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Divergent Thinking Creative Thinking Terry A. Ring Chemical Engineering University of Utah.

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Presentation on theme: "Divergent Thinking Creative Thinking Terry A. Ring Chemical Engineering University of Utah."— Presentation transcript:

1 Divergent Thinking Creative Thinking Terry A. Ring Chemical Engineering University of Utah


3 Knowledge Traditional academic disciplines still matter, but as content and knowledge evolves at lightning speed, educators are talking more and more about “process skills” Process Skills Strategies to reframe challenges and extrapolate and transform information and accept and deal with ambiguity.


5 What type of thinker are you? Left Brain Right Brain

6 What Type of Thinker are you? I am most motivated by ….. A) a need for a clear understanding of the facts. B) a great idea. C) an opportunity to perfect and existing solution. D) a job to do. I learn best through …. A) facts, research, ideas. B) stories, ideas, concepts. C) evaluating options. D) trying things out.

7 What Type of Thinker are you? I like to spend time … A) working with information. B) thinking about new possibilities. C) making things “just right.” D) testing, prototyping, doing. Your Score: How many times did you answer A) B) C) D)

8 What Does it Mean? Profiles: A) Clarifier: cautious, structured thinker who likes to gather data to understand the reality and to identify problems, gaps and opportunities. B) Ideator: playful, original thinker who likes to see the “big picture” and make new connections that may break the paradigm. C) Developer: detailed planner who likes to evaluate and perfect the best version of a solution and anticipate how it will move forward with the most success. D) Implementer: confident, action- oriented risk taker who likes to learn by doing. More than 20 % of respondents select a different letter for each question. Their strength is in moving evenly through the process and harmonizing the group. FourSight™

9 Creative Thinking vs. Critical Thinking Critical Thinking Essential Engineering Skill for Success Synthesis of engineering solutions Evaluation of designs Analysis Creative Thinking On Demand Inventiveness Creating replaced “Evaluation” at the top of Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy. “Synthesis” is removed New Educational Objective!!


11 What it is not_______ What evidence is not_______ What criteria is not used to assess__

12 Everyone is Creative! You can learn to be more Creative! Creativity sits at the juxtaposition of two or more fields. When ideas from different fields collide, new ideas are generated. You do this with Divergent Thinking Generating multiple ideas as solutions to a problem. Do not stop at one idea. How do you generate more than one idea that is a potential solution? – Creativity Tools Testing ideas in your head You do this with Convergent Thinking Finding what works. Testing all the ideas to identify which one has the greatest chance of working. This generates new ways to overcome difficulties of you initial ideas – A NEW IDEA!

13 Creativity Tools Thinking by analogy Think about problems as opportunities. Looking for Patterns Making Patterns Playing to encourage ideas Be curious Looking with fresh eyes Learning to abstract problems to their essence. Rephrase problems as questions Learn not to shoot down an idea instinctively 1 st find 3 positives about the idea. Categorize problems as Requires action Requires planning Requires invention

14 How do you generate more than one idea? Getting into a creative mind-set involves a lot of trial and error. Clarifying – asking the right question Critical because people misstate and misperceive the problem Without the correct frame for the problem it is difficult to come up with a breakthrough Ideation – brainstorming Getting rid of your inner naysayer to let your imagination fly free. Break Cultural Norms Examine what in cultural is preventing you from creating something new or different. You will look foolish because a lot of ideas do not work out. (How do you handle looking foolish?) Failure is a critical path to a successful end! (Note: Academics run away from failure!) Bold Risks are a creative and competitive necessity. Developing – building out a solution Maybe it does not work Fail quickly and reformulate Starting over with another idea Implementing – convincing others your idea has value.

15 Brainstorming Basics a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed Principles of Brainstorming Defer judgment! Strive for quantity! - not quality Rules of Brainstorming Focus on quantity: This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution. Withhold criticism: In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put 'on hold'. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to ideas, reserving criticism for a later 'critical stage' of the process. By suspending judgment, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas. Welcome unusual ideas: To get a good and long list of ideas, unusual ideas are welcomed. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. These new ways of thinking may provide better solutions. Combine and improve ideas: Good ideas may be combined to form a single better good idea, as suggested by the slogan "1+1=3". It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association. Defer judgment! Strive for quantity! - not quality Be Wild and Unusual! Build on Other’s Ideas! Alex F. Osborn, 1939

16 Brainstorming Flow Chart

17 Brainstorming Problem Junk Mail Wasted Paper Wasted Postage Wasted Gasoline Wasted Labor What can be constructively done about junk mail?

18 Conclusions Understand the Difference between Creative Thinking Critical Thinking Everyone can improve their creativity! Learned about Creativity Tools Practiced Brainstorming

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