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Williams’ taxonomy

Williams’ taxonomy

Williams’ taxonomy is a hierarchical arrangement of eight creative thinking skills conceived, developed, and researched by Frank E. Williams, a researcher in educational psychology . [1] The taxonomy forms the basis of a differentiated instruction curriculum model used with gifted students and gifted education .

The first four levels are essentially cognitive (thinking), while the last four levels are affective (feeling) in nature. [2]

The eight levels are: [3]

  1. Fluency , the generation of many ideas, answers, answers, possibilities to a given situation / problem;
  2. Flexibility , the generation of alternatives, variations, adaptations, different ideas / solutions / options;
  3. Originality , the generation of new, unique and novel responses / solutions;
  4. Elaboration , expansion, enlargement, enrichment or embellishment of ideas to make it easier to understand or make it more interesting;
  5. Risk-taking , experimenting, trying new challenges;
  6. Complexity , the ability to create structure out of chaos,
  7. Curiosity , the ability to wonder, ponder, contemplate or puzzle;
  8. Imagination , the ability to build mental pictures, visualizes possibilities and new things.

The Purposes of the taxonomy are to teach creative thinking skills, to encourage lateral thinking as well as proactivity , to foster creativity , and to Develop students’ creative talents qui peut être Transferred to the changing challenges faced in everyday life . [4]


  1. Jump up^ Williams, Frank E. (Dec 1969). “Models for encouraging creativity in the classroom by integrating cognitive-affective behaviors” . Educational Technology . 9 (12): 7-13.
  2. Jump up^ Williams, Frank E. (1993). “The cognitive-affective interaction model for enriching gifted programs”. In JS Renzulli. Systems and models for developing programs for the gifted and talented . Highett, Vic .: Hawker Brownlow. pp. 461-484.
  3. Jump up^ “Gifted and Talented Education; Extract from Support Package: Curriculum Differentiation; The Williams Model” (PDF) .
  4. Jump up^ “Assessing Creativity Test 21” .