Creativity-based learning


Development of Creativity-Based Learning Model.

Dr.Wiriyah Ruechaipanit

The Committee of the National Curriculum Reformation 2013.

Ministry of Education.

Research Centre for Creativity, JS future classroom, Thailand


The ministry of education of Thailand has launched an education reform through a massive review of the education system since 1999. Until now, most of the teachers still taught with the traditional method. The method [teacher-controlled and subject-based learning] has a limitation for improving students’ essential skills for the new workspace.

This research sets out to develop the new learning model: Creativity-Based Learning (CBL), which is one of the student-centered approaches.

In the creativity-based Learning process, students learn how to create, redefine and analyze the problem. They also learn how to transfer knowledge into practice and acquire creative thinking skills and communication skills.

The model was constructed by using the mixed methodology.

The study consists of 3 phases:

1st phase

The development of tools and a draft model using the Phenomenography.

2nd phase

The Verification of the model using the Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design and  the consensual assessment.

3rd phase

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the CBL model by the “modified TTCT” developed from Torrance tests of creative thinking (TTCT)

The results of the study revealed as follows:

Creativity-based learning Model consists of 8 processes :

1 Inspiration by the facilitator and multimedia.

2 Self-study: students will learn to search collect organize and develop the data for the creative solution.

3 one to one teaching.

4 individual problem solving

5 game-based learning.

6 team project.

7 creative presentation

8 Informal assessments and multidimensional assessment Tools.

The Evaluation effectiveness of this model shows that the students with CBL experiences can improve their learning skill, creative thinking skill, communication skill, collaboration skill, and time management skill.


There has been a remarkable shift in economies from manufacturing to information technology and knowledge services. Mitchell (1993), explains the major global changes which will continue into the 21 st century that the”accelerating rate of change on a global scale”, pointing to the rate of change of human invention, the speed of generation of new knowledge, population growth and the evolution and speed of human transportation (Fryer, 1996). He argues that the speed of the new knowledge is now too fast so that most of the things that students are currently learning will be useless by the time they grow up.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills insists that the traditional learning method (subject-based learning) has a limitation for improving students’ essential skills for the new workspace.

Education reform is needed for all Nations because it’s closely tied to a nation’s economic and political developments


Tmeet this challenge schools must be transformed in the ways that will enable students to acquire creative thinking, flexible problem solving, collaboration and innovative skills. Some authors (Carroll, 2007; Burmack, 2002; Riddle, 2009; Frey & Fisher, 2008; Elkins, 2007; Trilling & Fidel, 2009) and organizations (Partnership for 21st Century Learning; National Science Foundation, Educational Testing Services, NCREL, Metiri Group, etc.) argues that 21st Century Learning Skills is critical for accomplishing the necessary transformation.

In order to suit society’s needs, it is not enough for schools and colleges to produce graduates who can only work within the restricted framework of solving textbook problems.

Graduated students are expected to work in complicated and dynamic society so the new learning model should be reformed to create a classroom in which students are challenged to think creatively about subjects by discovering, understanding, analyzing and applying knowledge in new situations.

The rationale for this study was to innovate the new learning model that enables creative thinking skill and suitable for Thai students: CBL.

Design of the Study

The development of creativity-based learning  model consists of 3 phases as follows :

Phase 1 design CBL draft model and set up CBL model

The problem-based learning[PBL]and the creativity theories were used in the design of the CBL draft model

PBL was employed in CBL’s draft model because ;

PBL can improve students’ attitudes toward learning. Thus, as a pedagogical technique, problem‑based learning promotes the kinds of active learning that many educators advocate (Barr & Tagg, 1995) and students who acquired knowledge in the context of solving problems have been shown to be more likely to use it spontaneously to solve new problems than individuals who acquire the same information under more traditional methods of learning facts and concepts through lectures (Bransford, Franks, Vye, & Sherwood, 1989)

PBL students perceived that they developed stronger thinking and problem‑solving skills, effective communication skills, and a sense of personal responsibility than did students who received lectures (Lieux, 1996).

PBL students tend to give high ratings for their training whereas students in traditional programs are more likely to describe their training as boring and irrelevant (de Vries, Schmidt, & de Graaff, 1989; Schmidt, Dauphinee, & Patel, 1987).

PBL students were more likely to use textbooks and other books and informal discussion with peers than did non‑PBL students, who were more likely to rely on lecture notes thus the PBL is the learning approach that helps the student build up their learning skill(Blumberg and Michael 1992).

There have been many studies on divergent thinking and creativity (e.g., Cropley, 1992; Csikszentmihalyi, 1988; Guilford, 1950, 1956, 1970, 1988; Lubart, 1994; Osborn, 1953; Runco, 1991; Sternberg & Davidson, 1995; Torrance, 1986; Treffinger, 1994). but only the following creativity theories  were used to form CBL’s draft model ;

Guilford (1956, 1959, 1960, 1986) considered creative thinking as involving divergent thinking, which emphasizes fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration.

Guilford, however, noted that creative thinking is not the same as divergent thinking, because creativity requires sensitivity to problems as well as redefinition abilities, which include transformations of thought, reinterpretations, and freedom from functional fixedness in driving unique solutions.

Torrance (1966, p. 6) Defined creativity as a process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on; identifying the difficulty; searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them; and finally communicating them.

Nickerson [142] : present a summary of the various creativity techniques

Establishing purpose and intention

Building basic skills

Encouraging acquisitions of domain-specific knowledge

Stimulating and rewarding curiosity and exploration

Building motivation, especially internal motivation

Encouraging confidence and a willingness to take risks

Focusing on mastery and self-competition

Promoting supportable beliefs about creativity

Providing opportunities for choice and discovery

Developing self-management (metacognitive skills)

Teaching techniques and strategies for facilitating creative performance

Providing balance

Dr Mark Batey of the Psychometrics at Work Research Group at Manchester Business School has suggested that the creative profile can be explained by four primary creativity traits with narrow facets within each

(i) “Idea Generation” (Fluency, Originality, Incubation, and Illumination)

(ii) “Personality” (Curiosity and Tolerance for Ambiguity)

(iii) “Motivation” (Intrinsic, Extrinsic and Achievement)

(iv) “Confidence” (Producing, Sharing, and Implementing)

Taylor & Williams (I966) argue that school experiences should involve students more positively in the whole process of education – in questioning, listening, discussing, thinking and being actively and deeply involved in practical working with a wide variety of materials. This is achieved through a personal relationship based on trust and respect between teacher and student.

Phase 1

Phenomenography research methodology and a case study approach were selected for developing tools and a  CBL model.

Case studies provide opportunities to study complex actions and interactions within a particular research setting.

A case study approach was selected because it is impossible to separate the context of the study variables, as, in this study, the case study represents the best approach (Merriam, 1998).

The case study is designed to explore the process and environment that affect creative thinking skills in high school students.

Research by Amabile (1986) strongly indicates that given the right circumstances, certain strategies can improve creative behavior and thus performance. Csikszentmihalyi (1988) argued that a ‘congenial’ environment within the social system of classrooms is essential for learning creativity.

The variation(s) in processes and environments that emerged from this action research was used to redesign of CBL model. 

Phase 2

The Verification of CBL model was developed by using the pretest-posttest Control Group Design. The participants consisted of 40 high school students in Chang Mai Thailand, were selected randomly and divided into two groups of learning method; group A as an experimental group and group B as a control group for the sessions.

The measured dependent variables in this study were the creative thinking skill and the independent variables were the mode of teaching.

Group A  was assigned to learn physics in 21 hours ( 7 weeks) by the CBL approach.

Group B , as a control group, learns by the traditional learning approach in the same subject.

The instrument used to determine the dependent variables were the pre-test and post-test of the Creative Thinking test develop from Guilford (1956, 1959, 1960, 1986) creative thinking Theory.

A control group in this study was assigned for proof that a change in the dependent variable was caused by the effect of the independent variable. 


Phase 3

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the CBL model by the “modified TTCT” developed from Torrance tests of creative thinking (TTCT)

The participants in this phase consist of 20 elementary school students, 20 high school students, and 20 university students,

All groups were assigned to attain  CBL classroom in 21 hours ( 7 weeks).

And evaluated creative thinking skill by using the pretest-posttest with “modified TTCT”


The results of the study revealed that 8 processes are effective for enhancing creativity thinking skill in participants;

1.Inspiration by the facilitator( teacher)

2. Self-study: students learn to search collect organize and develop data for their creative solutions.

3. one to one teaching and peer learning. Giving students opportunities for a more collective learning experience that is interactive both between students and teacher and among students.

4.individual problem solving

5. game-based learning: apply the principles of game design to the learning process information given to users about their performance i.e.

Points Levels Badges Bonuses and leaderboards

6. Team project: working to solve the problem or project together in small group.

7. creative presentation

8.Informal assessments

Creativity cannot be only developed through the learning processes but also be developed by the appropriate context. there are 9 learning environments that enhancing creative thinking in participants.

1. Activities or problems that focus on students’ thinking skill make more engaging and enjoyable for students because thinking is rare in schools, the curriculum does not encourage it.

2.  Activities or problems that focus on students’ curiosity motivated students

to find out, express their own ideas and get their own solutions

.Each and every subject have its own way of developing creativity depend on

the activities and problems designed by the teacher.

3. Questioning technique by a teacher  to promote learning and stimulate thinking.

4.Collaborative learning environments by reducing competition in classroom:

Most of the students support creativity for others.

Students became motivated to engage in more productive and creative learning opportunities and were successful as a result of collegiality, not competition.

5. Working in small groups.

All groups are expected to helping each other  to find out the solutions,

according to many studies have demonstrated that group interactions such as brainstorming, can enhance creativity (Paulus and Nijstad, 2003 blue right-pointing triangle; Scott et al., 2004 blue right-pointing triangle)

6. Applying block scheduling for longer studying period; 90-minute class is recommended.

7. Applying an open discussion in the classroom.

Improvement of student participation in classroom by devoting time to shaping the environment fostering creativity.

8. Applying assessment effectively and to ensure that all learners receive constructive feedback on their progress in creative thinking skill.

9. Applying reinforce Positive behaviours

Teachers can strengthen engagement by recognising and positively reinforcing positive actions should help students develop confidence in their own creative ideas by let them express their creativity in different ways.

Conclusion and discussions

Creativity is quickly becoming the very essential skill in recent years but

In the traditional teaching model, students are passive and their creativity is not encouraged.

Most of the teachers today are being asked to support creative thinking for their classroom and a lot of educators try to research on a new learning model that fostering creative thinking skill.

The creative thinking could not be taught, but it can be brought out from the learning and teaching in any subjects as teachers using the new learning approaches to make learning more interesting, engaging, exciting and effective.

In this research CBL: creative-based learning model is a proven learning model that supports the development of students’ creative thinking skill.

CBL consists of processes and contexts which teacher could apply them as pedagogical process and strategies to their classroom but no study is entirely conclusive.

The limitations of this research are that the results may not always apply across all age groups and different subject areas so there is a need to make more research on CBL and more investigations in CBL’s effectiveness on creative thinking skill in any domains.

It is clear that further research would be helpful, especially in these topics:

The attitude of students and teachers and its effect on the outcome of the creativity-based learning model.

The effects of creativity on the physical environment.

The effect of providing time and other activity on creativity in CBL model.

The effective of CBL in any specific subject on developing students’ creative thinking skill



I would like to thank to the Ministry of education in Thailand and all of the teachers who gave of their time and effort to collect data for this study.



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