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Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking Skills
Scott Isaksen's and Donald Treffinger's critical thinking and creative thinking model.
Critical Thinking Skills Models
Benjamin Bloom's Model
Calvin Taylor's Model - Talents Unlimited
• Creative Problem Solving Model - Scott Isaksen and Donald Treffinger
Creating Creativity and Innovation
By Mary Bellis adapted from materials written by the USPTO
Creative Problem Solving Model
The third model developed by Scott Isaksen and Donald Treffinger as described in the book "Creative Problem Solving: The Basic Course (1985) by Isaksen and Treffinger" and published in Buffalo, New York, by Bearly Limited, also describes both critical thinking and creative thinking. Creative thinking is described as making and communicating connections to: think of many possibilities; think and experience in various ways and use different points of view; think of new and unusual possibilities; and guide in generating and selecting alternatives. Critical thinking is described as analyzing and developing possibilities to: compare and contrast many ideas; improve and refine ideas; make effective decisions and judgments; and provide a sound foundation for effective action. These definitions are used in a six-stage, problem-solving process. A brief description of each of the six stages follows:
  1. Mess Finding: Just what's the mess that needs cleaning up, the situation that demands our attention? We have to identify and acknowledge this first before we can proceed.
  2. Data Finding: Once the general mess is defined, the next stage involves "taking stock"--unearthing and collecting information, knowledge, facts, feelings, opinions, and thoughts to sort out and clarify your mess more specifically. What do you know about the situation, and what do you still need to know?
  3. Problem Finding: Now that your data is collected, you need to formulate a "problem statement" that expresses the "heart" of the situation. You must try to put aside the common assumption that you "already know what the problem is" and try to state the problem in such a manner as to invite novel perspectives on it.
  4. Idea Finding: This is the state in which you brainstorm as many ideas or alternatives as possible for dealing with your problem statement. Don't evaluate your ideas at this point, merely list them as an idea pool from which you'll draw in putting together a variety of solutions to your problem.
  5. Solution Finding: Now that you have a number of ideas that can serve as possible solutions to your problem, it's time to evaluate them systematically. To do this you have to generate a variety of criteria and select the most important for your problem. Is it cost? expediency? pleasure? time involvement? etc. In this way, you'll be able to identify and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of possible solutions.
  6. Acceptance Finding: Having decided upon a solution, it's time to formulate a plan of action to implement your solution. Determine what kind of help you'll need, what obstacles or difficulties might get in the way, and what specific short- and long-term steps you are going to take to rid yourself of that original mess!

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