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Conceptual model of critical and creative thinking processes.meet the challenges of 21st century thinking, learning, and doing?They state: …strong skills in English, mathematics, technology, and science, as well as literature, history, and the arts will be essential for many; beyond this, candidates will have to be comfortable with ideas and abstractions, good at both analysis and synthesis, creative and innovative, self-disciplined and well organized, able to learn very quickly and work well as a member of a team and have the flexibility to adapt quickly to frequent changes in the labor markets as the shifts in the economy become ever faster and more dramatic. xxiv-xxv) Thus, the challenge among schools is to develop within students the ability to engage as 21st century thinkers.
Future work will involve developing instructional materials and training teachers in critical and creative thinking skills for use in their classrooms.
If we think about a major goal of schooling as preparation for the world of work, “we need to be concerned about whether schooling requires and develops creative thinking, because for [students] to stay competitive in most jobs, it is and will be necessary for them to come up with their own ideas” (Sternberg & Spear-Swerling, 1996, p. However, in their study of student abilities, Sternberg and Spear-Swerling concluded that while the students were “excellent at remembering and analyzing other people’s ideas, [they were] not very good at coming up with ideas of their own” (p. In a recent report on skills of the American workforce, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) stressed the importance of students gaining skills beyond mere content knowledge.
To reach these goals, we began with an extensive review of over 200 research articles and books written on critical thinking and creativity.
As we reviewed the literature, we found that critical thinking and creativity were often defined and explained as complicated or vague concepts.
As such, the National Educational Technology Standards for Students emphasize (1) creativity and innovation; (2) communication and collaboration; (3) research and information fluency; (4) critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making; (5) digital citizenship; and (6) technology operations and concepts (ISTE, 2003a, inset).
These standards are quite different than those established in 1998, which had an emphasis on (1) basic operations and concepts; (2) social, ethical, and human issues; (3) technology productivity tools; (4) technology communication tools; (5) technology research tools; and (6) technology problem-solving and decision-making tools (ISTE, 2003b, paragraph 1).As the thinker works to generate and refine knowledge, it is vital that he or she remains in control of both behavior and commitment to a task.The component of the critical and creative thinking process ensures that the thinker remains active in the thinking and learning process, while monitoring progress toward identified goals.Whereas creativity is often defined as the generation of numerous original ideas, we recognize that creative thought involves the selection of appropriate ideas to move forward.Further, critical thinking is often thought of as the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of ideas; however, critical thinking also involves the generation of ideas (Marzano , 1988).For example, we understood that to be creative, one must be clever; but what does it mean to be clever, and how can you teach someone to be clever?If we simply listed clever as a characteristic of a critical and creative thinker, what could an educator do with that information?With public educators as our focus, we felt strongly that we needed to represent each of these components as teachable skills.Thus, we developed a list of supporting skills and objectives that can be incorporated into any lesson plan or curriculum.A critical component that encompasses all other processes is the exhibition of appropriate Sometimes referred to as learner characteristics, the essential attitudes and dispositions of motivation, flexibility, and confidence have been shown to be necessary for the development of and continuous involvement in critical and creative thinking (Black, 2005; Marzano, 1993; Raths, Wassermann, Jonas, & Rothstein, 1986).Each of the essential components as well as the accompanying instructional guidelines, is elaborated on below.