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An introduction to creative problem solving


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Creative Problem Solving Overview

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An introduction to creative problem solving

  2. 2. WHAT IS CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING? Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is a framework to apply creative-thinking processes to solve problems. Embedded in the model are tools and strategies that, when placed in the hands of students, allow them to be engaged in a process for thinking both creatively and critically. The Creative Problem Solving method is not just for school use. It should develop habits of mind in students that benefit them for a lifetime.
  3. 3. WHO DEVELOPED CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING? There are several (similar) models of creative problem solving that have been heavily researched and used in both business and education settings. The model discussed here was developed by Alex Osborn and Sidney Parnes.
  4. 4. THE 6 STEPS OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING 1. Object ive (Mess) Finding: Select a problem. 2. Fact Finding: List what you know. 3. Problem Finding: What is the real problem? 4. Idea Finding: Brainstorm ideas. 5. Solut ion Finding: How wi l l you evaluate your ideas? Which is best? 6. Acceptance Finding: Find ways to put ideas into act ion. *Whi le these steps are presented sequent ial ly, i t is common to move back and for th between steps as indicated in the diagram.
  5. 5. STEP 1: OBJECTIVE (MESS) FINDING The first step in taking action is to identify a situation which presents a challenge… an oppor tunity… or is a concern that you want to do something about or is an objective you desire to attain.
  6. 6. STEP 2: FACT FINDING List al l the key facts associated wi th your si tuat ion or your desi red object ive as you perceive them. Ask yoursel f :  Who is involved?  What is involved?  What are some examples of the problem?  What causes the problem?  When wi l l i t happen?  Where does i t or wi l l i t happen?  How does i t or wi l l i t happen?  Why does i t happen?  Are there any more problems caused by the  si tuat ion? Then ask quest ions per taining to what addi t ional facts you would l ike to know and where you might search for them.
  7. 7. STEP 3: PROBLEM FINDING Considering the data you have gathered about your situation during Fact Finding, determine what you want to accomplish in more specific terms. Ask yourself the following questions:  What is the real problem?  What is my objective?  What do I want to accomplish?  What are my concerns?  What is my challenge?
  8. 8. STEP 4: IDEA FINDING Try to answer your problem statement with many ideas in as many dif ferent ways as possible. DIVERGENT THINKING, combined with deferred judgment, is critical in this step. Your goal is to generate lots of ideas. It is of ten helpful to set a number goal before you start listing ideas. Try for 50-75 ideas before you discuss each and become selective.
  9. 9. STEP 5: SOLUTION FINDING You must now decide what criteria, standards, or "yardsticks" should be applied to weigh the wor th of your selected ideas. These criteria will be used to determine the best solution(s) to your problem. Your ideas af fect cost, time, reliability, quality, morale, customers, legality, safety, company practices and approvals, feasibility, timeliness, and ease of implementation. Any or all of these, as well as others, can be considerations for criteria.
  10. 10. STEP 6: ACCEPTANCE FINDING You are now ready to develop your plan of action. To ensure successful implementation of your best idea(s), it is necessary to gain maximum acceptance. Remember, an idea has little value until it is put to use. Consider the following--How should you alter or modify your idea so it will be as acceptable as possible to those it will af fect and to those who will pass judgment on it?
  11. 11. DIVERGENT AND CONVERGENT THINKING Each of the 6 steps of Creative Problem Solving involve divergent and convergent thinking:  Problem solvers are encouraged to think divergently at the star t of each step to develop as many ideas as possible.  Following divergent thinking, convergent thinking is encouraged to select the best ideas.
  12. 12. SAMPLE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TASKS Consider how the tasks on the following slides could be used in a classroom to teach the thinking skills associated with Creative Problem Solving while also allowing students to explore and master content standards.
  13. 13. SAMPLE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TASK You have just moved into a new house, and you love it! Unfortunately, the house gets extremely hot in the summer, and your air conditioning is causing the electrical bill to go through the roof! What should you do? Mess Finding Fact Finding Problem Finding Idea Finding Solution Finding Acceptance Finding
  14. 14. SAMPLE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TASK You have a big assignment due today, but right before you leave for school you see that your little sister dropped it in the fish tank, and it’s soaked! You used the last of the printer ink last night and you only have 5 minutes before you have to leave for school! What should you do? Mess Finding Fact Finding Problem Finding Idea Finding Solution Finding Acceptance Finding
  15. 15. SAMPLE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING TASK During the Cold War, the Soviet Union attempted to take control of Berlin by creating a blockade that prevented needed supplies from getting to people living in parts of Berlin controlled by the United States, France, and England. What should the United States do? Mess Finding Fact Finding Problem Finding Idea Finding Solution Finding Acceptance Finding
  16. 16. TOOLKIT FOR USING CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING IN A CLASSROOM %204/Process/Creative%20Problem%20Solvin g/CPS-Mitchell%20&%20Kowalik.pdf