Often comments are made which set apart creative from critical thinking, rather than encourage students to integrate both types of processing into their learning strategies. The self regulated learner can think both critically and creatively if appropriate goals are set, measured, and outcome is analyzed.
Whole brain thinking is a goal of the common core for the 21st century student to be successful. Critical thinking involves logical thinking and reasoning, while creative thinking involves creating something new and original. When we encourage our students to think critically we develop skills in specific areas of logic such as comparison, classification, sequencing, cause/effect, patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning, hypothesizing, and critiquing. When we encourage our students to think creatively we develop skills of flexibility, originality, fluency, elaboration, brainstorming, modification, imagery, associative thinking, attribute listing, metaphorical thinking, forced relationships. The outcome of thinking critically should be to stimulate curiosity and encourage divergence.
For many years now we have heard the term “literacy integration”, which requires reading, writing, and speaking to be instructed and enhanced across the curriculum. What we need now is to teach “whole brain thinking” to encourage our students to apply both critical and creative thinking strategies to multiple types of assignments. The common core is not focused on just learning the facts, it encourages students to use those facts creatively.