Connecting Critical and Creative Thinking

Though there seems to be no lack of models for the Critical Thinking process, I think there are some disconnects when it comes to understanding the similarities between  Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking.

One of the models for promoting Critical Thinking is the Socratic Method. The Socratic method was named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates and is a form of inquiry and discussion based on asking and answering questions to stimulate thinking and to illuminate ideas. I believe the overall purpose of Socratic questioning, is to challenge accuracy and completeness of thinking in a way that moves students towards their ultimate goal.

Can you see how creative endeavours use this process? Art is a complex and misunderstood discipline loaded with cognitive biases of all kinds. It is one of the few disciplines that encourage and rewards divergent not convergent thinking and the questions artists ask themselves must be critical in nature. Ideas and process must be challenged to get from this:


to this:Male Nude known as Patroclus

to this:


or this: images (1)


In Naomi’s discussion of Creative Thinking she referenced Grant Wiggins blog “On assessing for creativity.” In this blog the highest assessment marks are given to the student’s work that shows: “Important ideas/feelings are illuminated or highlighted in sophisticated ways. The creation shows great imagination, insight, style, and daring.”

If creative thinking is ever to be given it’s due, the overarching similarities must be acknowledged. defines critical thinking as: “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”









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