Practice Problems for Creative Problem Solving

ISBN: 9781882664641

Published: 01/01/2000

Available Formats




This book includes 50 situations that present interesting opportunities and challenges to stimulate students’ creative and critical thinking. The brief, practical, everyday situations provide motivating starting points for practicing Creative Problem Solving with groups of many ages. These problems were designed to represent a variety of different tasks or challenges in an open-ended, invitational format that we describe informally as a “Messy Situation.” These Messy Situations, like many of life’s everyday opportunities and challenges, take a variety of forms, sizes, and shapes. They might concern a variety of situations in which people find themselves day in and day out. Thus, some of the Messy Situations in this book are people tasks (that is, situations involving the interactions or relationships among people). Others are planning tasks (that is, concerning more effective ways of organizing or managing a situation), and yet others are product tasks (that is, challenges that call for designing, inventing, or producing a new product of some kind). Each of these one-page problems can help students learn and apply CPS components, stages, and tools in an engaging and enjoyable way. Choose the problems that are best suited to your group’s interests and needs. The challenges in Practice Problems for Creative Problem Solving and several helpful worksheets are reproducible for classroom use.

About the Author

Donald J. Treffinger Ph.D.

Donald J. Treffinger, Ph.D., is the president of the Center for Creative Learning in Sarasota, FL. He earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in educational psychology from Cornell University. Treffinger previously has been a member of the faculty at Purdue University, the University of Kansas, and Buffalo State College. He now is a member of the Gifted Child Quarterly Advisory Board and has served as editor of that journal, and as editor-in-chief of Parenting for High Potential, NAGC’s quarterly magazine for parents.

Treffinger is the author of more than 350 articles, chapters, and books. He has written and conducted research on the nature, assessment, and nurture of creativity and Creative Problem Solving, as well as problem-solving styles, gifted education, and talent development. He has given presentations and workshops worldwide, and served as a consultant to numerous local, state, national, and international organizations. He has received the Distinguished Service Award and the E. Paul Torrance Creativity Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, the Creativity Research Award from the World Council on the Gifted and Talented, and the Risorgimenti Creativity Award from the Destination ImagiNation program.

Grover Young is an experienced teacher, school administrator, and coordinator of gifted programming and staff development. He has worked with schools and businesses in the areas of creative productive thinking, talent identification and development, and performance-based learning and assessment. Young also has been actively involved in programs and activities for teachers and students on inventors, inventions, and inventing; in research on creativity characteristics and assessment; and in research and writing on talent development among youth orchestra members. He also has worked closely with schools and school districts in self-assessment and planning for talent development programming. Grover is coauthor of Building Creative Excellence, Thinking with Standards, The CPS Kit, and Enhancing and Expanding Gifted Programs: The Levels of Service Approach. He has authored or coauthored more than 50 articles and chapters on creativity and talent development.

Carole A. Nassab is a program associate of the Center for Creative Learning. Nassab is an experienced educator who has served in numerous roles in public and private educational settings. She has been a middle school teacher, a school counselor, a principal, and a district-level administrator. Nassab has been actively involved in teacher education and professional development. She has provided training in building collaborative teams, managing change, creative and critical thinking, and Creative Problem Solving. Nassab has authored or coauthored several publications, including Thinking Tools Lessons, Thinking With Standards, Expanding Gifted Programs: The Levels of Service Approach, The Creative Problem Solving Kit, and The Talent Development Planning Handbook.

Carol Wittig is an experienced classroom teacher and gifted programming specialist in public elementary and middle schools. She has been a lead contributor to curriculum development in language arts, math, and social studies for her school district, and also has coauthored several publications on creativity and talent development. Wittig earned a master’s degree in Creative Studies from the State University College at Buffalo and has presented many workshops on creativity, Creative Problem Solving, CPS facilitation, learning styles, and talent development both in the U.S. and abroad.



Format: Paperback

Length: 11 in
Width: 8.3125 in
Weight: 8.30 oz
Page Count: 80 pages


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