Creativity helps people lead a happier and more meaningful life. It fosters progress in art, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, commercial product design, advertising, and marketing. Moreover, creativity and innovation form the basis of competitive advantage. Therefore, creativity is a key skill, and a greater focus on its application in various fields is required. Creativity training can be conducted through two methods. The first method involves teaching a single creative thinking technique, focusing on promoting an individual’s ability to generate ideas. For example, Glover (1980) taught students to engage in divergent thinking (of unusual ways to use objects) and then discovered that this training could enhance the participants’ fluency, flexibility, and originality. The second method emphasizes the process of creation, which divides creative thinking into different stages, enhancing students’ ability to think creatively. Previous studies have focused on creative techniques or strategy training. Although these both enhance creativity, studies have no attempted to integrate all the skills and processes required for the effective application of creativity. The present study proposes a new method, the model of creative stage-specific techniques (MCST), in which each stage of creativity training focuses on developing specific creativity skills; those skills are then applied at each stage to enhance their effectiveness. By integrating the creative processes and specific skills within a creative thinking enhancement course, we can move beyond teaching models that narrowly focus on individual creative skills or creative processes. In this study, a new creative teaching course was designed on the basis of the proposed MCST, and teaching experiments that were conducted to empirically examine the effectiveness of the model. This 30-hour course covered the following units: 1. Introduction to the concepts of creativity: All basic behavior should have a goal (Schunk, 1990). Therefore, participants must understand that the goal of this course was to improve their creativity. According to the MCST, when learning how to think creatively, participants must first understand the definition of creativity and discern the characteristics of creative ideas or products. This unit helped define creativity by providing audiovisual examples of creative products and explained the factors that can impede or facilitate creative thinking as well as the real-life benefits of creativity. 2. Introduction to the MCST: To ensure that the participants fully comprehended the concept of creative thinking, they must gain a comprehensive understanding of the MCST. To achieve this, the participants were informed of the stage descriptions, and they developed an understanding of the processes required to generate a creative product and how creative techniques facilitate each stage of the creative thinking process. An understanding of the MCST ensures a systematic understanding of this process. The participants learned the techniques corresponding to each creative thinking stage in the following units. 3. Identifying problems: Most inventions stem from an impasse or problems encountered in daily life. This unit taught methods of identifying such problems, such as interviewing users or experts or gathering information from online searches, personal experience, or observation. 4. Problem construction: Once problems had been identified, the participants chose those in which they were the most interested. Subsequently, they were taught to construct problems from diverse perspectives. Participants were taught to reconstruct problems in this stage from the information gleaned from the preceding stage by using abstract thinking and representational change methods. In this unit, the concepts and methods of abstract thinking and representational change were discussed, and the same creative techniques were subsequently used to reconstruct problems. 5. Idea generation: This stage followed the problem construction stage (construction of multiple problems) and taught participants to use techniques such as forced associations, attribute listing, and morphological analysis to generate ideas. 6. Idea selection: After numerous ideas had been generated, the participants identified and examined the strengths and weaknesses through the listing method. Finally, the ideas with the most strengths and fewest weaknesses were selected for implementation. 7. Implementation: The selected ideas were implemented, and prototypes were produced. 8. Optimization: The prototypes from the previous stage must be improved. Once a prototype had been tested, its strengths and weaknesses were considered using the listing method employed in stage 6. Product weaknesses were identified for future improvement, and product strengths were augmented. In this study, a total of 65 college students were assigned to an MCST or control group to participate in a pretest, the training course, and a posttest. The procedures of were as follows: 1. For the pretest, both the MCST and control groups were assessed with the New Creative Thinking Test, Technological Imagination Disposition Scale, and Creative Mindsets Scale. 2. The MCST group then received the 30-hour MCST course, and the control group received a 30-hour course unrelated to creativity. 3. In the posttest, both groups were reassessed with the same creativity tests. The results were as follows: 1. The MCST group demonstrated a greater level of improvement than the control group in terms of fluency and flexibility on the New Creative Thinking Test; however, the two groups did not differ in originality. 2. The MCST group demonstrated a greater level of improvement than the control group in creative imagination, qualia representation, practical evaluation, positive emotion, and efficacy on the Technological Imagination Disposition Scale; however, the two groups did not differ in their ability to think beyond reality. 3. The MCST group exhibited greater improvement in the creative growth mindset and less of a fixed mindset than the control group did on the Creative Mindsets Scale. These results demonstrated that the creative thinking course based on the MCST was effective. In conclusion, the major contribution of this study is the development of the MCST. This new teaching model integrates creative processes and techniques and can substantially enhance individual creativity. In particular, the MCST is an overall creative thinking enhancement course that can be applied in different fields to promote creative thinking skills.
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