Research summary – fostering creativity

Source: Journey to Excellence Website, date indeterminate

The main messages

  • Creativity is about generating ideas or producing things and transforming them into something of value. It often involves being inventive, ingenious, innovative and entrepreneurial. 
  • Creativity is not just about special people doing special things. We all have the potential to be creative and creativity is a skill that needs to be developed. 
  • Most individuals believe they are not very creative. Creativity, however, is an increasingly valuable commodity in the modern world. 
  • Creativity embraces both hard and soft thinking. The most powerful creative thinking occurs when the left and right hemispheres of the brain combine to apply both generative and evaluative processes. 

Developing a ‘could-be’ attitude

Many authors talk about the importance of being able to develop a creative attitude or states of mind and of fostering creative habits. These include: 

  • Overcoming the perception that ‘I am not creative’
  • Expecting the unexpected
  • Having fun playing with ideas
  • Practising not knowing or tolerating ambiguity
  • Being curious
  • Facing your fears
  • Talking to people about ideas along the way
  • Being proactive and going for it
  • The forming of collaborative, creative groups and partnerships helps to foster creativity.

Developing creative thinking skills are fostered when learners are given:

  • authentic tasks that are relevant and which have a real purpose;
  • meaningful responsibility to think for and organise themselves;
  • real accountability in terms of setting standards for their work and agreeing these standards through discussion and collaboration.
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