The 12 steps are:
1. Define your problem.*
2. Define and visualize the ideal solution.
3. Gather the facts: specific and general.
4. Break the pattern.
5. Go outside your own field.
6. Try new combinations.
7. Use all your senses.
8. Switch off – let it simmer.
9. Use music or nature to relax.
10. Sleep on it.
11. Eureka! It pops out.
12. Recheck it.
* Note: You can reverse steps 1 and 2.
This 12-step checklist is from the "poster page" that
introduces the chapter on creative thinking in 1999's best-selling
book, The Learning Revolution, by Gordon Dryden and Dr.
"Amazingly," they say at the start of the chapter,
"the most important subject of all is not taught at most
schools: how to invent your own future, how to create new ideas. Yet
the world today needs a diet of revolutionary new ideas as it never
All the great ideas in history, all the great inventions,
obviously have one thing in common. All have come from the human
brain. Just as the brain has fantastic ability to store information,
it has an equal ability to reassemble that information in new ways:
to create new ideas. And very simply, an idea is a new
combination of old elements. Write that down, underline it,
reinforce it. It could be the most important sentence you ever
write. It contains the key to creating new solutions. There
are no new elements. There are only new combinations.
While most readers will find the total chapter enthralling,
teachers and those interested in schooling can perhaps learn most
from the co-authors suggestions to apply the 12-step checklist to
rethinking the future of education and schooling.