User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

Intentional Creativity

with 5 comments

Torrence, whose focus was on creativity, developed the Torrence Incubation Model of Creative Thinking (TIM) model.

As emphasized in this video, embedding creativity into the curriculum can and should be a strong component of content area teaching and learning. In other words, educators don’t need to plan to teach creativity as another part of curriculum.  Creativity is often an integral part of the practices of professionals including scientists, mathematicians, business people, artists, writers, and is an important part of their content area expertise. It follow, then, that learners should be taught in ways that help them think like a scientist . . . like an artist . . .  like a writer . . .  like a business person.

E. Paul Torrance, perhaps one of the most prominent scholars of creativity, conducted a variety of studies exploring the teaching and learning of creativity. His studies identified specific skills associated with creativity, and demonstrated success in the teaching of creativity through the Torrance Incubation Model of Creative Teaching and Learning. The Torrance Incubation Model of Creative Teaching and Learning can be applied to a lesson, unit or project. The application of TIM and the identification of a specific creativity skill is an effective way to teach creativity, without impacting the teaching of core objectives or curriculum content. TIM, has three stages: Stage One, Heighten Anticipation, is designed to adequately and mentally prepare the student (or students) for the project ahead. Torrance describes this as a ʻWarming Up Periodʼ with the following six functions, (1) Create the Desire to Know, (2) Heighten Anticipation and Expectation, (3) Get Attention, (4) Arouse Curiosity, (5) Tickle the Imagination, and (6) Give Purpose and Motivation. (Torrance Incubation Model of Creative Teaching and Learning (TIM))

Specific active methods for heightening anticipation include:

The benefits of educators being intentional with heightening anticipation include:

  • Increased engagement in and motivation for the learning activities.
  • Increased interest in content area learning; possibly stimulating new learner passions.
  • Deeper learning.
  • More generalizable skills related to creativity.

So just with a little planning, the educator can set up conditions that can significantly motivate learners and create an energized learning environment climate.



Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

August 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Torrance is one of my educational heroes and the founder of my favorite academic competition of all time- Future Problem Solving (FPS). FPS isn’t math – it is an international team problem solving competition following a very specific set of steps involving research, logic, and written and spoken language to address big complex global problems that are likely to exist 25 or more years from now. It is the best program that exists in the world for developing collaboration, research, critical thinking, writing evidence-based arguments, on-demand writing in general, creativity, and performance skills. I am always surprised more US districts don’t know anything about it.

    Mary Beth Cunat

    August 21, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    • Too bad more don’t know about his work – I teach gifted kids and we use his creativity test to help identify gifted kids. I am surprised I don’t know about FPS – but I do now – thanks!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      August 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm

  2. Great post, Jackie. Thanks. And the infographic is really useful.

    Norah Colvin

    August 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    • thank you, Norah!

      Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

      August 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm

  3. I have been really focus on creativity for education since last year. I was in a workshop hosted by Cyndi Barnett who is a faculty member at Buffalo State University in the International Center for Studies in Creativity. She ran a great workshop on the 16 characteristics of creativity and had us apply them to learning activities. Some of the characteristics are, get a glimpse of the future, be aware of emotions, playful, break through and extend boundaries. Buffalo State has been studying creativity for 70 years. Amazing!!

    ian august

    August 31, 2017 at 1:36 pm

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