Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion (AACU, 2009).
Creative thinking is both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking (AACU, 2009).
Critical thinking is the active, persistent and careful consideration of a belief or form of knowledge. It includes analysis and judgments about the ideas and conditions that support beliefs and the conclusions that follow. Critical thinking involves analyzing and evaluating one’s own thinking and that of others. It is subject to intellectual standards, including clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, significance, depth, breadth, logic, and fairness (North Carolina State University, 2021).
Critical thinking is also known as "complex thinking" and "higher-order thinking." The ability to think critically calls for a higher order thinking than simply the ability to recall information.
Creative thinking is the generation of new ideas within or across disciplines. It draws upon or breaks rules and procedures in those disciplines and actively engages students in bringing together existing ideas into new configuration; developing new properties or possibilities for something that already exists; and discovering or imagining something entirely new. Standards for judging creative thinking include originality, appropriateness, flexibility, and contribution to the domain (North Carolina State University, 2021).
Creative thinking involves learning to generate and apply new ideas in specific contexts, seeing existing situations in a new way, identifying alternative explanations, and seeing or making new links that generate a positive outcome or solution.
Below are some resources to help you learn more about the competency of critical and creative thinking:
The Six Types of Socratic Questions
Phases of Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking Skills
Critical Thinking Habits of the Mind
Examples of Critical Thinking Questions
The Foundation for Critical Thinking
The Nature of Critical Thinking