How are improvisation and divergent thinking linked?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One of the major components of divergent thinking, along with creativity, is fluency, or the ability to quickly come up with alternatives in attempting to come up with a solution to a problem. This speaks to the ability to imagine original solutions, which is, of course, absolutely essential to the ability to improvise. If a person can quickly imagine a wide range of response to a problem without much preparation, they are well-equipped psychologically to improvise. The importance of improvisation, and its connection to divergent thinking, is often pointed to as a major downfall of modern education, which, it is argued, is often more geared toward producing convergent thinkers, who tend to narrow down alternatives into a single possibility. Of course, effective improvisation depends on the decisiveness of a person as well.