Creative And Critical Thinking

No matter how ‘creative’ a solution may be, in order to work, they must be both logical and feasible; and so, creative thinking-based problem-solving must be used with caution. Again, if we genuinely care about the outcome of our decision-making process, thinking is necessary. Facilitating a student-educator conceptual model of dispositions towards critical thinking through interactive management.

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However, if the goal is to decide what to do or what to believe; and if a person genuinely cares about the outcome of a decision-making or problem-solving process, then they need to activate reasonable and logical thinking — critical thinking. Revista Interamericana de Psicología/Interamerican Journal of Psychology, 39, 2, 189-202.

When we aim to solve problems, it is necessary to ask ourselves whether the solution is logical and feasible.

Lateral thinking, a "popular" form of creative thinking, has gained notoriety in the past few decades, based on the work of Edward De Bono (1967).

In contrast to critical thinking, lateral thinking is more concerned with the migration of thinking from what is known across the spectrum of possibilities rather than reflective inference of reasonable solutions or conclusions (Dwyer, 2017).

This is not to say that creative thinking is a bad thing, but rather, it should be used alongside critical thinking and with caution.

Just because a solution is creative does not mean it is feasible. I then put forward that one solution would be to "nuke’" Syria. Of course, the reactions generally range from sarcastic snickering to bewilderment and disgust. The problem with this perspective is that the credibility, relevance or logical strength of these creations is not accounted for and, if it were really a case of not having the pieces necessary to play, then recognizing their limits and uncertainty in response to such real-world situations (i.e. reflective judgment) would yield better results than relying on creativity alone. Critical thinking: Conceptual perspectives and practical guidelines. That is, lateral thinking involves the provocation and generation of ideas, as well as the selection of an idea as a means of breeding and applying new associated ideas (De Bono, 1985). However, applying inference and reflective judgment, inherent in critical thinking, is more likely to yield a logical and feasible solution; and is thus a better approach to making a decision than that of lateral, creative thinking. According to De Bono, lateral thinking is engaged because of previously failed attempts at solving problems; and thus, ‘digging the hole deeper’, which is an important facet of critical thinking, may not work. For example, according to De Bono’s comparison of real-world problem-solving to a game of chess, ‘pieces’ are not given to us, but instead created through lateral thinking. By examining both thoroughly, we can see their strengths as processes, and indeed how one can enhance the other. When a person thinks, they may have a goal in mind; other times, they might let their imaginations run wild; for example, coming up with stories or jokes. If it isn’t, then it’s reasonable to go back to the drawing board until the solution meets these criteria. However, such assessment may not be possible in some cases; perhaps crucial, relevant knowledge (which may be needed to assess such logic and feasibility) may not be readily available for solving the problem and, thus, a collation of insight and the ability to think outside the box may be an attractive alternative.

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