In brainstorming exercises, you want to encourage the students to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short period of time.
What to Watch For
When brainstorming is done well, you will observe your students:
- Rapidly creating ideas
- Not worrying if an idea is good
- Building on the ideas of their team members
Watch out for these actions that can harm the process:
- When kids or teachers say, “That is not a good idea”.
- When kids are worried that an idea might be wrong.
What is Brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.
Osborn claimed that two principles contribute to “ideative efficacy,” these being :
- Defer judgment,
- Reach for quantity
Following these two principles were his four general rules of brainstorming, established with intention to :
- Go for quantity: This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generate the bigger the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.
- Withhold criticism: In brainstorming, criticism of ideas generated should be put ‘on hold’. Instead, participants should focus on extending or adding to ideas, reserving criticism for a later ‘critical stage’ of the process. By suspending judgment, participants will feel free to generate unusual ideas.
- Welcome wild ideas: To get a good long list of suggestions, wild ideas are encouraged. They can be generated by looking from new perspectives and suspending assumptions. These new ways of thinking might give you better solutions.
- Combine and improve ideas: As suggested by the slogan “1+1=3”. It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association.