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Free online Course on Introduction to Creative Thinking

Introduction to Creative Thinking

 

Creative Thinking

 

Much of the thinking done in formal education emphasizes the skills of analysis--teaching students how to understand claims, follow or create a logical argument, figure out the answer, eliminate the incorrect paths and focus on the correct one. However, there is another kind of thinking, one that focuses on exploring ideas, generating possibilities, looking for many right answers rather than just one. Both of these kinds of thinking are vital to a successful working life, yet the latter one tends to be ignored until after college. We might differentiate these two kinds of thinking like this:

 

Critical Thinking

Creative Thinking

analytic

generative

convergent

divergent

vertical

lateral

probability

possibility

judgment

suspended judgment

focused

diffuse

objective

subjective

answer

an answer

left brain

right brain

verbal

visual

linear

associative

reasoning

richness, novelty

yes but

yes and

 

In an activity like problem solving, both kinds of thinking are important to us. First, we must analyze the problem; then we must generate possible solutions; next we must choose and implement the best solution; and finally, we must evaluate the effectiveness of the solution. As you can see, this process reveals an alternation between the two kinds of thinking, critical and creative. In practice, both kinds of thinking operate together much of the time and are not really independent of each other.

 

 

 
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