Generating Integration and Complex Understanding: Exploring the Use of Creative Thinking Tools within Interdisciplinary Studies


The following paper examines the links between the interdisciplinary process and the creative process and reviews the potential for the literature on creativity to propose and advance tools for promoting interdisciplinary understanding. By comparing the steps involved in the interdisciplinary model proposed by Newell (2001a) to the steps involved in each of the creativity models proposed by Wallas (1926), Treffinger, Isaksen, & Dorval, (2000), and Rossman (1964) as well as to the definition of creativity proposed by Torrance (1988), this paper aims to uncover clues to the techniques and methods found to be useful in producing synthesis and creative understanding. These tools are not the sparks that arise mysteriously from the mind of genius. On the contrary, they are tools that are known and that may be learned and honed; they include, but may not necessarily be limited to: observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing, dimensional thinking, modeling, playing, transforming, and synthesizing (Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 1999).




Spooner, Marc. "Generating integration and complex understanding: Exploring the use of creative thinking tools within interdisciplinary studies." Issues in Integrative Studies 22 (2004): 85-111.