Critical Think and Creativity

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Critical Thinking & Creativity

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CRITICAL THINKING AND CREATIVITY AN OVERVIEW AND COMPARISON OF THE THEORIES by Jean Marrapodi

A Paper Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements of ED7590 Critical Thinking and Adult Education December 2003 Address: City, State, Zip: Phone: E- mail: Instructor: Mentor: 96 Ravenswood Avenue Providence, RI 02908 (401) 453-5972 rejoicer@aol.com Dr. Marsha Covington Dr. Barbara Salice

Critical Thinking & Creativity Table of Contents

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Introduction..................................................................................................................................... 3 Initial Research Impressions ........................................................................................................... 4 Research Findings ........................................................................................................................... 4 Research on Critical Thinking ................................................................................................ 4 Research on Creative Thinking............................................................................................... 8 Research Mentioning Both Critical and Creative Thinking ................................................. 18 Observations about the Research and Conclusions ...................................................................... 23 References ..................................................................................................................................... 24

Critical Thinking & Creativity Introduction

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In Developing Critical Thinkers, p. 114-118, Stephen Brookfield cites a variety of researchers’ main thinking on creativity, positing that creative thinking is one aspect of the development of critical thinking. (Brookfield, 1987) What are the commonalities between critical thinking and creative thinking? To me, the two appear to be in opposition to one another, since critical thinking is about evaluation of ideas and creative thinking is about expansion of ideas. I have always been known as a creative person, so this topic intrigues me. I have read several books in the popular psychology world about creativity, including works by von Oeck, deBono, Gelb, and Buzan. I have looked at materials designed to expand creativity in individuals, and was even asked to review a book on creativity for T+D magazine, ASTD’s flagship journal. When these two topics were juxtaposed, it sent me on a search for additional information. Interestingly, one of the techniques of creative thinking is to juxtapose unrelated topics to see what evolves from matching them. I am not the only one to have done this with creativity and critical thinking, and much of the literature I found matching the two is for K-12 teachers, because the teaching of these two concepts and practices is being strongly advocated in many public schools. In this paper, I plan to review some of the scholarly literature about creativity and critical thinking, looking for commonalities between them. I also plan to compare the public trade books about creative thinking and explore how that thinking aligns with the research. Finally, I would like to explore if the relationships between them can strengthen my creative and critical thinking abilities.

Critical Thinking & Creativity

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Initial Research Impressions The literature is quite comprehensive on critical thinking and creative thinking. There is very little agreement among authors on definitions of what they are, and most of the scholarly research is comprised of quoting one another. There is research in academia, psychology and business covering each topic with strong opinions and recommendations.

Research Findings Research on Critical Thinking In exploring the initial research on critical thinking, there are quite a variety of opinions defining it. In our text, Brookfield (1987) defines five aspects and four components of...
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