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The Osborn-Parnes model of Creative Problem Solving

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Michelle Devine

on 15 July 2014

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Transcript of The Osborn-Parnes model of Creative Problem Solving

Background and Context

• The Osborn-Parnes model of Creative Problem Solving (CPS ) was developed over more than 50 years by several theorists.

• Differs from the models of creativity previously described in that it was designed not so much to explain the creative process to allow individuals to use it more effectively.

• CPS model was developed originally by Osborn (1963), who originated brainstorming and was highly successful in advertising.

• The process was developed and elaborated by Parnes (1981) and later by Isaksen and Treffinger (1985).

Background and Context
o Each version of the process of problem solving includes a number of steps that involve both
 divergent (finding many ideas)
 and convergent (drawing conclusions and narrowing the field)

• Early versions were represented in a linear form with alternating periods of convergent and divergent thought.
o Processes were designated as finding the ideas needed at each state:
 Mess-finding
 Data-finding
 Problem-finding
 Idea-finding
 Solution-finding
 Acceptance-finding

Background and Context
• In the early 1990s a more fluid model was suggested, dividing the stages into three general components:
o Understanding the problem
o Generating ideas
o Planning for action

This view presented should not be mistaken for a prescribed sequence, but as a set of tools that can be used in order and to the degree necessary for any problem

• The most recent version of CPS continues this evolution
o It re-frames the components (specifying four) and renames stages and components to clarify functions
o In addition, makes the fluidity of the process explicit by incorporating the decisions about the way CPS should be used into the model itself.

Main Ideas
Explore the Challenge
a. Objective Finding
b. Fact Finding
c. Problem Finding
Generate Idea
a. Idea Finding
Prepare For Action
a. Solution Finding
b. Acceptance Finding

Understanding the Challenge
1) Understanding the Challenge:
a. involves investigating a broad goal, opportunity or challenge and clarifying
thinking to set the principal direction for work
i. Constructing opportunities- state a broad, brief and beneficial goal
b. Understanding the challenge (second stage): Exploring Data- entails
examining many sources of information from different points of view and focusing on the most important elements
c. Third stage: Framing Problems- alternative problem statements are generated,
usually starting with “In what ways might we…” the intent is to identify ways to state the problem that will open the door to creative ideas

Clearly, the problem statement selected will affect the types of solutions considered. The broader the problem statement, the broader the range of possible solutions.

Generating Ideas
2nd component of CPS: Generating Ideas:

has only one stage
ideas are generated for the selected problem statements using a variety of tools.
These may include brain storming or any other tools for divergent thinking described in chapter 6
Preparing for Action
3rd component is Preparing for Action:
involves exploring ways to make the proposing options into workable solutions—translating ideas into actions. It has two stages:

The first stage:
Developing Solutions
, applies deliberate strategies and tools to analyze, refine, and select among ideas. Often developing solutions entails using criteria to evaluate each of the proposed ideas systematically. Criteria are often presented in a grid that allows each idea to e evaluated by each criterion

The final stage in this component is
Building Acceptance.
In this stage plans are made for the implementation of the chosen solution. Possible difficulties are anticipated and resources are identified. This stage usually results in an action plan, with steps, resources, and individual responsibilities outlined.

Planning Your Approach
4th component of cps version 6.1 is Planning Your Approach.
This component reflects the need to monitor your thinking throughout the problem-solving process to make sure that you are moving in the desired direction and using appropriate selection of CPS stages.

One of the important principles illustrated in the CPS model is the importance of both divergent and convergent-flexible and critical thinking in solving complex creative problems.

The Osborn-Parnes Model of Creative Problem Solving

Current Relevance and Application

“A creative conference for the sole purpose of producing a checklist of ideas – ideas which can serve as leads to problem solution – ideas which can subsequently be evaluated and further processed.”

Divergent and Convergent Thinking

Imagery and Visualization

(Horton Hears a Who example from book)

Additional Resources and References
Additional Resources
Programs for students to learn and apply CPS: Future Problem Solving Program, Destination ImagiNation

Isaksen, S., & Treffinger, D. (2004) Celebrating 50 years of reflective practice: Versions of creative problem solving. Journal of Creative Behavior, 38(2), 1-27.

Isaksen, S., & Treffinger, D. (2005). Creative problem solving: The history, development, and implications for gifted education and talented development. Gifted Child Quarterly, 49(4), 342-353.

Starko, A.J. (2013). Creativity in the classroom: Schools of curious delight (5th ed.). New York: Routledge.

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