Dr. V.K. Maheshwari, Former Principal
K.L.D.A.V (P.G) College, Roorkee, India
So much confusion surrounds the term creativity that it is most difficult to discuss and use it. Ausubel believes that we should use it to refer to “rare and unique talent in a particular field of endeavor. Creative achievement—- reflects a rare capacity for developing insights, sensitivities, and appreciations in a circumscribed content area of intellectual or artistic activity. “Thus, the creative individual who embodies this capacity is, by definition, an uncommon individual who embodies this capacity is, by definition, an u n common individual, much rarer than the intelligent person.
Creativity is currently a very popular subject in educational and psychological circles
In instructional technology the nature of creativity is generally focused on three aspects;
2-The learning and acquisition of these abilities
3-Their use in problem solving.
These abilities can be defined as the means the individual has for expressing whatever creativity he possesses. These abilities are somewhat general and can be applied to a variety of tasks. They are not associated with particular subject matter or disciplines, these abilities together constitute creative thinking. The distinctive aspect of creative thinking is divergent thinking which is characterized, by, among other things, flexibility, originality, and fluency.
The learning and acquisition of these abilities-
The major educational concerns the possibility of developing whatever creative abilities the student may have. Before engaging in programs designed to produce the result, it is necessary to know whether instruction or training can increase creativity.
Creativity and problem solving-
Many authors discuss creativity as creative thinking or problem solving., they define creative thinking as the process of ‘sensing gaps or disturbing or missing elements; forming ideas or hypothesizes concerning them; testing these hypothesizes; and communicating the results. Possibly modifying and retesting the hypotheses’. Gagne also considers creativity to be a form of problem solving which involves intuitive leaps, or a combining of ideas from widely separated fields of knowledge.
Amazingly, sometimes, individuals emphasizes the emotional aspects of the experience_ sudden illumination, the heightened excitement, the esthetic appeal of an idea which has suddenly taken shape and the accident of the experience_ the drinking of black coffee, and the bathing in a bath tub, as in the case of Archimedes or musing under the apple tree as in the case of Newton. What is not emphasized often enough are two factors: These insights which suddenly bridge seemingly unrelated bodies of knowledge can only occur in individuals who have acquired the prerequisite knowledge, and they are often the result of concentrated effort over long period of time. Creativity, at this level, is advanced problem solving. It is very doubtful that any teacher could deliberately foster such creativity.
Creativity and intelligence
Although certain degree of intelligent for creative thinking yet both are independent
abilities. Cognitive process involved in intelligence and creativity may be
somewhat different. The differences between intelligence and creativity are
summarized below: Convergent thinking is the basic of intelligencew
ereas divergent thinking is the basis of creativity. Hihly creative persons usually
possess intelligence to a high degree, but it is not always essential for an
intelligent person to be creative, because one may possess high intelligence
capacity without having creative abilities.The speed and accuracy of the
cognitive behavior are emphasized in intelligence testing, while in testing
creativity emphasis is given on flexibility, originality and innovation.
Creativity and Gender difference
No simple conclusions can be drawn from the empirical evidence on gender differences in
creativity test scores; there are studies that report that girls and women score
higher than boys and men, and there are studies that report the opposite. The
former (that is, studies in which girls and women score higher) are more numerous, so
it would be hard to make a case for an overall male advantage. The case for a
female advantage is also less than conclusive, however, both because there are
many studies pointing in opposite directions and there are many that report no significant gender difference. Vernon argued that although social-environmental
influences are certainly major causes of differences in the numbers of highly creative men and women in various fields, these factors are not sufficient explanation for the patterns of
achievement that have been observed. “It is entirely implausible that human society
should approve of females becoming highly talented performers of music, dance,
and drama, and even allowing them to become creative writers, while, at the
same time, disapproving of their becoming musical composers or painters. To me,
this is the crux of the argument for attributing sex differences in creativity at
least, in part, to genetic factors” .
Several theorists have tried to explain why there are so many more creatively accomplished men than women. Helson argued that cultural values, social roles, and
sexist thinking are now recognized as key reasons for the comparative. lack of creative
accomplishment by women. In comparison to the situation just 30 years
ago, we now “realize that social roles have not been structured so that many
women would ever become high achievers. It is hard to feel a sense of mystery about
why there are more eminent men than women” . According to Helson , “differences between men and women in biology and early socialization experience are ‘exaggerated’ by culture” . Among the differences in early socialization experiences that culture exaggerates are differences in the ways parents perceive and interact with their daughters and sons.“Right from childhood, women are less likely to be picked as special by their parents” . These early differences are then intensified by cultural rules, roles, and
assumptions. Lack of differences between girls and boys, and between men and women, is the most common outcomefor the many studies.
Instruction for Creativity
Fostering creativity refers only to the development of the creative abilities. That is, the teacher can provide certain conditions which will increase the flexibility, fluency, and originality of the student’s solutions to various problems. This term does not refer to ways of for developing genuinely new knowledge and new discoveries.
Classify the kind of problems you present to your students;
Getzes distinguishes between presented problems and discovered problems. Presented problems are those which are given to the students. Discovered problems are those which exist and must be discovered by the student. Getzels also distinguishes between known and unknown methods of problem solving. Using this classification scheme, he believes that creative thinking begins with situations in which the problem is presented but the method of solution is unknown to the student. From here move to the situation in which both the problem and the method of solution are unknown to the student and all of humanity.. The less that is known in the problem situation the more the student creates.
Provide for the development and use of problem-solving skills;
The most popular technique is brain-storming which had its first flowering in the business world but has now made its way into the classroom-especially the college classroom. As used in the classroom, after the problem has been presented, the teacher requires the students to list as many solutions as they can think of. Any evaluation of these ideas is deferred until all the solutions are listed. The technique is a form of free association, except that it is often used with groups and it is the ideas rather than words that are freely associated. The usefulness of brain storming for problem solving can briefly be summarized as:
A- Training in brainstorming increases creative problem solving.
B- Brainstorming produces more problem solutions than do methods which penalize bad ideas in some way
C- C-More good ideas are produced with brainstorming than with conventional techniques.
D- D- Extended effort to produce ideas (the latter part of the brainstorming sessions) leads to an increased number of ideas and proportions of good ideas;
E- Students in creative problem-solving courses (which include brainstorming) obtain higher scores in Guilford’s tests of creative abilities than do students who have not had these courses.
Contrary evidence disputes some of these findings. Donald Taylor and his associates found that individuals who worked in groups using the brainstorming technique actually produced ideas which were consider inferior in quantity and quality to the ideas produced by individuals who worked alone.
Teaching certain basic research skills may be a second technique for fostering creativity. This technique is consistent with Torrance’s definition of creative thinking as forming and testing hypotheses.
Creative reading is another useful problem-solving skill. Torrance and Judson Harmon have provided some evidence that students can be taught to read creatively with the proper directions and the encouragement to use these directions.
Reward creative achievement
According to Edward de Bono “One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.
The teacher may not reinforce creative achievement because he fails to recognize it, despises the behavior which accompanies creativity in his students, or is overawed by any classroom manifestation of creativity. Torrance lists five ways in which the teacher can encourage and reward creative achievement. You, as the teacher, should
(1) Treat unusual questions which the children ask with respect;
(2) Treat unusual ideas and solutions with respect;
(3) Show children that their ideas have value;
4) Provide opportunities and give credit for and discover, without threat of immediate evaluation.
Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possiblility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing
Former President of India