Ruggiero’s book addresses various aspects concerning the art of thinking. According to the author, the creative process has been the subject of various myths. Some of these myths have been in existence for centuries. For example, there are people who believe that taking drugs enhances creativity or that creativity is a preserve of the ‘crazy’ people. Ruggiero sets the record straight and details how the creative process is employed in day-to-day activities. The book acts as a guide for those who want to unlock their creative potential. This paper details a systematic process of how Ruggiero’s five-step problem-solving method can be used when dealing with a real-life problem.
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Ruggiero acknowledges that the human mind operates using two processes; the one through which ideas are conceived and the one through which the ideas are judged. During the creative process, the brain goes back and forth between these two processes. Creativity follows a certain process. This process has been the focus of various studies since 1950 when it was discovered that scientists had been neglecting the creative process. Ruggiero outlines five stages in the creative problem-solving process. These stages form the basis of creative thinking. The first stage in this process involves looking for challenges. Ruggiero argues that in spite of the fact that most problems do not need to be ‘looked for’, solving a problem should start with the act of identifying a challenge.
This does not trivialize the problems that are already present, but it encourages scholars to focus on the improvement of products and policies. In this first step, a problem solver looks outward for any product or policy that might benefit from an adjustment. The initial interest in problem-solving comes from a particular shortcoming in the chosen product or process. The second step in creative problem-solving is expressing a particular problem or issue. This step involves listing expressions that relate to the problem or issue at hand. Examples of these expressions include ‘how can’, ‘which is’, ‘does’, and ‘should’. These expressions help a problem solver to focus on the aspects of the problem at hand. After considering a set of viable expressions, the problem solver then chooses the most appropriate expression. This expression will, therefore, act as a guide during the problem-solving process.
The third step involves an investigation of the main problem or issue. Every problem is constituted of other smaller problems. In the third stage, the problem-solver lists smaller problems that contribute towards solving the main problem. This is also the stage that involves brainstorming especially for problems that are solved by groups. Also, this third stage acts as a prelude to the actual research. In the fourth stage, possible solutions to a problem are expressed.
This stage is also the most tasking stage in problem-solving. The fourth stage involves floating all possible solutions to a problem, including the ridiculous and unorthodox ones. When all possible solutions have been provided, the most prolific solution is selected. The fifth and final step in the creative problem-solving process is where the solution is refined and evaluated. This step is adjacent to the implementation stage. Therefore, the stage includes outlining the implementation mechanism. Also, possible challenges to the solution are outlined. For instance, the arguments against a solution are discussed and evaluated at this stage.
Ruggiero’s creative problem-solving process can be employed in a real-life problem. The problem that will be employed in this paper involves presenting a 23-minute film on the challenges facing inner-city adolescents. The challenge was part of a contest in which the winner was to win a partial scholarship. The first step was searching for the most prominent problems in the lives of inner-city adolescents. The most prominent problem was going to act as the film’s theme. The challenge was to present a film that expressed a realistic problem that inner-city adolescents face. The main source of curiosity was the various types of imperfections that characterize the lives of inner-city adolescents. Then I compared these observations with my own life experiences. The challenge that seemed most relevant was picked.
The main problem created by this challenge was in identifying the most relevant problem affecting inner-city adolescents. Among the expressions that were considered in this stage included how lack of mentors affected inner-city adolescents and how insecurity contributed towards high rates of school dropouts in the inner city. The expressed issues included the concern whether the government should be held accountable for behaviors of inner-city adolescents and if the education provided to inner-city adolescents is sufficient. Finally, the expression of choice was whether the quality of education provided to the inner city adolescents was adequate.
This new expression was a revision of the earlier expression that questioned the education levels provided to inner-city adolescents. The revision refined the issue in such a way that it paid more attention to the quality of education received by inner-city adolescents.
The investigation of this problem took me to the District Education Board and then to three inner-city public schools. Also, the investigation involved a comparison of schools in a suburban area with schools in the inner city. This process involved an investigation of two schools that were based in suburban neighborhoods. The questions that were to be answered by this investigation included whether there were any major differences between the quality of education in the inner cities and the suburbs. The other question was whether the government was aware of the disparities in the quality of education. The investigation revealed that the government was aware that the quality of education received by adolescents in the inner city was wanting. There were also major differences between the level of education provided in the inner cities and the suburbs.
The film presentation could have focused on several ideas. Some of these ideas included focusing on a particular school, following up on a single inner-city adolescent, following a teacher’s daily routine, following up on a group of inner-city adolescents on their after-school activities, or presenting a combination of all these ideas. From all these ideas, two of them looked viable. The first viable idea was to present a combination of ideas that focused on both adolescents and teachers.
The other idea was to present a teacher’s daily routine, including his interactions with inner-city students. The main challenge was to portray a problem that affected inner-city adolescents in a major way. Both of these solutions could accomplish this goal. However, following a teacher is easier and it has the potential of introducing new angles to the film. A teacher also presents closeness to the educational system. The film presentation tracked a teacher’s activities in one week. Also, the film included the teacher’s various interactions with inner-city adolescents.