Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) at UMass Boston: Major developments since 2010

Critical thinking and creative thinking are defined or construed in many different ways; there is, moreover, no standard definition of what it means to combine the two pursuits. This has allowed the mission of the Graduate Program in Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) at UMass Boston to grow and develop over nearly forty years in response to the personal interests and professional needs of the students in the Program and in response to the changing make-up and ongoing personal and professional engagements of the faculty. Historical background for the Program as a whole that conveys the flavor of CCT as an evolving entity is given in the Appendices. What follows are the major developments since the last AQUAD [7-year] review to set the scene for the current review.
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What’s missing? Curiosity and a set of supports

A work-in-progress on what it means to foster curiosity in critical thinking, creative thinking, and studies of complex situations.
View these visual aids while listening to this 11.5 minute audio.
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What is “something” for the Critical and Creative Thinking graduate Program?

A 22-minute video on what it is that students have become by the time they graduate from the Critical and Creative Thinking program, how that happens, and ways it contrasts with alternative models. This exposition builds on recent posts about teaching critical thinking and previous posts about studios and a slow mode.

Critical thinking, Creative thinking: An ongoing journey (first project for believing and doubting workshop)

The autobiographical introduction I shared with the participants coming to the Believing and Doubting workshop was “Intersecting Processes: complexity and change in environment, biomedicine and society” Ludus Vitalis XXI (39):319-324, 2013, http://www.ludusvitalis.org/foros/pracprof1.html (pdf).
The written work I shared in April was as described in the following cover note. Read more of this post

Critical thinking, Creative thinking & Gender

A. Consider this schema that I used to discuss the idea of creativity in context:
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It is clearly complex: Many strands, many cross-connections, many things going on in addition to the focal outcome. Read more of this post

A manifesto of creative thinking

A google hangout recording of my presentation on a creative thinking manifesto with an attempt to apply Ben Schwendener’s theme of vertical unity as a basis for improvisation or horizontal changes: audio, visual aids

References
On the Creative Thinking manifesto project: http://cct.wikispaces.com/CEDec13
On the 4Rs: http://wp.me/p1gwfa-og
On Probe-Connect-etc.: http://wp.me/p1gwfa-og
On vertical unity and horizontal changes: http://wp.me/p1gwfa-mz
On the “mandala”: http://www.faculty.umb.edu/pjt/MakingSpace.html

Fruitful, generative, cultivating…Alternatives to the terms creative and creativity

Why am I looking for alternatives to the terms creative and creativity?

  1. Because the history of creative begins with a divine power is what creates, which leads to a divinely given power (e.g., “genius” or “spark”) is involved in being creative (see Keywords by Raymond Williams).  Even if the term is extended to a talent that can be developed, the emphasis is on it being something that a person has, not on the conditions or relationships that support the expression of that talent.
  2. I am exploring with others the idea that “Everyone can think creatively,” which moves the emphasis to how one helps people (oneself included) open up or see alternative paths and how one dispells beliefs that creativity is something that special individuals have.  Even if I used the term creativity to refer to a path-opening conjunction of people (and their component strands), context, tools and processes, and focus on a product, the audience would still hear the other connotations referred to in #1.

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