Thinking creatively across the lifespan

Na Na Anna HUI, Jing Mavis HE WU, Suk Ching Elaine AU LIU, Wing-lok Constance CHING

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

2 Citations (Scopus)


Creativity is a cognitive ability to be developed across the lifespan. The development of creativity may progress from mini-c and little-c to Pro-c creativity in average individuals and also to Big-C creativity in a selected and eminent population (Kaufman & Beghetto, 2009). In childhood and adolescence, creative potentials usually manifested as mini-c and little-c creativity can be nurtured through informal and formal education (Craft, 2010; Gregerson, Kaufman, & Snyder, 2013). In young and middle adulthood, creativity training is often an outcome of professional development – the Pro-c related to the creative industries (Florida, 2012). In late adulthood, creativity as a mini-c can serve as a cognitive reserve that extends the cognitive limits of older people in successful aging (Lubart & Sternberg, 1999). In the formal and extra curriculum, both direct instruction of creative thinking skills and strategies of infusing creativity into subject learning are prevalent. Direct instruction methods include lateral thinking, problem solving, and so on. Primary and secondary educators often promote the direct instruction method for both typical and gifted learners (Renzulli, 2005). On the other hand, tertiary educators or professional trainers tend to adopt the infusing method more. The infusing method can be flexibly applied and integrated across various disciplines, such as law (Gregerson, 2013), medicine (Ness, 2011), psychology (Solomon, 2013), science and engineering (Cropley, this volume), and so on. In late adulthood, active engagement in arts and leisure activities promotes creative thinking and enhances successful aging (Cohen, 2000). Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge international handbook of research on teaching thinking
EditorsRupert WEGERIF, Li LI, James C. KAUFMAN
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon; New York, NY
ISBN (Electronic)9781317752301
ISBN (Print)9780415747493
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Hui, A., He, M., Liu-Au, E., & Ching, C. (2015). Thinking creatively across the lifespan. In R. Wegerif, L. Li, & J. Kaufman (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of research on teaching thinking (pp. 212-225). Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.


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