Isolation Method

In this mini-series I’ve been talking about different ways to think about problems. The methods come from Edward DeBono’s book, Teaching Thinking.

Next up is the Isolation Method. With this method we isolate certain obvious and automatic areas so they will get more attention. This method is especially useful at the “start” of thinking. Our goal is to hold the attention on something that is happening naturally, or to draw the attention back to something that was skipped.

The obvious example of this method is using a step-by-step mode in a software development tool. This mode allows the programmer to step through their code as if examining a movie frame-by-frame.break a sequenced progression into its component parts for careful examination

To help learners use this framework we need to identify:

  • situations where items are sequenced
  • ways to stop the progression mid-sequence

The isolation method is useful when you need to figure out how one thing transforms into another through a defined process.