Date of Completion

Spring 5-26-2013

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter J. Taylor

Second Advisor

Jeremy Szteiter


The greatest barrier to creative thinking may be the current definition. If creativity is believed to be an unconscious, undefinable process, a competitive and comparative hierarchy or even limited to specific domains, then the pursuit of creativity may be seen as an overwhelming endeavor. I believe everyone is creative, not just a few “out of the box” individuals. We are not limited to sleeping on a problem or getting into a relaxed, happy state in order to enhance creative thinking. I also believe that creative and critical thinking can be applied to teach creativity so I am offering an innovative curriculum for my new theory. Like Roger Von Oech, I believe that there is a “team” within us that personifies our four kinds of creativity. By adapting a systems thinking management model, the four kinds of creativity that I believe we can incrementally increase and use are as follows: inventor, pioneer, engineer and diplomat. We may have preferences or more fully developed one of these multiple creativities, but I believe all four are present and are equally important—these are not styles or dispositions that can be separated or ranked. It is not enough to invent ideas, we need to have the complementary skills to implement, refine and share them as well. To teach practical and self-actualized creativity beyond brainstorming, individual and collaborative activities must be utilized along with appreciative inquiry and ethical service. Through “adopting, adapting and creating” thinking tools, creativity can be accessible and fully realized in any person or situation. Because the Critical and Creativity Thinking program at UMass Boston transformed my creativity, this is my effort to thank them and do the same.