Teaching creative thinking: Advice and examples

Embedding creative thinking into the curriculum alongside knowledge can be done, and is not an ‘either-or’ option. Professor Bill Lucas, author and director of the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of  Winchester writes in SecEd and offers some practical ideas and advice.

Creative thinking is what you do when you are being creative and creativity is the outcome of this.  Creative activity is purposeful and generates something which is to some degree original and of value. 

Almost always creative thinking is a social activity and almost always it takes place in response to an issue or problem facing an individual or group.

But while it is increasingly valued across the world, you do not find creative thinking on the timetable of secondary schools. This is partly because secondary schools organise their curricula around subjects, mainly those which are examined at GCSE and increasingly with half a glance over their shoulders to their Attainment 8 and Progress 8 scores.

But even given these constraints, a growing number of secondary schools are explicitly teaching creative thinking by embedding it within the lessons and within the co-curriculum and by choosing teaching and learning methods which enable it to flourish.

So, if you wanted to teach someone how to become more creative and better able to solve problems, what methods would you choose? The schools which are cultivating creative thinkers tend to use a four-stage process like this.

  1. Develop real understanding of creative thinking.

  2. Establish a conducive classroom climate and use two key strategies.

  3. Choose pedagogies most suited to creative thinking.

  4. Build learner engagement and commitment to the capability.

Read in detail about the 4 stages Teaching creative thinking: Advice and examples

Does this interest you? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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