Ideating and idea building is at the core of creative thinking. Teachers must encourage idea generation, construction and evaluation as a mode of fabricating creativity in the minds of their students. An effective and widely used technique to nurture creativity is brainstorming.
*What is Brainstorming? *
Brainstorming is a group activity (involving either a small or large number of participants) that encourages students to focus on a topic and contribute to the free flow of ideas. It involves students focusing on a single problem or obstacle and generating ideas over a specified period of time about how best to overcome the problem.
What is the process of Brainstorming?
- Divide the students in small groups, and allocate them a quite space a little away from the each group.
- Provide them with required stationary – e.g. whiteboard, or paper and pencil, or chart paper and pens, or a recorder – depending on where you want them to jot down ideas.
Explain the brainstorming guidelines.
No evaluation of ideas generated during the process.
- Quantity of ideas over quality.
- Expand on existing ideas.
- Encourage out-of-the-box thinking, no matter how absurd the idea may sound.
- Record each idea – note in down on paper or record it.
Set a time limit.
Once the idea generation time limit is over, ask the students to evaluate their findings within the group.
- Decipher the best possible outcomes to the problem.
Benefits of Brainstorming
Teachers and students both have found brainstorming to be a highly effective technique. Some advantages stated by them include:
- Focus on one problem at a time thus allowing for proper dedication of time in addressing that problem.
- Is a highly motivating technique, and allows for free flow of ideas in a stimulating environment.
- Provides a large quantity of ideas thus providing a pool of solutions to choose from.
- It helps student incorporate and respect the ideas of their peers.
- Encourages students to take the risk of sharing even the most bizarre and offbeat ideas.
- Gives teachers an insight to a child’s idea generation process, and thinking capabilities.
- Encourages the process of collecting ideas before solving a problem.
- Allow students to share knowledge and expand their thinking capabilities as well as their knowledge banks.