Demystifying inventive thinking: A survey with pedagogic implications

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    Students on an enterprise course running in a number of colleges in the UK in which invention and innovation formed part of the curriculum were asked to complete a questionnaire immediately upon having an inventive thought in an attempt to establish the thinking processes involved. Results from those who had ideas that subsequently proved to be genuinely inventive are presented in this paper. The results show that such thinking is most frequently categorised by the thinker in terms that suggest it is similar to other everyday modes of thought, rather than anything more mysterious. The implication of this research is that accessing the kind of creativity required to begin students inventing is not as problematic as has previously been assumed, although it can be made so by approaches that fail to take account of the need for problem construction and the need to overcome the inertia created by the extent to which invention has been mythologized in the minds of both students and teachers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13 - 22
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of College Teaching and Learning
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2013


    • invention
    • thinking
    • pedagogy


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