At this stage of the CPS process, many other tools for divergent thinking can be useful.
Attribute listing, SCAMPER, morphological synthesis, metaphorical thinking, and others all can be used to increase the number and diversity of solutions put forth.
In some ways, the components of the process are more like a menu.
Rather than thinking of CPS as a six-step process, when faced with a situation in which creative problem solving could be helpful, just choose the components most applicable to the situation and use them in ways that make sense.
For example, if the 250th anniversary group had an idea that was ranked high on every criterion except “Will the principal let us do it?
” the high rankings probably will not be sufficient to make it a viable idea.One of my favorite CPS experiences started with a student who discovered, on reading a historical marker, that we were approaching the town’s 250 anniversary.It was not a “problem” in the sense that there was any difficulty, but it was an opportunity.Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is a model for addressing problems and challenges in a creative way.It originated with Alex Orborn and Sid Parnes, and has continued to be developed for more than 50 years by several theorists.For the 250th anniversary group, the curious students read town history, talked to local officials about planned celebrations (there were none), and spoke to community members about town activities during the 1976 national bicentennial.Problem Finding (Framing Problems) Problem finding in CPS has a very particular definition, as opposed to the more global use of the same term.Exploring the Challenge Objective Finding (also called Constructing Opportunities).In this stage, students identify a problem or opportunity to address.One of the benefits of teaching CPS is that students can be taught to look for problems and opportunities that will allow them to take action.Fact Finding (Exploring Data) In Fact Finding, students learn as much about the situation as possible.