Introduction to Creative Thinking

Interdisciplinary Studies 161


What is creative thinking? Who are the creative people? Can you learn creativity? Why should I care about it?

These are some of the questions this course sets out to answer. We will explore the nature and characteristics of creativity and creative thinking, some misconceptions often associated with creativity, how to be a more creative and innovative thinker and why it is becoming increasingly important for the 21st century.

The course will examine creativity from a multidisciplinary perspective including the arts, science, psychology and philosophy.

The course fulfills the General Education Diversification Arts (DA) requirement and also counts as an elective for the A.A. degree

Introduction to the Course

day: TR

time: 1:45 -3:00 pm

room: Olapa 212

office: Koa 108

tel: (808) 734-9378


Course Description

IS 161 introduces students to the skills and strategies of creative thinking. Designed for students in all majors, the course will examine creativity as a fundamental component for innovation and success in any field, from art to science, technology to business. We will explore the creative process from various theoretical perspectives as well as the influences of education, culture and the environment on creative thinking.  

Creativity will be seen as a natural process that not only allows for greater adaptability, idea generation and problem solving, but which also adds an increased dimension of richness and meaning to our lives. Students will have the opportunity to develop and apply these skills in real world contexts, and to experience the value of creativity in developing a well rounded, flexible and adaptive approach to an increasingly complex world.

Course Competencies

  1. Employ basic creative strategies including: synthesizing ideas, images or expertise in original ways, generative thinking, divergent thinking, and perceiving alternative perspectives.

  1. Identify and analyze the personal, social and environmental influences of creativity.

  1. Describe and analyze various theoretical perspectives on creativity.

  1. Analyze the relation of creativity to critical thinking and intelligence.

  1. Investigate the role of experimentation and risk taking in the creative process.

  1. Apply different evaluative criteria to specific problems. 

  1. Exemplify trusting one's own decisions, insights and perceptions during the creative problem-solving process.

  1. Examine and evaluate the need and value of creativity in the contemporary world.

  1. Identify and analyze the myths and assumptions most often associated with creativity and creative people.


  1. Online Reader  (provided) - collection of articles and excerpts by various writers, philosophers, artists and scientists.


This course is an S-Designated course. These are courses in the General Education curriculum that contain content and assignments related to issues of sustainability in all its dimensions: socio-cultural, economic, political and environmental topics relating to the future of life in the Pacific Islands and on Earth.

For more information, please visit: