Using Technology to Foster Creative and Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Using Technology to Foster Creative and Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Lisa A. Bloom (Western Carolina University, USA) and Kristy Doss (Western Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6331-0.ch005
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Abstract

Enhancing and nurturing creative and critical thinking skills are important goals for 21st century learning yet high stakes assessment and standardized curriculum leave little room for realizing these goals in 21st century classrooms. Used appropriately, technology help teachers create personalized learning environments and attend to the type of motivation and engagement that nurtures creative and critical thinking skills. This chapter explores conceptions of creativity, draws on theories of motivation to identify optimal conditions for nurturing creativity and suggests technology supported strategies for creating those conditions.
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Background

Creativity, innovation, and critical thinking go hand-in-hand. Nurturing this kind of thinking involves making creative and critical thinking intentional by attending to both the classroom environment and student motivation. By providing a safe environment and purposeful assignments, students can engage in the creative process and use critical thinking skills in order to produce innovative ideas.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intrinsic Motivation: The desire to learn or accomplish a goal based on personal drive, interest, and curiosity.

Innovation: A way of thinking that creates something new or improving upon an idea or product.

Growth Mindset: The belief that performance can be improved through practice, reflection, and effort.

Essential 21st Century Skills: Skills identified for success in the future including critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.

Autonomy: The ability to work independently established by making personal decisions, setting goals, and assessing progress or performance.

Inquiry-Based Learning: Guiding instruction based on student interest with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning.

Perfectionistic Tendencies: A set of high standards for personal performance which can become debilitating when accompanied by excessive critical self-evaluation and concern for others’ approval.

Fixed Mindset: The belief that ability is innate and fixed in nature.

Creativity: Using critical thinking processes to develop novel ideas that are effective, useful, or in some way have value.

Deeper Learning Skills: The skills necessary for current learners to be ready for future employment which include character education, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity and imagination.

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