Creative Teaching & Learning

Shaping Reality with the Language of Thinking

The power of language extends beyond the world of syntax. Erika Lusky shows how using the Cultures of Thinking framework is transforming the learning culture and offering students the ability to truly think for themselves.

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world,” said the great 20th century philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. He adds, “Language is much more than a communication medium, it is a shaper of reality. Teachers, who are figures of authority and tone-setters, name situations and through the choice of their diction and syntax will create limitations and affordances. Keeping language mindful, open to possibilities, inclusive and positive is vital. The challenge is to remain metacognitively conscious of the power of language at all times so that the reality we shape is what we want it to be. When we stop thinking, the language we produce can be sloppy, deterministic and prejudiced.” Wittgenstein’s thought-provoking words made me begin to think about my own use of language. 

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