Synectics model by William Gordon

1)Synectics Model of teaching was developed by William J. J. Gordon and his colleagues in 1961.This model uses a series of analogies in the classroom. 

2)”Synectics ”is a creative word coined to mean “amalgamation of different and apparently irrelevant elements”

3)Synectics is an instructional model designed to activate students’ creativity and help them see old ideas in new ways through employing various forms of metaphoric thinking to activate “generative thinking.” More creative and fun way.

Synectics techniques for creativity 

1)Synectics technique was developed by William J. Gordon and his associates in 1961 as a result of research undertaken at the Arthur D. Little organisation into creative individuals and the creative process

2)Gordon then adapted it for school children. The main element in synectics is making analogies.

3)Synectics is a creativity technique that is closely related to brainstorming.

4)Synectics is a technique used to help students develop creative thoughts through metaphoric thinking and analogies

5)Synectics comes from the Greek word synecticos, means the joining together of apparently unrelated elements.

6)The approach, which is often used by groups, can help students develop creative responses to problem solving, to retain new information, to assist in generating writing, and to explore social and disciplinary problems

7)Synectics is dependent upon an open, permissive communication environment.

8)Using synectics in the classroom may be done by working through the following steps

1)Define the word

2)Create Direct Analogies

3)Describe Personal Analogies

4)Identify Compressed Conflicts

5)Create a New Direct Analogy

6) Re-examine the Original Topic

Gordon’s Four Distinct States

1)Detachment & involvement: 

A change in perspective in which the person moves from distant to the problem to commit to the problem;


 Prevent premature closure and entertain other possible solutions;


 Once free from premature closure, the person can critically consider the consequences of each possible solution;

4)Autonomy of Subject: 

The feeling that the solution to the problem has taken over and is working itself out; it is that warm feeling of “being right” long before there is a rationale.

Initial Description

1)What is the problem statement?

2)What are the possible specific factors of the problem?

3)Where in the lesson does detachment & involvement, deferment, speculation, and autonomy occur?

4) Describe how the lesson generates ideas by referring, reflecting, and reconstructing

5)Offer an example of direct, personal, and symbolic analogies specific to the problem

6)Provide lesson goal and objective statements.

Generating ideas with Synectics 


It involves  gathering information and defining the problem.


It involves using a variety of techniques to generate ideas.


It involves synthesizing ideas to create a useful solution.

Three Types of Analogies: 

Seeking  Relationships

1)Direct Analogy: 

It means comparison between two things Example: Veins are like a plumbing system.

2)Personal Analogy: 

Here the  student becomes an element within the problem and the goal is empathy

Example: How would you feel if you were a tree attacked by acid rain?

3)Symbolic Analogy: 

Here the descriptions that appear to be contradictory, yet are actually creative insight Example: When is silence deafening?


1)It explores ideas which is   “out of the box” . This method is particularly useful when one’s team happens to be stuck and cant’s see any solutions that were not tried or discussed already.

2)One may use the method for any size of  team. As any other group technique, it works the best in a smaller group, around 7-10 people. Bigger  team  may be separated  in several groups and combine their outputs afterwards.

3)It is energizing for the teams and often funny while the results are still delivered. The fun part comes when the teams when they are formulating analogies to the problem. Analogies may come from whatever environment or situation they choose.