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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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4.1.6 Cultivating imagination with Elegant Problems

When mathematicians, scientists, artists, and leaders refer to creative contributions in their field, they have often described the best solution as “elegant.” This observation led to the realisation that posed problems need to be elegant as well. What makes a problem elegant? One part of a six-part answer is "worthiness." Problems, challenges, or assignments that demonstrate worthiness are meaningful for the discipline, the field, as well as the person. Developing Elegant Problems is a problem-based approach to curriculum design that engages the imagination and encourages creative thinking from the teacher as well as the students.


Sandra I Kay

United States

With a Doctorate and Master of Education in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, Sandra Kay's research interests focus on developing talent/expertise and on the problem-finding aspects of creative thought, visual thinking, and other habits of mind that engage the imagination and promote self-directed inquiry in children and adults.

As a founding faculty member of the Center for Teaching Critical Thinking and Creativity (CTCTC) at San Diego State University, she developed courses on creative thinking and is spearheading the production of a not-for-profit educational documentary on developing creative viewing skills of audience members entitled “Engaging the Imagination: Wally’s Way.”


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