Moving Towards Professionalism in Developing Inventive Thinking: Reflecting on Difficulties and Possible Mistakes 

Proceedings from the International Conference “Bringing Creativity and Thinking Skills into the Educational Process”, Sep 16, 2012. Riga, Latvia.

Full text of the article can be downloaded here.



The modern world places a strong demand on educating creative learners who are „capable to do”, capable to solve problems and innovate. In this context, I consider teaching for inventive thinking to be one of the best ways how a teacher can meet this demand. However, at a closer look it turns out to be not so straightforwardly easy to implement this kind of teaching and to bridge theory and my beliefs about how we should teach with my everyday practice. Even though, the teacher might have a strong motivation and a certain theoretical preparation, there are difficulties and mistakes waiting at the initial stage of the professional way that one has to be aware of if (s)he wishes to develop his/her expertise in teaching for inventive thinking. The talk is aimed at presenting the colleagues with the experienced difficulties and possible mistakes on introducing the inventive thinking dimension in a secondary school language classroom.


Background information

Being part of the teachers group who take part in the project “Bringing Creativity and Thinking Skills into Educational Process” I became interested in working on the development of thinking skills of learners. Even though the project has been running for two years I started implementing the Thinking Approach a year ago (2011-2012 academic year). This was the time when I moved to Riga and started working in a secondary school as a full-time teacher being responsible for teaching English to 4 groups of 10-11 form students. Thus, my new year started in a new city and a new school, with new students and a new approach which I have never tried before in my teaching practice (even though I have been around it for almost 4 years).
Starting my teaching for inventive thinking I made the decision to work with the 3 Technologies developed within the Thinking Approach, namely, Self-study Technology, Creative Grammar and Text Technology. In other words, I wanted to develop my learners’ inventive thinking skills when working with grammar, text and when doing self-study. In the course of my work I did not proceed working with Texts, thus this part will not be developed in the article. During the year I was writing reflections on the process of my own learning in developing learners’ inventive thinking skills. It allowed analysing my experience and making conclusions on possible difficulties and mistakes a teacher can make when starting introducing the inventive thinking dimension in his /her classroom. The aim of this article is to present 6 problem-situations I identified and to offer possible solutions for avoiding these potential difficulties and mistakes. I believe that when starting their professional development for inventive thinking every teacher is facing similar difficulties, thus, the conclusions drawn can serve as a practical guide of what a teacher should be aware of if s/he decides to follow the path I took. The 6 problem-situations are structured as a discussion of what the theory says should be done if we want to develop learners’ inventive thinking skills (or to be more precise, my mis/conceptions of what theoretically should be done), what I did and which problems I faced as a result and what may be a possible solution to avoid these mistakes/difficulties.


Problem situation 1: Teaching Thinking Explicitly
Problem situation 2: Structuring the Non-Linear Teaching-Learning Process
Problem situation 3: Getting Prepared for Building Solutions in Grammar
Problem situation 4: Avoiding Hunt for Fast-Food Thinking Materials
Problem situation 5: Evaluating Thinking Results

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio