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Does creative thinking necessarily have to be constructive? Can we unpack the creative thinking process? Can we 'teach' creative thinking?

How do we separate constructive, practical creative solutions to problems from random brainstorming? In a collaborative problem solving arenas, should ideas be filtered before they are expressed? Do radical and not necessarily informed ideas have a role to play in problem solving creatively? What role do the two categories of creativity play in collaborative environments but then also in our own individual problem solving tasks?

If we can deconstruct the creative thinking process and categorise more random creative thoughts from more informed ones, is it possible then to 'teach' the creative thinking process at school level?

In summary, I would like to discuss the entent to which the creative thinking process could be categorised particularly into more constructive ideas and more random ideas. If it is possible to do so and to study the development of creative thinking processes in collaborative and individual circumstances, then would it be of value to teach this to children at some point as part of their schooling experience?

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    Feb 15 2012: There is such a wealth of research on all these questions! The New Yorker had an article just this last month about brainstorming, about the conditions for more and less productive "groupthink." There is an agreed upon articulation of the components of the creative process, including preparation, incubation, and down the line evaluation and broadly separated into the "deliberate" and the "spontaneous" pathways. There are categorizations of idea generation into areas like associative thinking, Janusian thinking... and a giant literature on exercises and strategies for enhancing creativity in people of all ages. The latter literature incliudes how to create beneficial childhood environments and how to foster intrinsic motivation and to use extrinsic motivation judiciously.
    You have a wonderful search ahead of you!.