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Fostering Creative Thinking Within the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officers' Course Curriculum

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Increasingly, the need for creativity and creative thinking is being stressed within the Army and all branches of service. The Army has officially recognized that creative thinking can and will help soldiers and leaders prepare to meet the challenges of an ambiguous future operating environment. The Command and General Staff Officers Course CGSOC prepares field grade officers to operate at increased levels of responsibility, therefore this study employs a qualitative narrative analysis methodology to examine the emphasis of creative thinking within the Academic Year AY 2016 curriculum. Using the qualitative research analysis software, NVivo 11, current Army doctrine and the CGSOC block and individual lesson advance sheets were examined for the proportionality of seven cognitive learning outcomes, as described in the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Officer Professional Military Educational Policy. This study shows that the AY 2016 CGSOC curriculum places an emphasis on the lower order thinking skill of comprehension, as opposed to the cognitive skills of synthesis and create, which are more closely associated with creative thinking. This study concludes that the Command and General Staff School must officially define creative thinking as a cognitive skill and determine a method for assessing creativity.

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