturing of activity


         To invoke the potential of our senses, beliefs, awareness, dreams and goals for living better lives,

we may evoke and awaken the age long virtue in sharing the greatness of the human spirit with one another (p. 2).


         To flower fully in one’s abilities to express his or her own intellectual self means that the passion to explore ideas, to critically assess an individual’s state of being, and to release the imagination into a quest for meaning, requires a truly democratic learning environment be established (p. 4).


         Intuition, emotion and cognition are merged into a process wherein ideas are sought, broached, investigated and sifted more explicitly from self–determination, interest and knowledge with those expressions of the scholarly, professional and technical communities around us (p. 5).


Carreiro, A. K. (2003).  Inquiry that incites insight.  In George Noblit & Beth Hatt–Echeverria (Eds.) The Future of             Educational Studies.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.



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       Conceptually speaking, there are five fundamental areas that this form of teaching holds and heuristically employs in a wide variety of reflective teaching strategies:


  (1)    existential critique                   self–examining key questions


  (2)    phenomenological depiction      portraying their fundamental essence


  (3)    hermeneutical interpretation      determining their symbolic meaning


  (4)    reflective evaluation                  analyzing their potential values


  (5)    anagogical synaesthesia          unifying their literal, moral, allegorical & spiritual fields


     While the terms used above are not those, for the most part, that are familiar with the general reader’s daily use, they do serve to depict aspects of key principles, processes, dynamics, sensitivities and understandings of inquiry that help align a teacher’s relational approach to the individuals in his or her classes. 


     This teaching/learning approach also is viewed by the author as being a synthesis of critico–creative processes (Carreiro, 1991).  Equally, this philosophical outline centers the teacher upon certain existential and phenomenological perspectives, as well as being centered in process philosophy, that encourage temporal analysis of self–awareness and one’s conscious appraisal of reality, knowledge and value notions. 


     This appraisal is done individually and it extends in a complementary fashion to one’s professional concerns as well.  Vigorous study into all of these facets of being, personal and professional, continuously occurs, such that a baseline of understanding and familiarity with these experiences and phenomena of living explicitly is revealed by this reflection.  Using philosophical language to describe this inquiry experience and to frame the teacher’s situational orientation further, it can be stated that the teacher dwells within the phenomenon of a proleptic ontology. 


     This dwelling permeates inquiry, ideation, research and discussion with an understanding of reverence.  Its grounding was described by Alfred North Whitehead (1929, p.14) as follows below:


                        . . . the foundation of reverence is this perception, that the present


                        holds within itself the complete sum of existence, backwards and


                        forwards, that whole amplitude of time which is eternity.




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A Glimpse into Revelatory Teaching:


     Beyond Thinking is based on the philosophical concept that teaching is not only centered on a rational science, but that it is also one firmly rooted in the rich soil of the heart of the teacher, students, administration and staff, as well as parents, citizens and the surrounding communities.  It is governed by grounded research, reflective practice and in the profound care dedicated professionals throughout the centuries have so selflessly given to their respective students, colleagues, academic discipline and nations.


      Sometimes there is an understanding, or a realization and a certitude born, regarding the experience of learning that translates into a transcendence of being toward which this discussion strives to capture.  That is, there are times when the flow of events in learning help bring deep levels of knowing into cognizance, or bring unexpected degrees of awareness into view.  These discoveries are tapped by the release of the imagination by the teaching moment, by the power of will, by the passion to learn, or even by serendipity. It is axiomatic to this author that there is a sacrality, or sacred grounding, upon and through which this degree, or phenomena, of learning occurs.  It is sacred because the bond that must be established between learner and teacher, teacher and subject, and with the greater scholarly communities throughout which the act of learning occurs, is a promise of intellectual potential being released.  Such a promise is implicitly held between instructor and student and it rests upon the heart of revelation itself.


     Beyond thinking means neither the absence of thought, nor thought left in abeyance of rational control.  On the contrary, it represents a thoughtfulness that is permeated with the complete presence of one’s mind.  It is an awareness that seeks to prepare itself for cognitive, ontological, and aesthetic information in the learning environment.  Such intelligence, or sentience, if you will, senses, searches for, and discerns latent ideas in order to develop them into relational structures of thought for further consideration.  This intentionality is held not only within the power of a teacher’s mind, but by the teacher’s transferring his or her instructional powers into creating a highly cognitive learning environment that is pleasurable, inspiring, and empathic.  To do so means not only has one designed a caring and nurturing place for students to experience learning, but a thoroughly professional commitment to the development of human potential is now being released into the temporality and instrumentality of the teaching and learning moment.


The two paragraphs above are excerpts taken from an article written by Dr. Carreiro (1999) on this subject. This article was first published in the Journal of Philosophy and History of Education (Vol. 49) by the Society of Philosophy and History of Education (pp. 1; 6 & 7).