Within the framework of a general model of information processing, creative thinking can be thought of as a central part of cognitive processing. Rather than being the talent of a gifted few, creative thinking is an attribute of everyone's cognitive processing. The authors define that attribute as a search for patterns, perspectives, and relationships between a stimulus and what an individual already knows. The educational implication is that creative thinking is a natural ability, which can be fostered by instructional experiences. Inventing provides an appropriate experience for fostering creative problemsolving ability because of its concrete, manipulative nature. Especially when combined with the science curriculum, opportunities exist for merging academic content with meaningful creative-thinking activity.
The Inventive Mind in Science: Creative ThinkingActivities is organized into three parts. Part I emphasizes the theoretical background of the creative thinking concept. We discuss the relationship between creative thinking, problem solving, science, and technology. Part II focuses on three levels of inventing, with each focusing on different educational objectives. Part III discusses the integration of science-based inventing activities with other subject areas. Chapter Seven examines the stepwise development of technology in terms of a Janus perspective. Chapter Nine refers to the patenting process, including its social context, and how to set up a classroom version of that process.
We have several target audiences for this book. The emphasis on creative thinking and its classroom application is appropriate for staff development programs. The application to the science curriculum makes the book valuable to elementary and middle school teachers of science. Since the book is not dependent on a particular curriculum, it would also fit very well with the experiences that programs for the gifted and talented seek to provide. The range of inventing activities and extension activities makes these materials suitable for teachers who wish to integrate the various subject areas under a common theme. And finally, the theoretical background and activities designed along a constructivist philosophy make this book a valuable resource for preservice teacher education programs.