What if tests are scored to give more credit to the most unique, or least frequently mentioned correct answer? What if tests include items that ask for new applications of materials and concepts studied? What if tests ask for opposites of the the correct answer - the most wrong answer? What if tests are given more credit when reasons for the answer are well stated.
Students who cannot write good responses may be unaware of the what a good response looks like. What if the most creative responses are posted (with permission from the writers) for the rest of the class to read?
Nurturing and changing thinking habits is perhaps the most significant thing a teacher can do. Unfortunately, thinking habits that facilitate good transfer of learning may be slow to change and difficult to influence. Too often we fall into practices that give quick results, but nurture thinking that is narrowly specialized, depends on imitation, on rote, or on following specific instruction. Is this education or some sort of training?