Much has been said about Professor Emeritus E. Paul Torrance’s theory about creativity. Throughout his entire 60-year career, most of his time and efforts have been focused on developing and creating a new view into the what creativity is, deviating from the usual and standard methods of basing one’s intelligence and thinking capacity on intelligence quotients, or IQs, alone.
Creativity is a fragment on intellect, Torrance says. However, there remain a multitude of other abilities that are linked with a personal intellectual abilities. He adds that for kids and adults to be able to fully develop their creative faculties, their best talents and capacities should be recognized and encouraged, even if they deviate from the norm.
Torrance’s theory on creativity banks on the concept that increased awareness of a person’s creativity in all its possible forms is what will help people cultivate their selves. This realization is what has given birth to the building of programs for the gifted all over the world.
At first, many people thought Torrance’s proposed testing methods for creativity were impossible to execute, because a lot were arguing that creativity is something that is impossible to gauge or measure. Another argument against it was that it would be difficult to create a test that all people, regardless of age, race or background would respond to. Surprisingly, Torrance’s tests on creativity has been found to be so effective that it has already been translated to nearly 50 languages.
Torrance’s tests basically have two thrusts: figural and verbal. The verbal thrust involves students or test takers making use of their intellectual capacities to invent new uses for the most common or mundane of things, like an earphone or a piece of paper.
The proctor or test-giver will first ask the students how a particular object can be used alternatively, then their answers were scored against a given grid who values are based on flexibility or the number of categories for the response, originality or the uniqueness of the idea as opposed to the previous answers, fluency or the number of possible alternatives given, and the explanation or elaboration for each of the concepts they come up with.
More objective is the figural part of the Torrance test, which begins with the student being introduced to a simple shape or figure and then asked to relate this figure with something a little more complicated. The responses are recorded against the same criteria as the verbal thrust.
People who have been exposed to Torrance’s theory on creativity have said that the test was not intrusive and, thus, comfortable to deal with. Unlike intelligence tests, Torrance tests do not deal with questions that directly exclude other people. Its components are so carefully crafted that anybody from any kind of background will be able to relate to it without difficulty.
Dr Torrance’s theory has shed a new light into tapping people’s creative side. Parents are now able to determine how to best cultivate their kids’ capacities and talents, educators are better informed of probable strategies to enhance their students’ learning and information absorbing skills, and counselors are discovering novel methods to boost learning opportunities for their clients.