Teaching Creativity: New Training Method Shows Promise. Can Everyone Be Trained To Be Creative?
Did you know that everyone has the potential to be creative? Researchers have developed an innovative method for training people to tap into their creative abilities, and it’s proving to be more successful than conventional approaches to teaching creativity. Based on narrative theory, this new method encourages creativity by engaging individuals in storytelling, imagining alternative worlds, shifting perspectives, and generating unexpected actions.
Divergent Thinking and Narrative Method
The traditional approach to creativity training, known as divergent thinking, has been around since the 1950s. It treats the brain as a logical machine and focuses on exercises that expand working memory, foster analogical thinking, and promote problem-solving. However, it has fallen short of delivering the desired results. Divergent thinking relies on past data and information, making it insufficient for preparing individuals to face new and unfamiliar challenges.
In contrast, the narrative method of creativity training harnesses the power of the human brain’s narrative machinery. It borrows techniques from storytelling, such as developing new worlds and shifting perspectives. For example, employees may be asked to imagine a world where all their customers are unusual and consider how it would impact their business. The goal is not to predict the future accurately but to open oneself up to radically different possibilities, enabling faster and more adaptable responses to changes.
Interestingly, this narrative approach aligns with how young children exhibit creativity. Research shows that young children are more imaginatively creative than adults. However, as children progress through school, their creative abilities decline due to the intensive focus on logical, semantic, and memory training. The narrative method of creativity training can help individuals unlock their dormant creativity and rekindle their imaginative thinking.
Organizations that prioritize creativity training no longer need to solely seek out “creative people” during the hiring process. Instead, they can cultivate a diverse workforce and train employees to be creative. This approach fosters a culture that recognizes the untapped creative potential within the organization.
While the narrative method of creativity training has already received positive feedback, researchers are conducting more formal evaluations. They are conducting randomized controlled trials with over 600 U.S. Army majors from the Command and General Staff College to further validate the effectiveness of the curriculum. Additionally, they continue to collaborate with organizations like the Worthington Local School District in Ohio.
Teaching creativity is incredibly valuable as it empowers individuals to come up with innovative solutions to problems. This new method of training creativity, developed by Ohio State University’s Project Narrative, exemplifies the power of creative thinking and storytelling. It highlights the importance of recognizing and nurturing creativity in individuals, regardless of their background or previous training.
Unlock your creative potential and embrace the power of storytelling. With the narrative approach to creativity training, you can become a catalyst for new ideas and solutions. Remember, anyone can be creative when given the right tools and techniques.
Source: Ohio State University.