Friday, March 31, 2017

Creative Thinking

Today, I started facilitating a discussion in the PIDP 3250 course, and I'm finding myself in a bit of a conflict. My subject is creative thinking, and the more I think about it, the more I believe that it may paradoxical for me to subjugate my classmates creativity with predefined activities and parameters.

I think it would be an interesting experiment to have a forum that has a life of it's own: No real moderator and no subject, per se.  It could be for the people, by the people.

Often, I observe the students perform poorly on some scenarios or tests. Yet, they do not lack the knowledge or ability to be competent.  It becomes evident that the check sheets and testing to which we subject the learners does not encourage creative thinking.  Rather, it defines knowledge as an explicit definition or movement, and something outside of that (whether or not it's effective) would be deemed unsuccessful, or worse, a failure.

Which brings me to the crux of my other, long-standing and far more pressing paradox:  The formal educational process does not encourage creativity.   In fact, it's standardized upon compliance and conformity.  We all know the "real world" is nothing like school, but why does that have to be?  Why can't schools teach creativity?  Why must a learning outcome be prescriptive to the point of being rigid?

In the end, this may be the plight of the facilitator: Teach creativity but evaluate conformity...?

Here's a link to a website that contains creative thinking excercises.  It proclaims: "If you act like an idea person, you become one."  Should facilitators, in their quest to model behavior, be able to allow for creative thinking and solutions to achieve learning?  If so, how would you create those standards?  One google search revealed this treasure: "Students will outline multiple divergent solutions to a problem, develop and explore risky or controversial ideas, and synthesize ideas/expertise to generate innovations."  Simply adding "relating to X (concept/theory)."

Would this work in every learning environment?  It's certainly interesting...

f you act like an idea person, you will become one. - See more at:
f you act like an idea person, you will become one. - See more at:
f you act like an idea person, you will become one. - See more at:

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