GE372 Week Five Creative Thinking, Brainstorming, and Peer Review
Lesson Preview Creativity is a dynamic combination of knowledge and imagination Everyone is creative—some people are simply more aware of how to stimulate and give room to their creativity than others. Stages in the creative process include: searching for challenges, expressing the problem or issue, investigating the problem or issue, and producing ideas.
Lesson Preview When you look for strategies, be observant, look for imperfections, note your and other’s dissatisfaction, search for causes, be sensitive to implications, and recognize the opportunity in controversy. The three ways of working together are brainstorming, group investigation, and peer review. Knowing how to use constructive feedback to improve the logic of your arguments and the clarity of your papers is one of the most important skills you can develop as a writer and a thinker.
Creativity We’ve all heard…. Creativity can’t be learned. Creativity=ignore traditional ways of thinking It takes a high IQ to be creative Taking drugs enhances one’s creativity Creativity is related to mental illnessor some type of eccentricity. All of these are wrong.
Creativity The human mind has two phases: Production of ideas Judgment of ideas These two phases are intertwined: we move back and forth between them as we solve problems. Everyone produces and judges ideas, but the quality of the effort varies greatly from person to person.
Characteristics of Creative People Creative people are dynamic: They do not allow their minds to become passive, accepting, unquestioning. They are playful (at least in the mind). Creative people are daring Thinking is an adventure. Bold in their conceptions. Willing to entertain unpopular ideas. Creative people are resourceful i.e., the ability to act effectively and to conceptualize the approach that solves the problem—even when the problem stymies others and the resources at hand are meager.
Characteristics of Creative People Creative people are hard working. Successful artists are extremely hardworking. They may not want to show it and may even hide this, but they’re busting their butt when needed. Only people who are unwilling to be intimidated by the prospect of failure, and who are determined to succeed no matter what effort is required, have a chance to succeed. Creative people are independent. Every new idea we think of separates us from other people, and expressing the idea increases the separation tenfold. Going out on a limb along doesn’t scare creative people (or at least it doesn’t stop them from acting). It’s okay to be scared sometimes. I give you permission. It’s also okay to be bored sometimes. You don’t have to burry your head in your iPod every free second of the day. Read: “You too can be creative; it just takes hard work”
Applying Creativity to Problems and Issues For this class, we’re mostly concerned with two applications of creativity: solving problems and resolving controversial issues. The most important way to apply creativity to problems and issues include taking a novel approach, devising or modifying a process or system, inventing a new product or service, finding new uses for existing things, improving things, and inventing or redefining a concept. Let’s talk about these
Taking a novel approach P84 Read these examples
Stages in the creative process Being creative means more than having certain traits. It means behaving creatively, addressing the challenges we encounter with imagination and originality. First stage: Searching for challenges The essence of creativity is meeting challenges in an imaginative, original, and effective way. Often, challenges need not be sought out; they come to you in the form of obvious problems and issues. Anyone have a recent problem that came looking for you?
Stages in the creative process The second stage: Expressing the problem or issue: The objective in this in this stage is to find the best expression of the problem or issue, the one that will yield the most helpful ideas. “A problem properly stated is partly solved.” –Henry Hazlitt Because different expressions open different avenues of thought, it is best to consider as many expressions as possible. What does this mean?
Stages in the creative process The third stage: Investigating the problem or issue The objective of this state is to obtain the information necessary to deal effectively with the problem or issue. This means doing research—observation, interviews, etc.
Stages in the creative process The fourth stage: Producing ideas The objective in this stage is to generate enough ideas to decide what action to take or what belief to embrace. Two obstacles are common in this stage. The first is the often unconscious tendency to limit your ideas to common, familiar, habitual responses, and to block out uncommon familiar ones. The second obstacle is the temptation to stop producing ideas too soon.
Let’s practice Brainstorming Discussion Brainstorm with others about ideas for new products or services (ones that do not currently exist). • Write a paragraph describing your idea for a new product or process and discuss it with your classmates. In forming your response, please consider the following questions: • Could the idea actually be brought to market? Why or why not? • Is there a modification to the original idea that would make it marketable? If so, for what audience? • With the students closest to you, break into small groups and discuss for five to ten minutes. Each person in the group will take notes and submit a one paragraph Respond to at least one other student’s idea. Be constructive in your review of your peers’ ideas and keep the following questions in mind: • Do you agree with the idea about their product? • Do you think that their idea is possible? summary of the discussion.
Searching for Challenges People fail to think of new ideas because they are mentally reactive rather than active It is one thing to possess thinking skills and quite another to use them in everyday situations.
The importance of Curiosity Curiosity, useful in every stage of thinking, is indispensable in the first stage—searching for challenges. How curiosity is lost: Children who at four years old are driving their caretakers nuts with questions often lose their curiosity by the age of 14. Anyone have a five year old? Do they ask lots of questions? Parents and teachers suppress curiosity out of defacto annoyance. Vicarious caretakers (i.e., TV) entertains rather than informs or explores complex issues (most of them, anyway).
The importance of Curiosity Regaining your curiosity: six useful techniques 1. Be observant 2. Look for the imperfection in things 3. Note you own and other’s dissatisfactions 4. Search for causes 5. Be sensitive to implications. 6. Recognize the opportunity in controversy.
Be observant Some people are oblivious of what is going on around them. Let’s take a test. Pp 96
Look for the imperfection in things Seeking imperfections does not mean being chronically dissatisfied, a complainer about life. It means realizing where improvements can be made. Colgate story. What innovative improvements have enriched your life?
Note you own and other’s dissatisfactions Instead of surrendering yourself to your own feelings of dissatisfaction or plunging into other people’s lament, pause and remind yourself that viewed positively, every dissatisfaction is a signal that some need is not being met.
Search for causes The people who make breakthroughs and achieve insights are those who wonder. And their wondering extends to the causes of things: how they got to be the way they are and how they work.
Be sensitive to implications Every discovery, every invention, every new perspective or interpretation makes an impact whose extend is seldom fully realized at first. Good thinkers usually recognize that impact before others because they are sensitive to implications. Tablet PCs were first introduced around the turn of the century. Nobody bought them and manufactures stopped making them. Now people can’t get enough tablets. Sildenafil was originally designed for use in hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a symptom of ischaemic heart disease).
Recognize the opportunity in controversy Don’t miss the opportunity in controversy: the opportunity to be adventurous, explore new perspectives, and enrich your understanding.
Homework: Critical Thinking and a Democratic Society Sometimes we see so much controversy around us that we become numb to examining any of it. Other times, we become lost in the politics of an issue and fail to analyze it properly. We may give our opinions without looking at aspects of the challenges they present. Two of the objectives of this course are: “Apply creative thinking to propose a set of solutions to a problem,” and “Apply critical thinking to select a viable and innovative solution to a problem or issue.” To explore these objectives, we will examine the old truism, “A democratic method of government requires an informed citizenry.” Write an essay on the following statement: “An informed citizenry will benefit from applying both creative thinking and critical thinking in solving the challenges of our society.” Your essay may take a general approach, or you may use a specific challenge to illustrate your answer. Thepaper should be a minimum of three pages double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, in 12-point Times New Roman. Read: Chapter seven and chapter eight for next time