Use Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking and Learning

The three masks in the picture seem to represent creativity. The different shades of color could represent people who with varied interests and skills. The similarities might mean they are able to work well together. They are all creative thinkers.3 strange creative masks

Creativity is inherently joyful, challenging, and absorbing. It introduces laughter into what would otherwise be tedium. It engages attention and imagination and, when skillfully facilitated, it enhances communication and group processes. The regular experience of practical creativity, we suggest, in and of itself, makes schooling more attractive to students. It induces more participation in their own education.
— Caine and Caine, Making Connections, p.105

You, too, can be a creative thinker. Read the quote again carefully. When you become a creative thinker, your classes will seem more interesting. You will participate in and take charge of your own education. Creative Thinking is more than something that’s fun or a good idea:  Creative Thinking can change the way you learn and the way you will live for the rest of your life.

How students can learn creative skills and attitudes

It might be easy to think as creative thinkers developing amazing new technical devices or creating new products. But students can also be a creative thinkers.

1. Find creative people for role models.  Look for people who are creative thinkers: teachers, other students, other people you meet. Discuss some of the ways they approach and solve problems.

2. Learn about your own creativity. Are you creative in one area and not in others? You may be creative in writing, possibly even a poet, but not have creative solutions to problems in a way that would be appreciated in a business.Someone else might have wonderfully creative ideas for starting a new business.  Perhaps you are creative in art or with fashion. Perhaps, when people have problems in relationships, you can suggest creative solutions.

A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.       —Nikos Kazantzakis

3. Exercise your creative skills. Do something creative every day. Practice creativity in a variety of areas and see where you are most successful.

Imagination grows by exercise and, contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.                         — W. Somerset Maugham

Creativity is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and, where appropriate, profits.                               — Edward de Bono

You can be a Creative Learner

1Consider your assignment to write a paper. Don’t assume your teacher wants a dull summary of the facts. Might she welcome a different point of view?

In American history, for example, you  could be asked write a paper on the causes of the Civil War. You might find viewpoints of the northerners, and of the southerners. You could look at the positions of plantation owners, slaves, small farmers, businessmen, and politicians. You might need to work much harder, but you might also find viewpoints of women and children.

When you consider doing something different, check with your teacher first.

2. Creative Learners will see each assignment to write an essay or term paper as a great opportunity to explore something they are really interested in.

The man with a new idea is a crank — until the idea succeeds.  — Mark Twain

3. Creative learners are Curious about many things. They ask may important questions and set out on their own to find answers. They don’t let the teachers and the curriculum prevent them from learning what’s important to them.

He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.   — Joseph Joubert

4. Creative Learners love challenging problems, all kinds of problems and they find it exciting to look for solutions. This includes math and science problems, puzzles, creating a new strategy to help them remember information for a test, looking for a way to change the attitudes of people around them, creating a plan to make enough money to get something they way, doing science experiments just because they have an interesting question, or finding ways to take an empty lot and turn it int a playground.

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different.
—  Roger von Oeck, p. 7

5. Creative Learners are flexible, optimistic, always looking for new ideas and are willing to learn from their failures. They are constantly looking for new ways of doing things and new uses for what they already have.

6. Creative Learners take what they are learning in class and compare it to their own knowledge, opinions and questions. They take what they learn in one class and make connections to what they are learning in other classes.

Creative novelty springs largely from the rearrangement of the existing knowledge, a rearrangement that is itself an addition to knowledge.          —  J. Knell

How is creativity important?

A Creative Learner will enjoy learning more, both in high school and in college. Beyond that, many companies are interested in hiring creative people, people who are good problem-solvers, people who can imagine the future and envision how the company needs to prepare for change. These people are far more successful that those who made straight A’s in school.

Begin practicing your creative skills and attitudes now.

It is no accident that the greatest geniuses share a profound irreverence toward conventional opinions. The courage to be different is a cornerstone of high intellect.                            —Win Wenger,  The Einstein Factor  p. 13

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