Building Divergent Thinking

I have just finished watching Ken Robinson: Changing education paradigms. It is really worth the 12 minutes to watch and it will keep me thinking for hours. One of the most interesting pieces to me was a longitudinal study about divergent thinking and that as people become more “educated” they become less divergent thinkers as they are taught that there is only one correct answer. This is something that I have been working on in my class with open ended math problems and parallel tasks based on the work of Marian Small. I would like to put together a list of strategies to build divergent thinking in all subject areas. As Ken Robinson mentioned ‘divergent thinking is a capacity for creativity’ and I feel strongly that for my students to be successful in the 21st Century they are going to need to be creative to be successful.

Strategies to Build Divergent Thinking 

1. Use Open Ended Problems and utilize performance based assessment problems in multiple subject areas
2. Brainstorming – provide students time and teach strategies for brainstorming
3. All Ideas are Valid  

– please leave comments with more ideas!


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