The Creative Process

Wallas Model vs. Osborn-Parnes Model

What is a creative process?

Creativity is coming up with an original idea that is meaningful to you or your purpose.

The creative process is the path you take as you come up with the idea from first thinking about it to sharing it with others.


Big image

The "Classic" Description - AHA!

Wallas has four steps to his model and believed they happen sequentially.

STEP 1 - PREPARATION - Uhh, there is a problem. In this step, you gather information and think about the problem while starting to come up with possible ideas.

Step 2 - INCUBATION - This is probably your favorite part of the creative process! You get to sit and wait. Ponder your life choices, wash the dishes, take the dog on a long walk and wait for the answer to come to you. Your brain will keep thinking about the problem even if you're not telling it to.

Step 3 - ILLUMINATION - Light bulbs! Fire works! Boom! All of a sudden, the idea or solution is apparent. The fire works seemingly erupt out of nowhere, when in reality, you set the fuse days ago and the spark finally reached the explosives, err... ideas.

Step 4 - VERIFICATION - Just because fireworks went off doesn't mean they are beautiful or even enjoyable. In this stage, you must check, or verify, that your solution is a good one. Will it work? Is it practical? If yes, do other people agree with you or are you in your own fireworks show?

What if your idea doesn't check out? Go back to step 1! Or, maybe, step 2. Do you need to reevaluate your problem or just let your brain work some more?

Osborn-Parnes Model

Big image

Creative Problem Solving - It's Fluid

The Creative Problem Solving model is the Osborn-Parnes Model. It has been through a great amount of revision over the years, which ties in nicely to the fluid beliefs it entails.

With this model, you can really start anywhere. However, there is an order of components that is generally followed.


What's up? Is there a problem? What do you want to fix or change? There are three stages of this component.

-Constructing Opportunities - what's your goal? What do you want to accomplish?

-Exploring Data - You might need some information to start with. What data will help us refine the opportunity into a problem we can address?

-Framing Problems - In this stage, you write a problem statement or question that will help open up your thinking. It should be open ended - otherwise there isn't really a problem to solve! (Think Socratic Seminar questions) IWWMW is a common organizer.

Now you have answered those first three questions - you know what's up, what the problem is, and have thought about it in a context that broadens your ideas.


This seems self explanatory. Start thinking! Brainstorm, make lists, talk it out, etc. You should be actively generating in this component - not sitting back waiting for fireworks.

Hopefully in the last step you came up with a few different ideas that might solve your problem! Now you have to think about how these ideas can become actions.

-Developing Solutions - evaluate, analyze, refine, decide how your ideas can become real solutions. Think about the details and logistics that will go into the idea when it becomes an action.

-Build Acceptance - Were you able to turn an idea into something actionable? AWESOME! Now, you have to convince other people that it's a decent solution. Use those persuasive skills. Just Kidding. What you actually need to do now is plan how you will implement your idea/solution. What is your action plan? What could go wrong? By thinking of your solution as if you are about to present it to someone in charge, you will go through these questions. Think of what he will ask and how you will answer.

...BUT. Before, during, and after the process of working through these components, you need to think about what you're doing. The fourth component comes into play here:


-Appraise your Task - is this process even appropriate for what you need? The problem proposed might be 4x4578293=?. Do you need to go through the process to figure out the answer? Maybe, and you could, but there are also strategies already known that will get you to the solution you are looking for.

-Designing Processes - as you think of a problem, task, or challenge, you might realize that you don't need all of the components of this model. Maybe you only need to analyze the possible ideas you already generated. Choose your own path through this model.

Big image

A Breakdown For You

Big image


Big image

Why Do We Care About These Models?

We should care about these models because it is important to think about our thinking! We all go through creative processes, but we often don't know how we came to our end product.

Metacognition is thinking about your own thought processes.

When we think about how our brains work and how we are thinking, we can consciously guide our thinking in ways that are more productive or more efficient. When you have 90 minutes to do a project or solve a problem, the Osborn-Parnes Model might be more effective. If you have a few days, you probably have time to go through incubation as described by Wallas. By taking the time to think about how you need to think, you can decide what the best process is.

Alternatively, you should use metacognition throughout and after your thinking. Asking, "how did i come to this conclusion," "what other information do I know that could help me," "does this even make sense," "how can i apply this idea over here," as you are thinking can save you from making mistakes and can help you make better decisions.


Post either a question or a comment based on what you've learned. Use complete sentences!

Info for Dr. Kettler

I designed this smore as if I was going to present this information to my students and I intend to use it in my GT classes next year. They could work together or alone at their own pace to read and discuss the information and I could evaluate their progress using the embedded form and padlet.

Works Cited:

Information: Starko, A. J. (2014). Creativity in the classroom: Schools of curious delight (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Fireworks image:

Idea Loading image:

Metacognition Image:

So What? Image:

Water/Fluid image: