Basics of Creative Problem Solving


What is Creative Problem Solving?

Creative Problem Solving is a process of breaking down a problem, generating multiple solutions, and evaluating ideas for the most effective result. The process was first formalized by Alex Osborne and Sidney Parnes in the 1950s. It has been taught in a variety of programs since that time to encourage critical and creative solution finding.

Mind Missions lessons incorporate a creative problem-solving challenge in every lesson. The challenge may be the construction of a bridge or the development of a public service announcement. Mind Missions challenges are as varied as the historical and geographical problems examined in our lessons.

Why Creative Problem Solving?

Students need creative problem-solving to prepare for the 21stcentury. Adobe recently surveyed 2,000 educators and policymakers from around the world. Three quarters of respondents predicted that careers which require creative problem solving skills are less likely to be adversely impacted by automation and machine learning. Students need to be taught these critical skills in school to be competitive in a changing world workforce

What skills are taught through Creative Problem Solving?

Creative problem-solving opportunities encourage students to develop critical thinking strategies and learn design processes. Students learn to carefully evaluate the challenge, brainstorm possible answers, create innovative solutions, and test for redesign. The use of these methods improves problem-solving skills for a lifetime.

Mind Missions creative problem solving lessons also emphasize effective communication and teamwork habits to empower students to work effectively and collaboratively. In each team, students have the opportunity to apply their unique gifts and talents cooperatively and respectfully. They build relationships as they recognize and validate individual strengths. They learn to place team needs ahead of individual accomplishment.

Finally, lessons incorporating creative problem solving encourage creativity in the classroom. In a world of standardized tests asking for a single, correct answer, Mind Missions lessons encourage students to solve open-ended challenges in unique ways. When they experience design flaws, they learn to persevere and redesign for future success.

In all of these ways, creative problem solving lessons promote critical skills for the future. Critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity- skills that are uniquely human and are the skills of the future workforce.

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