Creative Problem Solving w Emergenetics Reflections


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A compilation of how Creative Problem Solving is best designed for teachers to experience their own journey of facilitating for creativity in the classroom with different thinking tools to enhance Creativity. Emergenetics was the chosen profiling instrument to help teachers themselves situate their own understanding and behaviour of what creativity meant to them. They first experience how their energy generated for the 7 thinking and behavioural attributes (i.e. Social, Conceptual, Analytical, Structural, Expressiveness, Assertiveness, Flexibility) allow them to value what is creative. Thereafter the participants are grouped based on the Emergenetics concept of Whole Emergenetics (WE) team to harness different perspectives and values to design for a truly innovative process of teaching and learning. This professional learning course is designed by John Yeo, National Institute of Education, Singapore.

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  • This course is designed to help school leaders experience what it takes to facilitate creativity using the Creative Problem Solving methodology (Puccio, Murdock, & Mance, 2005). A highly interactive in-service programmes, they first appreciate how the Emergenetics profile help them better understand their own creativity- thinking, behaviour, actions, values, etc. Thereafter, they are grouped as Whole Emergenetics (WE) team to collaborate using different creative thinking tools to facilitate different challenges. This presentation captures some of their own learning trajectory. John Yeo (
  • WE-team (Whole-Emergenetics) team
  • Creative Problem Solving w Emergenetics Reflections

    1. 1. Reflections: Applied Creative Problem Solving with Emergenetics
    2. 2. OVerviEw <ul><li>WE teams ’ Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>(slides 3-8) </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation of Thinking Tools (slides 9-11) </li></ul><ul><li>Reflections </li></ul><ul><li>(slides 12-21) </li></ul>EG helps the creative process in a WE-team
    3. 3. WE teams ’ Creativity <ul><li>EG’s concept of WE team has enduring curriculum values as the team decides on a specific task to situate their creativity. Mindful consideration that the team seeks deliberately to gain deeper understanding of an identified challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The WEteam way of working was initially challenging for me as I am naturally reserved and prefer to let others lead. However, I have learnt to speak out more as I enjoyed the different energy of everyone working together.”- Su Siew </li></ul>
    4. 4. WE teams ’ Creativity “ Inquiry is driven by teachers ’ inner desire to understand that experience, to reconcile what is known with that which is hidden, to confirm and affirm, and to construct and reconstruct understandings of themselves as teachers and of their own teaching. ” (Johnson & Golombek, 2002, pp 6).
    5. 5. WE teams ’ Creativity <ul><li>‘ Post a thought, Grab an Apple’ campaign </li></ul><ul><li>One WE team’s ‘model’ to collect ideas as they thought the model will attract attention to grab some refreshing perspectives on community outreach on campus. </li></ul><ul><li>Findings : They noticed that this method of data collection helps people to feel less bounded to give the politically correct answers and thus was able to draw out novel thinking. </li></ul>
    6. 6. WE teams ’ Creativity <ul><li>Book Review </li></ul><ul><li>Key ideas from a self selected book represented as A-Z balloons (tapping on the autonomy of learners with understanding of Flexibility as a behavioural attribute) </li></ul><ul><li>Used as a brainstorming tool for conceptual ‘force-connection’ to generate new ideas (participant opined that as a highly structured thinker, this tool aids in stretching the conceptual mind) </li></ul>
    7. 7. WE teams ’ Creativity <ul><li>Thinking Tool Facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>A surprise birthday ‘treat’ for the tutor, the team decides to demonstrate how to playfully have fun with idea-generation using the ‘Idea Box’ thinking tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Users are asked to generate wild ideas under each category before they do a mix N match </li></ul><ul><li>Truly a fun tool for Social & Conceptual thinkers! </li></ul>
    8. 8. WE teams ’ Creativity <ul><li>Thinking Tool Facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Who says Brainstorming needs to be noisy??? </li></ul><ul><li>Participants working in their WE teams using ‘Visual Connections’ for ideation with close examination of different fruits. </li></ul><ul><li>“ With a strong preference for Analytical thinking and 1/3 expressive, this tool has really helped me to enjoy brainstorming- at least I really got some novel ideas I am proud of.” - Kay Gek </li></ul>
    9. 9. Facilitation of Thinking Tools <ul><li>Diagnostic Tool: </li></ul><ul><li>Affinity Diagram </li></ul><ul><li>Convergent Tool: </li></ul><ul><li>Hits & Clusters </li></ul>
    10. 10. Facilitation of Thinking Tools <ul><li>Thinking Skills: </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualising the Solution </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking Skills: </li></ul><ul><li>Situating the Gap </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>‘ WE’ are team ing </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘test’ of the WE team </li></ul>Facilitation of Thinking Tools
    12. 12. Reflections <ul><li> ” </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity does not necessarily reject current paradigms and replace them. Creative Leaders can accept current paradigms and extend them. It also explores integrating existing paradigms, thus creating new ones. The key ideas to me are extend, integrate, and create. The integration of these ideas was most deeply experienced when we were grouped as a WE-team where we learnt to create new possibilities with renewed understanding of diversity (of thinking) in unity (of mission).” </li></ul><ul><li>Finella Tan </li></ul><ul><li>Head of Gifted Education </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Park Primary School </li></ul>This elective has really challenged my personal belief on what is leadership, or more specifically creative leadership. I really like Sternberg’s (2004) ideas on 3 fundamental types of creative leadership and I think it opens up my ideas on creativity.
    13. 13. Reflections <ul><li>“ I appreciate the deliberate use of Emergenetics in this course. I will usually take such profile tests with a pinch of salt as I have undergone tests such as ProScan Profiling and others before. However, this profiling is useful as firstly, it confirms the way I think and behave with the other findings of the profile tests which I have taken. Secondly, it helps me to understand the way my group members think and analyse a problem due to their profiles . Thus, I will learn to accept and respect others’ attitudes . Thirdly, my group is conscious of designing our lesson plan according to the profiles of our course mates so that it will help the various profiles to learn better .” </li></ul><ul><li>Teresa Teng May Hwee </li></ul><ul><li>Head English Language Dept </li></ul><ul><li>Clementi Town Sec </li></ul>
    14. 14. Reflections <ul><li>“ This was a truly enjoyable course as our tutor was singularly dedicated to our learning. He listened intently to our concerns and treated as his peers- and he really role modelled what Emergenetics can do for us. His knowledge of ground zero and what puts smiles on our faces and what irks us made his teaching relevant and informative. He introduced us to the Emergenetics profiling instrument. It was an AHA moment because it validated clearly who I was- a highly social (intuitive about people, socially aware, sympathetic, empathic and learns from other) and conceptual (imaginative, intuitive about ideas, visionary, enjoys the unusual and learns by experimenting) person in the way I think. Supporting this was his feedback on how I brought my uniqueness into the design of my facilitation. I leveraged my 3/3 Expressiveness and Flexibility and 1/3 on assertiveness- this was really refreshing and liberating! </li></ul><ul><li>… PTO </li></ul>
    15. 15. Reflections <ul><li>I truly enjoyed discovering my profile because it further clarified why I think and behave in any situation. </li></ul><ul><li>This helped me gain insight at a personal level, as from this knowledge, I as a HOD can moderate myself and enhance my strength and minimize my weakness. A further evidence that our tutor was concerned about our growth was that he shared with us 21 day plans on how we can work on areas that we are weak in. He encouraged us to do it and checked to see how many of us had embarked on it. </li></ul><ul><li>PREETI BHART SHERI </li></ul><ul><li>HOD Student Development </li></ul><ul><li>Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School </li></ul>
    16. 16. Reflections <ul><li>Hi John, </li></ul><ul><li>You are really a very demanding lecturer!!! It has been tough with the new learnings but definitely enriching. </li></ul><ul><li>You gave me a very experiential feeling about the whole creativity course. Beside the knowledge factor which i have benefited greatly, it is the enthusiasm and passion that you have exhibited that made me your fan. Although you are 20 year younger than me- I admit you truly epitomize the spirit and character that a teacher should have, and u shown it to me within just a month. This is not flattery but sincere words that pop out of my mind when i recall the way and work you have done for us. Thanks too for the EG report. It kept me thinking, a lot. </li></ul><ul><li>your old fan, </li></ul><ul><li>Scotty </li></ul>
    17. 17. Reflections <ul><li>During MLS030, John has grouped people with different Emergenetics preference. The CPS group sessions brought about my realisation that people with different preferences generate different ideas . As we practice deferring judgement, many ideas were generated and that was the beauty of diversity. </li></ul><ul><li>In the school context, I can extend this understanding in the school management committee (SMC).  There are many factors in decision making, namely pupils ’ interest, resources and etc. Coupled these factors with the diverse Emergenetics in SMC, it is natural that each member had different perspectives. Moreover, according to the profile report, my level of assertiveness is considerably high and that means that I tend to try to convince others about my view. To others, I can be viewed as confrontational, direct and challenge. I have to admit that sometimes this have caused some to distant themselves from me, even if my ideas do work out well. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>CHONG LIN LIN HOD Pupil Development Zhenghua Secondary School
    18. 18. Reflections <ul><li>My biggest takeaway? Problem Solving is cognitively demanding. Knowing how one’s brain think, and how this thinking is translated into action as the external behaviour that one exhibits, is pertinent to the creative problem-solving process. Being profiled with the Emergenetics (EG) diagnostic tool was very important to my learning in this course, because it allowed me to know how my brain thinks and how this thinking is manifested in my behaviour. This knowledge enables me to be aware of my thinking preferences, and when confronted by situations whereby cognitive problem-solving processes are needed, I would be able to seek a balance in the other areas in my EG profile, so that the solutions may be creative ones . Being placed in groups whereby there is a balance of the different thinking preferences has also benefitted me enormously because it has exposed me to a variety of thinking preferences different from mine, and in doing so, has created in my brain new pathways and connections, which I believe would allow me to think creatively in future. </li></ul>IRENE HO Head of Programs Spastic Children's Association School
    19. 19. Reflections <ul><li>One of the most exciting parts of the course for me was doing our individual Emergenetics Profiling and getting back my profile! It has allowed me to know myself better in terms of my thinking attributes (44% Analytical, 46% Structural, 5% Conceptual and 5% Social) and my behavioural attributes (first-third for Expressiveness, Assertiveness and Flexibility). It now makes sense why there are certain situations I enjoy (because it is well-structured and orderly), why I like to work independently (low preference for Social Thinking), why I experience discomfort in some situations and have to exercise a great amount of will power in order to attend to it (for example attending parties which involve meeting strangers whom I am not likely to meet again), and why I make a poor listener at times because my blue brain is activated when it hears a problem, starts analysing the problem and formulating possible solutions even before I hear the entire story from the complainant, and which John Gray cautions is a bad thing to do when the complainant is your wife! </li></ul><ul><li>P.T.O </li></ul>
    20. 20. Reflections <ul><li>Besides the fun of being analysed in a scientific way when all along the only explanation I have of why I think or behave in a certain way has been “ I am just like that ” , the Emergenetics Profiling suggests to me that every one of us possess the capacity for creativity. Through a better understanding of ourselves, we can then leverage on our strengths and exercise creativity in our thinking. And all we then need are the disposition for creativity and the skills or tools to help us be creative. </li></ul>KELVIN LIM Senior Head Ministry of Education, HQ.
    21. 21. Reflections <ul><li>“ The WE team dynamics was built up gradually and not immediately as most of us are first third in expressiveness , although Ser Min and Vijaya are high in social . We knew we were grouped according to our different thinking preferences. Without looking at each other’s profile, we could guess roughly what thinking preference we have. Although Chee Keong and Vijaya are high in their structural thinking, all of us have preference in analytical thinking. In this way, we are rational and find it easy to accommodate one another. Without looking at each other’s profile, we know who is closer to us in thinking and behavioural preferences after just one session. This may be attributed to the preference in analytical thinking.   </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking back, when we first worked as a WE team for John’s facilitation session, I felt kind of awkward. I sat in between Chee Keong and Vijaya. My intuition told me that I am different from them, plus my 36 % analytical thinking preference was not helping a lot in the brainstorming process.” </li></ul>GAN SER MIN Head of Mother Tongue Rosyth Primary
    22. 22. Just for laughs… <ul><li>How has EG changed Anne’s behavior??? </li></ul>