OLA SUPER CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Creative thinking: A 21st Century Success Skill


This is one of the best , thought-provoking sessions I attended. The speaker, Gerard Puccio, a professor from Buffalo University, gave a brief description of what he means by creative thinking, how it is more and more important in the knowledge economy and how schools are not preparing their students for this world.

I was most intrigued by his discussion of “deliberate creativity.” He talks about the different steps in the creative process: how it has to begin with divergent thinking- brainstorming, etc. Then must move on to convergent thinking, developing the idea, pruning it. Editing it. He talked about how where most people go wrong is by crossing the two- going all convergent (“that could never work” etc.) when you are in the divergent phase. This resonated with me as a writer as I have learned over the years that sometimes you have to practice ignoring the constant editor in your head and just get the ideas down, typos and crappiness and all.

Here is a Ted Talk by Gerard Puccio on Creative Thinking:

Here are his 4 phases of deliberate creativity:

  1. Clarify: Identifying the challenge.
  2. Ideate: Generating ideas.
  3. Develop: bringing ideas to life.
  4. Implement: Give ideas legs.

HIs divergent guidelines:

  • defer judgment
  • Go for quantity (eg. hemingway always wrote down 100 titles at leats before choosing which one he wanted to use.)
  • Make connections
  • Seek novelty

His convergent guidelines:

  • Use affirmative judgment
  • Consider novelty
    (don’t dismiss things out of hand)
  • Check your objectives
  • Be deliberate

He also gave a very useful guideline to thoughtful feedback. It is called the POINT system:

Plusses: strengths, good points, etc.

Opportunities: What if thinking

Issues: Weaknesses, trouble spots, minuses (phrased in “how to” How might”, etc.)

Overcome issues through New Thinking:

  • prioritize concerns
  • generate ideas to overcome Main concerns.

Relevance: Extremely relevant to all aspects of school life.

Curriculum connections: Cross-curricular

Additional resources:

Powerpoint presentation

International Center for Studies in Creativity (you can get a degree in this!)

 Gerard Puccio’s books

1 thought on “OLA SUPER CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Creative thinking: A 21st Century Success Skill

  1. Pingback: Why Creativity in the Classroom Matters More Than Ever | Edudemic | ipadyoupad

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