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Creative thinking is often considered to be a rare but innate ability that only certain people posses.
Contrary to this idea there exists a wealth of well-researched and well-documented articles and books that subscribe to the idea that creative thinking is a ‘skill’ (or set of skills) that can be both taught and learnt.
The project partners support the idea that following a set of principles within a structured methodology, most (if not all) people can and will become more creative in their problem* solving abilities.
A number of eminent theorists have published work in the field of creative thinking, with perhaps the most esteemed of these being Edward De Bono. Author of the hugely influential book 'Lateral thinking: A textbook of creativity' in 1970, De Bono has gone on to publish over 60 books related to the subject. Incidentally the project team consider the term 'lateral thinking' to be synonymous with the term 'creative thinking'.
Along with other theorists on the subject such as Michael Mikalko, Tony Buzan et al, creative thinking has found a credible home within many organisations around the world, either as part of the ethos of development and innovation, or introduced through staff training and consultation.
Of course the internet has provided access to innumerable articles and resources; which is great for the aspiring creative thinker!
Following a four-step process of defining creative problems, creating ideas, selecting ideas, and finally implementing ideas, creative thinking can be a very powerful agent for positive change, which by definition is most often innovative.
The Creative thinking in Literacy & language skills project aims to deploy similar approaches within these two specific contexts of education, enabling staff not only to benefit from creative thinking instruction, but also to be able to teach the subject themselves.
Our belief is that this will enable the widest dissemination of the principles and methodologies to promote 'creative frames of mind' for teachers and learners alike.
Enhancement to the learning experience through formal creative thinking approaches is a significant goal for us.
* A problem in creative thinking parlance is a situation that you wish to alter through the generation of new and / or alternative ideas; it does not have negative connotations in this context