Creative Thinking (A common Quote: "I'm Not Creative!!!")
Creativity Definition: Young (1985): Creativity "is the skill of bringing about something new and valuable…Creative people do more than break away from old patterns. They do more than find alternatives. They diverge from familiar patterns, but then they converge on new solutions. They break laws to remake them. They make hard decisions about what to include and what to eliminate. Creative people innovate. They aim toward newness. This can be considered in several senses:"
b. 10+ Creative Thinking Ideas:
Brainstorming More ideas/wilder the better, no eval, combo to improve
(How to study better? How to raise test scores? What are bet teaching techniques)
(How to study worse? How to lower test scores? What are worst teaching techniques)
Creative Writing and Story Telling
(Object obituaries, Tell a tall tale, cartoons, jokes/quips, story starters, wrap arounds, forced responses, newsletters, object talking, etc., Golub, 1994)
Idea-Spurring Questions, Checklists, or Cards (e.g., Osborn's SCAMPER method): How do we: substitute, combine, adapt, modify/max-min put to other uses, elim, rev/rearrange
Six hats (wear different color hats for different types of thinking)
Free Writing/Wet Inking
(write without lifting pen for 3-5 minutes on, e.g., Best teacher ever had)
23. Creativity by Design/Problem Based Learning/Make a Creative Product/Inventing
Use design q's, possib/ideas b/4 commitments/details, explore models, think on paper
Good results, easy to use, safe, durable, attractive, comfortable, reasonable cost
24. Creative Problem Solving, Guided Design, AUTA, Incubation Model,
25. Model Building
Young (1985) Creativity (p. .78) "is the skill of bringing about something new and valuable."
p. 82 "Creative people do more than break away from old patterns. They do more than find alternatives. They diverge from familiar patterns, but then they converge on new solutions. They break laws to remake them. They make hard decisions about what to include and what to eliminate. Creative people innovate. They aim toward newness. This can be considered in several senses:"
Six General Principles of Creativity (Perkins, 1984)
1. Involves aesthetic (i.e., original, powerful, fundamental) as much as practical thinking.
2. Depends on attention to purpose (i.e., structure, standards, goals) as much as to results.
3. Depends on mobility (i.e., flexibility, divergency, revision) more than fluency.
4. Depends on working at the edge (i.e., challenge) more than at the center of competence.
5. Depends as much on being subjective as on being objective.
6. Depends on intrinsic, more than extrinsic, motivation.
Hard Thinking: logic, reason, work, adult, analysis, consistency, reality, exact, precision.
Whack in the Head Tips:
1. Challenge the rules and play the revolutionary.
2. #1 has its dangers.
3. Periodically inspect your ideas to see if the help your thinking.
4. Avoid falling in love with ideas.
5. Hold rule inspecting and rule discarding sessions in your organization.
6. Take advantage of ambiguity and think of how else you might use something.
7. Cultivate your personal resources so as to look for more than 1 meaning.
8. Write an ambiguous job description for yourself.
9. If you make an error, use it as a stepping stone to a new idea.
10. Strengthen your risk muscle at least once every 24 hours.
p. 65 "TIP: For more effective thinking, rotate your ideas every 10,000 thoughts. Creativity involves not only generating new ideas, but escaping from obsolete ones as well."
Davis (1992) Principles of Creativity:
1. Creativity is not just for artists, inventors, scientists.
2. Creativity is a way of thinking and living.
3. Creative people are "creatively conscious."
4. Creative people see things from different viewpoints.
5. Creative people do not grab the first idea that comes along.
6. Creative people are willing to take some risks and fail.
7. Creative people are aware of conformity pressure and are not afraid to be different.
8. Creative people play with ideas and act like a child and think up "wild" possibilities.
9. Creativity is not mysterious; it is the modification of an old idea or new combo of old.
10. Creative people use special techniques and talents to findnew idea combinations.
I. Rate yourself on 1-10 scale (do #21 if you skipped one): SCALE:
____ 31. sloppiness and disorganization with unimportant matters
____ 32. dresses differently
____ 33. does things different from standard procedures
____ 34. imaginative
____ 35. is full of ideas
____ 36. is a 'What if?" person
____ 37. high verbal, conversational ability
____ 38. not afraid to try something new
____ 39. uses all senses in observing
____ 40. ability to regress and transform items
"We've never done it before."
"It won't work."
"Too modern" or "Too old fashioned."
"It's not in the budget."
You've gotta be kidding."
"What bubble head thought that up?"
"Let's wait and see."
"That's not our job."
"It's not in the curriculum."
"It's too late."
"Don't rock the boat."
"That's not our department."
"I'll bet some professor suggested that."
The Creativity Case Lebanon High School has heard enough about the need to increase worker creativity, problem solving, and higher-order thinking skills. After an initial community meeting, it was decided the high school (and entire school district for that matter) needs to address these skills in a master plan.
Assume you have been assigned to (or volunteered for) a committee to embed creative thinking techniques into this high school. Reluctant and supportive teachers (1-4), parents(5-8), principals (9-11), real estate agents (12-13), community leaders (14-17), students (18-19), corporate executives (20-21), professors from IU and Purdue (22-23), and other distinguished guest are in attendance (24-26) at this second planning meeting. You will be assigned one of these roles as well as a thinking role.
As in most initial meetings, these are lots of ideas, limited leadership and direction, and excitement as well as pessimism in the air. However, you should concentrate on the following:
Later on: Assume this committee is loaded with "Idea Squechlers." You keep hearing: "it'll Never Fly Wilbur!" I want to identify ways to increase creative thinking in this teaching/learning environment. First you must identify the barriers.
What are 4-5 blockers, hinderances, barriers, roadblocks, problems to achieving increasing creative thinking here in Lebanon?
In groups of 3-4 people put 3 roadblocks on 4 x 6 cards (or on paper)
Collect and read comments and problems foreseen.
Redistribute cards and creatively think of ways to solve these.
1. Put to other uses? Other uses if modified?
2. Adapt? What other ideas does this suggest? What could I copy?
Modify? New twist? Change color, meaning, motion, sound, odor, form?
Attribute listing (Changing an attribute or quality of something)
The problem solver lists main attributes (characteristics, dimensions, parts) of a problem object, then thinks of ways to improve each attributes.
Using metaphorical thinking to transfer ideas from one context to another (artists, cartoonists, composers, and writers).
To analyze problems with two key variables or components. Interactions among attributes of two variables are investigated for possible problem solution.
Webbing: A process to determine directions of interest in a specific topic or subject, illustrated by a graphic organizer. For example, a semantic webb/map is a diagram to help children see the relatedness of words.
Idea Checklists: A way of forcing relationships and analogies, often used to facilitate the flow of ideas during dry spells, often used to facilitate the flow of ideas during dry spells. For instance, one might ask, "How could making part x become bigger or smaller or possibly come to life help in solving this problem?"
Synectics: Derived from the Greek word "synecticos" meaning the joining together of apparently unrelated elements. Originated by William J. J. Gordon to make strategies that people use unconsciously, better known and teachable. Through connection making, one can bring a strange concept into a familiar context and foster the understanding of new information. Synectics uses "direct analogy" (How have animals and plants solved this problem?); "personal analogy" (If I became a computer, how would I feel?); "fantasy analogy" (How can we get ovens to clean themselves?); "compressed conflict" (two-word phase that sums up the conflicting nature of an object or idea00peaceful conflict, useful dirt, careful collision).
Ten Other Possible Discussion Questions (Pick one or create a new one):
What-if no one studied creativity? No understanding of the processes.
What-if no one assessed creativity? There were no creativity measures or researchers?
Just suppose you were in charge of curriculum? How would you address creativity?
What-if the Indy Creativity Lab created the Indiana Test of Creative Ability?
What-if creative thinking was more prevalent in dogs than human beings?
If people didn’t need to sleep, would we be more creative in morning or at night?
Suppose the Japanese were well known for creativity and creativity assessment?
What-if more creative people lived 20 years longer than non less creative?
What-of in 20 years, creativity became equated with intelligence?
What would teaching creative thinking be like if we lived life in reverse…???
Creative Problem-Solving Methods Polya Method
Understand the problem (What is unknown? What are the data?)
Devising a plan (find the connection between data and unknown)
Carrying out the plan (check each step for correctness)
Orientation (picking out problem)
Preoperation (gathering, organizing)
Analysis and Ideation (Seeking possible solutions)
Incubation (time lag for mind to synthesize problem and solution)
Evaluation (verifying, testing)
Objective Finding (mess finding)
Fact Finding (listing/data finding)
Problem Finding (selecting salient problem)
Idea Finding (brainstorming)
Solution Finding (criteria for evaluation)
Acceptance Finding (implementation)
Explorer (looking for materials for new ideas)
Artist (rearrange things)
Judge (evaluations and decisions)
(acquiring knowledge and becoming aware of how problems fit together—evaluate possible problems and strategies)
(sorting out ideas—a period of quiet reflection and then brainstorming suggestions)
(Aha—find possible solution(s))
(empirical testing of plan of acting or solution)
Davis/AUTA Creativity Model
Awareness of the importance of creativity (to self and society)
Understanding of creativity (the creative person/process/theories)
Techniques (exposure to methods and strategies)
Self-Actualization (self motivation and realizing potential)
Torrance’s Stepwise Process of Creativity
Sensing a problem or gap in information
Forming ideas or hypotheses
Communicating the results
Rules for Brainstorming
Criticism is ruled out (deferred judgement)
Freewheeling is welcomed (the wilder the better)
Quantity is wanted (longer lists increase the possibility of solution)
Combination and improvement are sought (hitch-hiking on ideas)
Creativity (Perkins, 1988):
a. Creativity: "a creative result is a result both original and appropriate."
b. Creative Person: "a creative person--a person with creativity is a person who fairly routinely produces creative results."
Creative Process (Torrance 1988):
"I tried to define creative thinking as a process of (1) sensing difficulties, problems, gaps in information, missing elements, something askew; (2) making guesses and formulating hypotheses about these deficiencies; (3) evaluating and testing these guesses and hypotheses; (4) possibly revising and retesting them; and finally (5) communicating the results."
The three four P's (Davis, 1992):
Creative Person (look for traits; e.g., visionary type)
Creative Process (looking at stages, steps, actions, behaviors)
Creative Product (looking at composition, design, innovation, fitness, worthiness)
Creative Press (look at environment, climate, place)
1. Willingness to take risks
2. Perseverance, Drive, Commitment to Task
4. Openness to Experience, Open Minded
5. Tolerance for Ambiguity
6. Broad Interests
7. Value Originality
8. Intuition and Deep Emotions, Perceptive
(imaginative play, similes, analogies, guesses)
9. Being Internally Occupied, Withdrawn, Needs Privacy Time
On the following pages we would like you to tell us how you think and feel about different things. There are no right answers except those that are accurate about yourself.
For each statement we want you to circle the word “Yes” if you AGREE, or the world “No” if you DISAGREE.
Be sure to answer Yes or No to every question, even if it seems hard to decide.
Schaefer (1991). Creative Attitude Survey. Jacksonville, IL: Psychology and Educators, Inc.
I like to play “make believe” games.
I often act on the spur of the moment without stopping to think.
I like social studies better than science *
I think daydreaming is a waste of time.
In art class, I prefer to be told exactly what to do all the time.
I feel that thinking up ideas that are “way out” or “fantastic” is a waste of time.
I feel that the best answers are the ones the teacher thinks re right.
I think that stories about wizards and magicians are silly.
I would rather think up a picture on my own than trace or copy one.
I think it is better for children to keep quest in class than to give ideas that might be wrong.
Some children are naturally born with better imaginations than others and there is nothing that can be done about it.
I’m afraid to express my ideas because they usually no good.
I’ would rather lean strange new games then play games that I know well.
My favorite color is blue.*
Other children have better ideas than I do, and it is best to follow what they do.
Art is one of my favorite subjects in school.
I like to “clown around” and pretend to be other people.
I think that children have a lot of good ideas and that teachers should listen to them more often in class.
If someone gets and idea that is different from everyone else’s, the idea is probably not a very good; otherwise other children would have thought of it too.
I like to take my time and think up a number of ideas before trying to solve a problem.
I feel that I have a good imagination.
I admire artists and writers as much as doctors and lawyers.
I feel that children should never “make a mess” when they draw or paint.
I think it is as important for girls to learn to draw or write as to cook and sew.
I only like to draw pictures of real persons or objects.
If other children laugh at your ideas, you should give the ideas up.
I think children can write good poetry.
I like kids who are quiet and well behaved better than ones who joke and clown around a lot.
I would rather have as a friend someone who is lively and full of ideas than some one who is nice and always wants to do what I want.
I usually try to think up new ways of doing things rather than doing them in the accepted way.
In school I prefer to learn facts rather than talk about ideas and theories that people have about things.
I like drawing No. 1 better than No. 2 (Note: drawing #1 is an abstract line drawing while the other is of a couple tress situated on a hillside).
1. “The _____________ individual has a certain freedom of spirit and unwillingness to be bound by the unwritten cannons of society, characteristics not necessarily found in the highly intelligence individual. Implicit theories of __________________ encompass a dimension of aesthetic taste and imagination that is absent in implicit theories of intelligence, and also encompass aspects of inquisitiveness and intuitiveness that do not seem to enter into implicit theories of intelligence” (Sternberg, 1986).
2. “_____________ thinking calls for a persistent effort to examine any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of evidence that supports it and the further conclusions to which it tends (Glaser, 1941).
3. “___________ thinking…is a process of evaluation or categorizing in terms of some previously accepted standards. It is a logical examination of data which avoids fantasies and judgements on an emotional basis only (Russell, 1960).”
4. _____________ is the “cognitive abilities that produce original idea combinations in people and generate new knowledge and problem solving techniques” (Gallini, 1983).
5. “an equal partnership in which paired students study together with the mutual goal of mastering academic material” (Larson & Dansereau, 1986, p. 516).
6. _____________ “may be defined, quite simply, as the ability to bring something new into existence” (Barron, 1969).
7. _____________ includes defining a problem, selecting pertinent information, recognizing stated and unstated assumptions, formulating and selecting relevant hypotheses, drawing conclusions, and detecting bias in statements.
8. “_____________ is more than mere spontaneity for it involves deliberation as well. It is more than divergent thinking for it converges on some solution. It not only generates possibilities but also chooses among them. It is as much asking the right question as finding the right answer” (Young, 1985).
9. “_____________ thinking is reflective and reasonable thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do (Ennis, 1985); “…at its’ root, it “is the correct assessment of statements” (Ennis, 1962).
10. The _______________ thinker tries to be well-informed, takes into account the total situation, seeks a clear statement of the thesis or the question, looks for alternatives, deals with components of the problem in an orderly manner, seeks as much precision as the subject matter will allow, asks clarifying questions when confused, and judges conclusion (Presseisen, 1986).
Creative thinking aims to produce an assessment of things, beliefs, and courses of action, while critical thinking aims to produce an original product (Perkins, 1987)
Perkins and Glaser hold that attitudes or dispositions are the backbones of creative and critical thinking; certain dispositional qualities like an inquiring mind, a need to evaluate information, a willingness to test one’s opinions, and a desire to consider alternate points of view, appear to link these two types of thinking.
There is an overlap between the two (i.e., critical and creative thinking) since creative thinking involves innumerable episodes of evaluating solutions and critical thinking depends on inventions and ways of breaking one’s mental set.
Creative people do more than break away from old and familiar patterns and listing numerous alternatives; they have goals that they use to assist them in converging on new solutions.
As suggested by Isaksen and Parnes (1985), all human intellectual abilities and emotional energies could be united in attacking problems or challenges in a reciprocating pattern between imagination and judgement. They have outlined a six stage problem solving model wherein each stage includes a divergent phase (free flow of thoughts) and a convergent phase (evaluation and selection of thoughts).
16. What is your personal definition of creativity?
17. Write a new witty tile for this Davis’ book.
18. What do creative people do? How can we spot a creative person?
19. Circle creative thinking terms and place a check next to critical thinking terms:
displays curiosity, b. consequences, c. determines relevance and irrelevance of information, d. elaboration, e. visualization, f. seeks support for opinions and hypotheses, g. recognizes appropriate conclusions and implications, h. nonconforming, i.is flexible, j. unpredictable/spontaneous, k. makes comparisons, and contrasts, l. answers and solutions are unique, m. provides justification, n. finds patterns, o. analyses assumptions, p. states and defends ideas, q. identifies alternatives, r. attracted to novelty, s. sees new angles or patterns, t. classifies and categories, u. risk taking, v. distinguishes relationships, w. tolerance for ambiguity, x. makes analogies, y. breaks mental set, z. checks credibility of sources, aa. checks reliability and adequacy of information provided, bb. Imagination, cc. Detects missing parts of an argument, dd. Has a sense of humor, ee. Determines the strength of an argument.