Home > Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Projects, Tests, or Assignments That Require Original or Creative Thinking

Projects, Tests, or Assignments That Require Original or Creative Thinking

By Cynthia Desrochers

Original, creative, higher-level thinking is seen in many forms of personal expression in all disciplines, from writing, music, and art to a unique design in the social sciences or an original experiment in the natural sciences. However, this synthesis can come only after students have mastered the declarative and procedural knowledge (1) in a particular discipline, and even then, only under conditions that encourage the freedom necessary to think creatively. Creative thinking involves an integration of past learning to produce and organize new ideas. Thus, student motivation is enhanced as students experience the personal satisfaction that comes with creating something that is their own. When students are asked to think outside-the-box (2), divergent processes and projects emerge, with no two student efforts looking the same and no clear right or wrong answers being sought.

Creativity occurs when students are asked to become deeply absorbed in complex tasks and problems in order to create new forms and styles of expression (3). These tasks are effective and they also provide tangible evidence of student accomplishment and learning. Item #19 highly correlates with IDEA learning objectives #26 (developing creative capacities), #28 (developing skill in expressing myself orally or in writing), #29 (learning how to find and use resources for answering questions or solving problems), #31 (learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view), and #32 (interest in learning more).

Continued at: http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/postings.php

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