Creativity Tip 2. What's the Real Problem?

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Creativity Tip #1 introduced Creative Problem Solving (CPS) as a process to apply creative thinking in a unique and useful product, idea, or service— in other words, to innovate. The creative problem-solving process requires two distinctly different types of thinking: divergent (open) and convergent (focused). We looked at an overview the five stages of CPS, each of which has BOTH a divergent and a convergent stage. We’re going to begin with CPS stage one, Mess-Finding, or as I like to call it, Sensing the Problem.

Every entrepreneur knows the importance of sensing a need and filling it, or finding out what’s not working and fixing it. This can take time, but when we rush to a solution, it likely isn’t the best, and the problem wasn’t the real one.

I have good news! Our students can go through the same creative thinking process, and it can be transformative for them! You will never see your students more engaged in learning your content than when you include a mess-finding/sensing the problem activity to introduce some of the key concepts. Listed below are some familiar strategies you can use to have students use their open-ended divergent thinking to “find the problem” that needs solving.

NEXT TIP: Creativity #3. Three Ways to Use Creative Problem Solving in Your Classroom 

Source: Paynter, J.L.(2021) Teach to Develop Talent: How to Motivate and Engage Tomorrow's Innovators Today. Corwin Press. Chapter 8, p. 180.



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