Learn Physics and Be Creative by Solving Problems

Being creative implies being sensitive to problems and having original, diverse and flexible thoughts to elaborate possible solutions, or creating new problems in order to transform the present reality.

The connection between creativity and learning came from the definition of being creative and it´s one of its goals: transform. Hence, it´s well known that the evidence of a meaningful learning is related to the ability to adapt (transform) the knowledge to different contextual situations and finding solutions without difficulty, understanding this as the ability to transfer. In that sense, the process of transferring requires creative skills, that allow students to jump from unfamiliar and somewhat unstructured tasks, into new applications of concepts to find diverse solutions in different contexts of learning.

 In Javier Pulgar’s research review from the Department of Physics at University of Bío Bío, Chile published in Creative Education 2013 vol.4 by Scientific Research Publishing. , his team reviewed that it is possible to improve these two elements –creativity and physics knowledge– by presenting original problems or situations, which require a different and diverse thinking to solve, and by using some heuristic tools like maps of concepts and Gowin’s V diagrams to analyze information and to solve physics problems. The effectiveness of the V-based learning and concept maps can be seen in students’ ability to perceive problems from different directions, which opens the range of possible solutions that can turn out to be original and creative for students, even when it´s not in a wider context. In this research, the team also found a strong relationship between creative skills and academic success, concluding that students with higher levels of creativity are more prepared to understand physics principles and find right solutions for physics problems, and hence, to succeed in physics´ courses.

Given the importance of creative thinking in the learning process, every educational activity should be focused on creating learning environments which provides opportunities to develop creativity inside the classroom, generating thinking flexibility and the open-mindedness that would allow students to generate better knowledge in order to transform their reality.

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