Creative thinking skills is one of the most difficult to acquire and students truly understand the importance of having it in many instances of their academic life. It is only when a private tutor assigns a homework or when the school assigns a project that students understand the importance of creative thinking. Tuition assignments and school projects often times requires students to think outside of the box; to take a step forward into an unknown territory, so to speak.
So, let’s take a look at some ways that students can develop creative thinking skills by themselves!
An Open Mind
One of the most important mindsets that one has to have, is to acknowledge that he or she has yet to learn many things in life. Ego and arrogance narrow one’s thoughts and an individual’s mind will be incapacitated by such negative attitude. Keeping an open mind will enable us to be ready to learn anything from anyone. When we decide to close some doors on ourselves, we deprive ourselves of a whole lot of opportunities.
There is a beautiful saying in the Chinese language which goes something like, “Learning without thinking would result in wasted work; thinking without learning is absolutely dangerous” (学而不思则罔，思而不学则殆). Keeping an open mind and actively thinking through everything that is being taught and learnt will enable creativity to blossom.
Reading is one of the biggest keys to success for many individuals who are idolised and looked up upon in awe. The giants in every field are well-read and they believe in continuously educating themselves. The acquirement of knowledge does not stop at school; it continues throughout one’s life time.
“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity”
Knowledge is one that can even save a pauper from the depths of poverty should the right time and opportunity arrive. Knowledge is also capable enabling one to earn respect and a good impression wherever they traverse around the globe. Knowledge, eventually leads to creativity when the mind is moulded to various forms. The mind, once stretched, can never recoil back to its original form.
Travelling widens one’s horizon in ways unimaginable. Children think of travelling as their holiday or vacation but they do not realise that there are many things they can actively learn from their experiences. Parents and tutors need to teach students to consciously attempt to extract learning points with every travel experience.
The greater the exposure, the better that children can empathise with others and also be able to realise that there is a larger world outside of their own protective bubble. This is especially important for aspiring writers who need creative thinking skills to expand their thinking to various dimensions.
Travelling may seem like an expensive option for many and this is a reasonable concern. Students can save up to travel or at the very least, they should take part in overseas values-in-action programmes arranged by their schools.
The more we talk to people in the places we go to, the more we get to learn about things that we cannot experience first-hand. Discourse has always been encouraged and appreciated since the beginning when civilisations had arised. Sharing knowledge and helping each other out enables integration of the various fields to work towards development as a whole.
Each of us will be skilled and have an expertise in a particular field based on what we are innately good at, what we are inclined towards, and based on our exposure and experiences. When there is a healthy discourse with an exchange of knowledge, it enables us to think out of the box in our own area of expertise.
Conversations would breed inspiration and creativity. With the development of creative thinking skills new inventions can be made and new school of thoughts would also arise. This is why schools should arrange for seminars and workshops to enable students to express the creative side of themselves!