Building creative thinking in the classroom: From research to practice

Emma Gregory, Mariale Hardiman, Julia Yarmolinskaya, Luke Rinne, Charles Limb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Classroom instruction often overlooks the importance of encouraging and explicitly teaching students to think creatively. Yet classroom learning offers an ideal opportunity for students to master content knowledge and to creatively apply that knowledge, a skill important for success in any environment. Here we review literatures on creativity, focusing on findings that clearly inform how it can be taught. We argue that some changes in the ability to think creatively arise due to factors that are directly manipulable in the classroom whereas other changes stem from increases in capacities of cognitive function. We propose simple guidelines, based on theories and research on creativity, for how teachers can build students' ability to think creatively and apply content knowledge in creative ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
StatePublished - Aug 7 2013


  • Creativity
  • Instructional practices
  • Problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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