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How do creative and critical thinking interact in the classroom?

As a student of the International Baccalaureate, I have been asked to research this question for an essay. I think it is a fascinating question, particularly with regards to the differences between teaching staff and students: how do they use/consider creative thinking differently?

In my opinion, creativity is not only essential in research and innovation, but it must also be an essential consideration for teaching staff ("didactic" methods?) in order to inspire and draw interest to their subject. I have witnessed particularly a particularly strong drive in Mathematics: a subject which seems rather clinical and concrete at high school level, but remains very abstract in certain studies at university level. Teachers offer websites, word problems and games to tackle the subject away from constant textbook work in a way that apparently stimulates learning.

Meanwhile, students reason their problems both inductively and deductively, but the creative element in method is key to understanding the subject. Critical thinking may be needed to evaluate the purpose of the work, but creativity stimulates the study itself.

What do you think? Do you have any personal experiences/anecdotes to share on the subject?


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  • Nov 5 2011: I think,creativity is such a thing that will not improve till the basics is learnt nicely and critical thinking develops from modifications of things.for instanse for developing the creativity students should be taught in a practical way so that they realises the application of these in real life.addition ,multiply are things that can be taght by making them memorise the table but it wont help the.rather it wud decrese their creativity.wen they are taght practically like one object and other object means two objects and the method we think is addition.
    Again making them to do it practical applications like making them to do cakculations by taking them to market wud help them develop their critical thinking.

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