"Creativity -- nothing more than
following a systematic process, Oh, by the way,
allowing random connections to take place, and
using your intuition to develop unique solutions.
it's much easier and much more fun
when you work with others throughout the process." - Doug
"Creativity -- nothing more than
following a systematic process,
Oh, by the way,
Background Information: Synectics (Gordon, 1961) provides an approach to creative thinking that depends on looking at, what appears on the surface as, unrelated phenomenon and drawing relevant connections. Its main tools, analogies or metaphors. The approach, often used in groupwork, can help students develop creative responses to problem solving, to retain new information, to assist in generating writing, and to explore social and disciplinary problems. It helps users break existing minds sets and internalize abstract concepts. Synectics works well with all ages as well as those who withdraw from traditional methods (Couch, 1993).
Process: Teacher-facilitators use synectics in the classroom
by leading students through a process which results in a three
dimensional view of the "problem" in order to create solutions.
Although this process appears a bit cumbersome, the resultant scope
and depth of your options will justify the time spent.
Remember, tools, when used for the right types of jobs hold great value; synectics does not work for every job.
To ensure a fresh view generate each of the
following lists separately, put the current list away, and start
the next list after a break of at least five to ten minutes. If
time permits longer breaks yield more beneficial results.
When using synectics to define a person, appropriate for self evaluation, focus your questions on the areas of physical attributes, skills, interests, personality traits, attitudes, and emotional states.
I have used this process many times and I'm always amazed at the connections.
I've created word lists for two different topics, "being part of it" and tolerance. I use the appropriate list of words to elicit multimedia pieces. I allow students to work independently or in a group with no more than three, unless you feel the people can work together...? In a group of three, I have the expectation of "multi"media, e.g. music, visual art, writing, theatre, etc. But, then again, maybe you have a swing band, dance or circus troupe, or a large choir. Limits are good, but don't let them stifle your imagination.
Feel free to give this a try, but be warned, students will whine and complain at the beginning. Keep encouraging them to use the process. It works. With younger students try going through the process with only one word, concept, or theme, and of course you may want to create your own word list.
Put each word on a small piece of paper and then let the students randomly select one to three words. I put the whole list into a three column Word document, leaving about a half inch in between, then cut them out and put them in a baggy. Have fun.
"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." - J F Kennedy
"Be part of it" word list | Top
Tolerance word list | Top
Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center Online - http://motlc.wiesenthal.com/ - Provides a comprehensive resource on the Holocaust and WWII, virtual exhibits, a teacher's resource center, special collections from the Institute of Documentation in Israel, and more.
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - Teaching Tolerance - http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-index.html - A national education project dedicated to helping teachers foster equity, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond.
Trigger Questions - http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Ecaveman/Creative/Techniques/syn_quest.htm - Take creative action by using the Trigger Questions to transform your ideas and information into something new. These questions are tools for transformational thinking and may lead you to some great discoveries.
Teachers - Make sure you check out the Assignments section which provides exercises, projects, support resources, and rubrics.
Historical and Cultural Context - provides an overview of art movements and the context in which they developed. We have not covered every movement or period, rather selected snippets to help provide students with an opportunity to explore the elements that have influenced other artists in their quest for expressing personal voice. As with all of our work, this site remains a work in progress.
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Melissa and I would like to
Kipperman, D., & Linder, D. (1995). CerebralFlatulence. In EdTec 670 Cardboard Cognition. Available: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec670/Cardboard/card/c/CerebralFlat.html
Couch, Richard (1993). Synectics and Imagery: Developing Creative Thinking Through Images. In: Art, Science & Visual Literacy: Selected Readings from the Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (24th, Pittsburgh, PA. September 30 - October 4, 1992). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 363 330)
Gordon, W.J.J. (1961). Synectics. New York: Harper & Row.