Fostering collaboration and creative thinking through extra-curricular challenges with primary and secondary students
Thinking Skills and Creativity
School of Education
The Australian Tournament of Minds (TOM) is an annual collaborative problem-solving challenge for student teams inclusive of Years 3–10. TOM develops 21st century skills (21CS) of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration (4Cs) as identified by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). TOM challenges accommodate student teams with an enthusiasm for the Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences, and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The research employed a correlational design using quantitative ANOVA to explore relationships between thinking processes and collaboration in producing creative answers. The data (N = 1445 teams) was collected from the Australian and New Zealand teams of seven students participating in a five-minute spontaneous divergent thinking challenge in 2019. The data reported operational differences between the teams to generate creative outcomes. STEM teams saw enhanced collaborative thinking compared to other teams in a common challenge. The data has implications for teacher-initiated collaboration pedagogy in different learning areas.