Creative problem solving is essential to technology education. In our research project we explored the suggestion that creativity may need to include a time of ‘non-thinking’ during which innovative responses to problem tasks are generated. The period of non-conscious cognitive process (NCCP) time is considered to be when the brain makes connections between independent ideas and when inappropriate responses can be forgotten, allowing more relevant responses to be made available for problem solving. Our research provided an opportunity for several primary school teachers to focus on enhancing creativity in technology education and to explore the notion of the NCCP time for creative problem solving. In this chapter we review the current literature on enhancing creativity and comment on how the teachers fostered creativity as they implemented a design, make and appraise technological task to produce recycling devices in their classrooms. Classes and children were observed and teachers interviewed about their perception of children’s creativity and the NCCP time. In this study, a time frame of only several days appears to be ideal for non-conscious cognitive processing to occur and more time may hinder creativity. These findings have implications for teachers of technology who assign the same day and time each week for technology learning. During the non-task time, which included the NCCP time, children were able to discuss their ideas with family members. As children learn in social and cultural contexts, these discussions can be fruitful. The teachers indicated that peer discussions also played an important role after the generation of designs.
Field of Research
130105 Primary Education (excl Maori)
Socio Economic Objective
HERDC Research category
BN Other book chapter, or book chapter not attributed to Deakin
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