Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking

Michael Michalko who writes The Creativity Post and offers these 12 things you were not taught in school.  Here is the list of aspects of creative thinking you might not have been taught in school and here is Michael’s whole list with specifics.

  1. You are creative.
  2. Creative thinking is work.
  3. You must go through the motions of being creative.
  4. Your brain is not a computer.
  5. There is no one right answer.
  6. Never stop with your first good idea.
  7. Expect the experts to be negative.
  8. Trust your instincts.
  9. There is no such thing as failure.
  10. You do not see things as they are; you see them as you are.
  11. Always approach a problem on its own terms.
  12. Learn to think unconventionally.



11 Responses to Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking

  1. Safaa Mohamed February 7, 2013 at 6:13 am #

    Thanawia Amma system has reduced, if not killed, my creativity. The whole system just encourage memorizing and thinking in THE SAME way the author of the curriculum, the teacher, and the one who will correct my final exam think. Otherwise, I will not get the required grade, which is failure, according to their definition of failure which by time became my definition too. There was no class activities nor team work so my communication and my team work skills got worse and worse. In such a system, the focus is only on the final goal (entering a good college) without any regard to the process students should go through to achieve this goal. This also became my attitude now even while studying in university. collecting grades versus failure!!!!

  2. Mariam Fayek February 7, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    I fully agree with the assumptions put forward by Michael Michalko, as he states thing that weren’t taught in schools to provide students with the right way to think using creativity. Personally, I think that Michalko’s list is very open-minded as it provides hope and encouragement for students to use and expand their creativity on their own terms. Moreover, the school I attended affected my creative skills as it situated me in several positions in which I was supposed to think on my own and come up with original ideas for my work.

  3. Ahmed Alayoutiy February 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Thanwya Amma has literally killed my creativity. for many reasons including the prohibition of “What if” even when doing math problems. If a teacher does a problem in one way you are not encouraged to think of another and saying “What If” in my case was always replied to by “Doesn’t matter”. Teachers always justified such ignorance by claiming that the one checking my paper will only give me a grade if my answer are very similar, if not identical, to the model answers he got from the ministry of education.
    Summarizing the mission of my mind in getting perfect grades bounded my ability to think, in other words, made me afraid of thinking. a year after a year creativity definition became “Finding the shortest way possible to memorize a model answer”. The problem got even bigger when i became not even able of identifying obvious mistakes because I was afraid of questioning. That meant to me that creativity was going down a dead end road.

  4. Youssef Marzouk February 6, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I have missed soo much in my school years, as I was mainly taught the content in the syllabus and nothing else, while I was not taught how to develop an idea except in my art class, which was actually my favorite class, as my art teacher gave us the freedom to be creative as well as he never rejected an idea that a student had even if it was a horrible one, he would still develop it with him until it turns out to be a very decent idea.
    one more thing I did not learn in school is to trust my instincts, what I mean is that if I thought about an idea and someone told me that it’s wrong, then its WRONG, and I would probably never think about it again.

  5. sandra anton February 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    school had affected my creativity negatively because I rarely found a teacher who wanted us to think out of the syllabus they were teaching or wanted us to go beyond what’s written in the book

  6. Dana Elbashbishy February 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    I don’t think that my 12 years of school even touched my ability to be creative because the school was all about studying from textbooks and trying to do my best to meet my parents and my teachers expectations .
    The only creative thing in the school was the art class because I was allowed to express my ideas and my thoughts without being judged or controlled.So I always got straight a’s in it.

    I think that some people don’t know if they are creative or not and exactly here the school’s role should be.It should encourage students to be creative and to always THINK rather than just memorize what is in the textbooks.
    But overall I think that it is never late to be creative.All we need to do is to give our minds some time to think in a different way rather than to adjust it to a routine.

  7. Yasmine Ehsan February 6, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I don’t think school affected my creativity skills alot as they were mainly focusing on teaching us what’s written in textbooks. They rarely encouraged us to be creative or think outside the box, we were always judged when acquiring wrong answers and only a few teachers during my 12 years of school encouraged us to think in a different way or be creative but i do believe that it’s never too late to introduce creativity to your life and watch how your ideas will develop.

  8. Yasmine Lekorchi February 6, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    School somehow affected my creativity positively by allowing me to face restrictions and limitations that developed my creativity and made it wider in a way, to be able to reach a compromise.

  9. Ali Kafafi February 6, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    As regards to the above, I think that they are very good ideas, as they give us a sort of reflection or rough draft of what aspects creativity engulfs. And in the attempt to try and define such a hard term as creativity, these suggestions cover pretty much everything I hold important and believe creativity should be. (There is no one definition)

    Also, I would like to add that during my time at school, I had learned a very important aspect of creativity not listed above. During my school, I had learned that some of the courses I was taking required me to show creativity. As to say, I couldn’t have just memorized something that would have been the end of it. Instead, I had to show some creative thinking to get the job done, because the more I tried to resist, the more I came to realize that I was never going to accomplish anything as fast or efficiently as i would have wanted. Eventually, when I had tried doing so, I found out that it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. On the contrary, it was easy, fast, and fun. Ever since then, I have always believed that creativity is always a better choice. More importantly, I learned that in order to be creative, one must let go of certainties in order to make room for something that may be better. In other words, set your minds and imagination free. So, I would say that my school helped me develop my creative skills by enforcing classes that required creative thinking instead of memorization. (Helped me a lot!)

    Ali Kafafi

  10. Abdel Rahman G. Matar February 6, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Schools have affected my creativity in different ways
    = the general nature of school’s effect on my creativity was negative, as schools depend on memorizing in general and, especially in Thanawya Amma, You should answer typically as the school book answered it if you wanted to get the full mark. There was almost no way to answer in your own way as the grader may not be able to read your different answer while he is stuck between the tens papers he must grade. So, even mathematics became memorizing not understanding.
    = however there was some positive signs, as some educators have encouraged me to think differently


  1. 12 things they didn’t teach you at school about creativity | 'Where's the box? Creative thinking and problem solving" - September 12, 2013

    […]… Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like Loading… This entry was posted in Uncategorized by hodamostafa. Bookmark the permalink. […]

Leave a Reply