Teaching Applied Creative Thinking
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Teaching Applied Creative Thinking

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Charlie Sweet, Rusty Carpenter, Hal Blythe & Shawn Apostel



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The authors of Teaching Applied Creative Thinking: A New Pedagogy for the 21st Century believe this book to be the first in the field about teaching creative thinking in the new millennium. While many books talk about creativity and provide the justification for adding creative thinking as a student learning outcome, this book focuses on applying creativity to the teaching and learning process. The authors ask, “does anyone truly believe the world’s problems are going to be solved by students with only a high proficiency in common core competencies?”


With student learning outcomes as a goal, we must rethink teaching and learning to include creativity. Posed for the 21st-Century learner, their new paradigm, Mentor-from-the-Middle, replicates scholarly inquiry by developing a scholarly frame of mind. The teacher assumes new roles in this paradigm of scholar, mentor, facilitator, coach, model, and critical reflector. These roles in turn combine to help transform the learner into an active creative thinker.



"The authors’ goals in writing this book are to fill a void, to transform teaching, to create a new model, and to develop a new approach to teaching and learning. In the old world, before the coming of Google, the transfer of knowledge was the work of the teacher; now knowledge is available at the tip of our fingers. But the Google cannot solve the world’s problems. We will always need great teachers to transform and synthesize knowledge into skills, to teach creative thinking, to apply learning, and to create a love for learning that lasts a lifetime. The authors discuss new brain research, advanced technologies, the teaching environment, and pedagogy. They synthesize this knowledge in a wonderful way to encourage the reader to think deeply about how this research might affect the teacher and the learner.


"I recommend this book to you in superlatives because it gives hope for education to transform into a new common core centered on creativity."


Dr. William Phillips, Dean, College of Education, Eastern Kentucky University




Foreword: Dr. William Phillips, Dean of the College of Education, EKU


Introduction: Optimizing Student Learning

I. Why a Pedagogy of Creativity Studies, Why Now?

II. The Role of Authority in Teaching-Learning Paradigms

III. The Meddler-in-the-Middle Pedagogy

IV. The Role of Authority in the Meddler-in-the-Middle Theory

V. The Learning Environment for Optimal Creative Thinking

VI. The Techtonic Shift in the Role of Technology: This Shift Changes Everything!

VII. Blinded by Science . . . Not

VIII. Starting to Build a New Pedagogy

IX. Moving from Meddling to Mentoring-from-the-Middle: A New Paradigm

X. What the Mentor Teaches

XI. Where the Mentor Teaches

XII. Teaching Perception Shift

XIII. Teaching Piggybacking

XIV. Teaching Brainstorming

XV. Teaching Glimmer-Catching

XVI. Teaching Collaborating

XVII Teaching Going with the Flow

XVIII. Teaching Playing

XIX. Teaching Pattern Recognition

XX. Teaching Metaphor Usage

XXI. A Typical Opening Day Using the New Pedagogy

XXII. Crossword Puzzles: A Universal Tool for Teaching Creative Thinking

XXIII. How Video Games Can Inform Teaching

XXIV. The Creative Campus

XXV. A Proposal for Professional Development


Appendix I



2013 [ISBN: 1-58107-239-2; 280 pages; 8 1/2 x 11 inches; soft cover]