The educational system we have is not designed to encourage creativity. Think about the hours students spend learning facts and formulas to solve math problems. Sometimes creativity can be overlooked in lessons where important concepts must first be taught. Creativity in instruction isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. We must ensure that students have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete each lesson objective. But we also need students to be able to use these concepts creatively through activities and experiences. We often see students flourish when they have the opportunity to apply concepts, expand their thinking and complete tasks that are “outside of the box.”
Divergent thinking allows individuals to generate many unique ideas and solutions. Divergent thinking is a way to brainstorm ideas and find solutions. It also helps you see connections between concepts and processes, even though they may not be identical if you compare the ideas side-by-side. Divergent thinking can be considered the first step of a problem-solving process. It allows you to explore new ideas and ways of thinking. You can expand your ideas to allow you to start at a small point but then broaden your thinking to include many different solutions.
You will often see divergent and convergent thinking combined with brainstorming and innovation. Divergent thinking is a way to start the problem-solving process and generates many ideas. Convergent thinking allows you to connect some of these ideas to narrow down your options and focus on specific options.
Students should practice divergent thinking because it helps them get comfortable with the idea-generation process. Divergent thinking is an alternative to the traditional way of thinking. It can also help you to be curious about the world around and, as I mentioned, is one component of creativity.
A good example of divergent thinking is the brainstorming process. A student brainstorms to generate many ideas that support a common theme. For example, brainstorming can be used to help with creative writing assignments or to come up with ideas for a project-based learning activity. Although brainstorming can be used as an extension to a class activity or in the classroom, some students might struggle to generate new ideas. While many students might be able brainstorm a few ideas, it is possible for some children to get stuck and not have the ability to generate more ideas. The ability to foster brainstorming will help students improve their detail generation skills and increase their creativity. There are many ways to brainstorm ideas to increase creativity, but this article will concentrate on “Reverse Brainstorming”, which is a particular activity that you can give to students to aid in the idea generation process.