Where Good Ideas Come From — Shirley Hall

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For a while now I have been digging into the literature to find resources related to creativity and innovation. There appears to be a somewhat old-fashioned belief or assumption that states there are people who are creative and there are people who are not creative and that creativity is a result of natural talent. However, Edward De Bono and his staff state that formal skills of lateral thinking can be taught, learned, and practiced in as deliberate a manner as we learn and use mathematics.

As someone engaged in education, I trust I am not alone in my interest in teaching creativity and bringing creative energy into the classroom.  Experience has taught me the capacity to be creative, think laterally, and make creative connections is in all of us. One of the many reasons I love what I do is because I get to see the creative process at work whenever groups gather and discuss ideas.

While I enjoy working in groups face to face, I am also interested in how new technologies might support and/or enhance teaching and learning activities, and recently I came across a YouTube video by Steven Johnson that effectively describes the value of the internet in helping us to make creative connections. I hope you will take the next 4 minutes and 7 seconds to watch the video to the left. It is informative and fun.

For further reading, some journals on creativity:

  • The Journal of Creative Behavior
  • Creativity and Innovation Management
  • Creativity Research Journal

De Bono, E. (1970). Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step. New York: Harper & Row.

Published by

Mark Morton

As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare.

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