Brainstorming is an intense experience that is strongly focused on a single topic for a limited period of time. It provides a very different and stimulating student interaction of time. It provides a very different and stimulating student interaction procedure--the kind of variety that most groups enjoy immensely. Finally, the unleashed and concentrated mental power generated in a brainstorming session guarantees both individual and group achievement.

It is in the problem-solving area that brainstorming probably succeeds better than any technique yet devised. The strategy was first utilized in industry as a means of overcoming obstacles, solving problems and finding new and creative approaches to unsatisfactory or inefficient procedures or systems.

The concept is very simple. A group of students is given a single problem or obstacle and asked to "storm their brains" for ideas. To increase spontaneity and rapidity of ideas, each participant is encouraged to call out his thought the instant an opening presents itself. Each brainstorming session usually intensifies into an exciting rapid-fire, off-the-top-of-the-head group experience. Stimulation and motivation build as each participant contributes and interest mounts to higher and higher levels.

The ideas generated tend to serve as catalysts for new responses. Creative and effective thoughts begin to evolve from this group process- In contrast, individuals often react in traditional patterns and rarely have an innovative "brainstorm" without the stimulus of multiple sounding boards. 

The advantages of brainstorming are many--as cited by teachers and students who have used the technique. According to experienced users of the procedures, brainstorming stimulating and provides a varied instructional approach. It generates enthusiasm and eagerness to join in by its open invitation to participate and its rapid, free-wheeling approach. It Is highly motivating.
Students who usually allow their verbal, articulate classmates to dominate question-and-answer periods get the urge to participate. They are not "put down" or degraded for "wrong answers" and feel a real sense of contribution as their suggestions are noted on the project sheets. On the other hand, those who dominate traditional classroom situations are also stimulated to get their ideas out and on the record.

It also Increases "task focus."  The brainstorming group is kept on target with very little pressure from the group leader because of the structure and ground rules. Editorializing, personal commentary, rejoinders, eloquent speeches, and the other destructive activities of committees are eliminated in this process. It also Promotes spontaneity and creativity.
The members of the group begin to link ideas and "bounce suggestions off the group" in a sounding-board procedure that gathers momentum as the session continues. Mental power is fully unleashed in this positive atmosphere. It Is efficient and productive. Scores of ideas and suggestions or problems and obstacles can be listed in a few minutes. Parallel suggestions and obstacles lead the group toward sound "next steps." It Involves participants in the ownership of ideas. The participants feel greater kinship for their product as they assume group ownership of their ideas and suggestions. Problem solving is made much easier when communal commitment is guaranteed. It also Provides a permanent record and aids in developing solutions to problems. The results of the sessions can easily be reproduced or reused to design alternate procedures and programs for solving problems or meeting objectives. The production of the group takes on value as a permanent evaluation record and as testimony to individual and group effort.

The author of this article is Asst Professor Pioneer Institute of Professional Studies

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