1st Edition

Critical Thinking, Idea Innovation, and Creativity

By Richard H. McCuen Copyright 2023
    332 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Using topics of critical and creative thinking, Critical Thinking, Idea Innovation, and Creativity discusses methods of solving complex problems, demonstrates the benefits of using the methods of imaginative thinking, identifies ways to overcome problems and inhibitors such as a lack of confidence, provides guidelines for assessing creative experiences, and encourages the application of the methods to leadership, research, and decision-making. It allows readers to turn their unidimensional technical knowledge into a multi-dimensional knowledge framework that will provide a broader and more realistic framework for the solution of complex problems. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental concepts of critical and creative thinking and idea innovation, and each chapter presents numerous activities to accompany the knowledge-based educational material provided.


    • Provides educational material on creativity in a format that stresses application. An array of creative thinking tools will enable the reader to develop imaginative ideas.

    • Emphasizes ways that critical thinking, idea innovation, and creativity can enhance a reader’s ability to solve problems related to leadership, the conduct of research, making decisions, and solving complex problems.

    • Focuses on ways to improve the reader’s thinking skills, which will enhance the likelihood of developing novel solutions to complex problems; this skill set includes skills like curiosity, questioning, and skepticism, which are central to efficiently solving complex problems and meeting the requirements of effective leadership.

    • Includes numerous activities in each chapter that will enable readers to apply the methods and develop actual experience in critical and creative thinking; these activities are appropriate for use either by individuals or by small groups.

    1. Introduction. 2. Processes for Problem Solving. 3. Brainstorming: Fundamentals of Idea Generation. 4. Synectics: Analogical Brainstorming. 5. The Delphi Method. 6. Checklist Development and Applications. 7. Inhibitors of Creativity and Innovation. 8. Assessment of Critical Thinking Activities. 9. A New Perspective on Critical Thinking. 10. The Skill Dimension of Critical Problem Solving. 11. The Value Dimension of Critical Problem Solving. 12. The Mindset Dimension of Critical Problem Solving. 13. The Thinking Dimension of Critical Problem Solving. 14. Leadership of Critical Problem Solving. 15. Critical Thinking: Applications to Research. 16. Critical Decision Making. 17. Introspective Idea Innovation. 18. Conclusions.


    Dr. Richard H. McCuen is an Emeritus Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland. He retired in 2020 as the Ben Dyer Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Dr. McCuen received a BSCE degree from Carnegie-Mellon University (1967) and the MSCE and Ph.D. (1971) degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a faculty member at the University of Maryland for 49 years and served as Director of the Engineering Honors Program for more than 35 years. Each year, Dr. McCuen taught an honors course that was centered about the topic of creative thinking.