Critical and Creative Thinking for Nutritionists: A Training Program

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

John R. Murray


In order to improve the critical and creative thinking skills of nutritionists and dietitians I developed two one-day training programs. The training programs are designed to help nutritionists develop their creative problem solving skills and to improve their critical thinking strategies when dealing with controversial nutrition issues and with fraudulent food practices. The Creative Problem Solving Nutrition Training Program is built around a series of exercises, each progressive more complex, that help trainees develop their thinking skills. The goal is to help trainees become more flexible and mindful of how they solve problems. Trainees will learn the techniques of creative problem solving such as brainstorming and list making. Trainees will also learn to use Sternberg's seven elements of problem solving as a conceptual model for solving problems. They will also be exposed to left and right brain modes of thinking. The Critical Thinking Nutrition Training Program recognizes that even nutritionists find it difficult to come to a reasonable assessment of fact on many food and nutrition issues, such as food irradiation and the use of Alar as a pesticide. The exercises in this program offer trainees practical experience in working through a succession of progressively more difficult problems. The objectives of this program are to help nutritionists to develop their critical thinking skills and strategies so they can more successfully deal with complex and controversial nutrition issues; to help trainees develop a conceptual framework for understanding and combating fraudulent food practices; and, to help nutritionists develop the critical thinking skills of their patients, clients and the public.


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