Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seven Characteristics of Creative Thinking

My supervising teacher--let's call her Ms. J.--has "Seven Characteristics of Creative Thinking" posted in her art room. Here they are:

1. Receptivity - Be open to new ideas; welcome new experiences.
2. Attentiveness - Every experience is potentially valuable.
3. Conviction - Tenaciously pursue an independent path.
4. Curiosity - Research unusual topics; analyze unfamiliar systems.
5. Wide Range of Interests - With more components, the number of combinations increase.
6. Seeking Connections - See the similarity between disparate parts.
7. Complexity - Combine the irrational with the intuitive.

I love these principles! They are particularly interesting to me considering my high school studio art experience, which was primarily structured in two straightforward parts: 1. Here is a new medium or artistic idea. Look at this example. 2. Do it yourself. The supplies are on the table!

(Of course, I don't necessarily mean to condemn this approach to studio instruction. For an independent and creative student, this approach is actually often wonderful; it allows for maximum experimentation and very personal results. And for me, as a younger student, too much teacher intervention always felt somehow intrusive. For me art has been too personally driven to welcome a teacher with rigid expectations.)

But Ms. J. seems to want to use these principles to guide students without restricting them. And I think that posting the principles in her room exhibits a remarkable sense of understanding of the average high school student; many high schoolers limit themselves. They enter situations with firm ideas in mind though they often know so little about the wider world and the history of art in particular. These Seven Characteristics encourage students to be cognizant of ideas and art as of yet left unexplored and ask them to incorporate many varied approaches to their creative processes.

1 comment:

  1. These characteristics are awesome. I use them when I teach Design Fundamentals at the college level. The idea is to be able to develop a higher state of creative thinking, and these principles help attain that state. In my humble opinion, Ms. J. is right on in using these principles.