Creative Thinking: The Generation of New and Occasionally Useful Ideas


  • Mary A. Sadowski Purdue University
  • Patrick E. Connolly Purdue University


Most of us admire the trait of creativity and many of us wish that we had more of this somewhat intangible trait.  We encourage our students to be creative or tell them that they are not being creative enough, but how many of us actually foster the growth of creativity?  Engineering and technology students often do not think of themselves as creative even though their occupations will require them to use a wide variety of problem solving skills in many different situations.  If we accept that being creative is the means to produce and express new, novel and occasionally useful ideas then we should be able to apply this to our students.  A creative thinker should be better equipped to find and define problems and implement the resulting solutions.  There are almost as many theories about creative thinking as there are authors writing about the subject.  This paper will examine some of the theories about creative thinking, the process, and some of the aspects of teaching and learning creativity.




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