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Creativity is a Decision


Creativity is a Decision Keys to Developing Creativity in Children and Adults Teaching for Creative Thinking CREATE (a poem, sculpture, a new game) DESIGN (a new ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Creativity is a Decision

Creativity is a Decision
  • Keys to Developing Creativity in
  • Children and Adults

Robert J. Sternberg
  • Provost and Senior Vice President
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Collaborators
  • Todd Lubart
  • Elena Grigorenko
  • Linda Jarvin
  • Linda OHara
  • Wendy Williams
  • James Kaufman
  • Jean Pretz
  • Janet Davidson
  • Other Members of the PACE Center at Yale Tufts

Main Message
  • Creativity is a decision!

  • To show that creativity is, in large part, a
  • To review the most recent research findings
    regarding creativity and its development.
  • To show how to apply these ideas in educational

What is Creativity?
  • Production of an idea or product that is
  • Novel
  • Good or useful in some way
  • Task appropriate

Does Creativity Really Matter?
The Costs of Lack of Creativity
  • The Big Three vs Honda
  • CDC (Control Data Corporation) vs IBM
  • Eastern Airlines vs United Airlines

When People Lack Creative Vision
  • "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be
    seriously considered as a means of communication.
    The device is inherently of no value to us." --
    Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • While theoretically and technically television
    may be feasible, commercially and financially it
    is an impossibility." -- Lee DeForest, inventor.

When People Lack Creative Vision
  • We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on
    the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting
    the Beatles, 1962.
  • "Stocks have reached what looks like a
    permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher,
    Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

Main Ideas
Main Ideas
  • Creativity is in large part a decisionto defy
    the crowd.

Main Ideas
  • Creative people seek to defy the crowd by
    disposition, they create their own opposition
  • Many reactions to famous ideas, when these ideas
    were first disseminated, were very negative
  • Creativity can be developed

Examples of Rotten Reviews
  • This Side of Paradise (Fitzgerald, 1920) It
    seems to us in short that this story does not
    culminate in anything.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (Frank, 1952) The girl
    doesnthave a special perception or feeling
    which would lift that book beyond the curiosity

Examples of Rotten Reviews
  • Catch 22 (Heller, 1961) I havent the foggiest
    idea about what the man is trying to sayThis
    constitutes a continual and unmitigated bore.
  • Lady Chatterleys Lover (Lawrence, 1928) For
    your own good do not publish this book.

Examples of Rotten Reviews
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (LeCarre,
    1963) Youre welcome to LeCarrehe hasnt got
    any future.
  • Atlas Shrugged (Rand, 1957) I regret to say
    that the book is unsaleable and unpublishable.

Examples of Rotten Reviews
  • The art of Edvard Munch, Roy Lichtenstein
  • The science of Copernicus, Galileo
  • Athletics Ski-jumping

Main Ideas
  • Creative people buy low and sell high in the
    world of ideas.
  • Creative people are value investors in the
    realm of ideas very few people want to buy low
    and sell high, whether novices or experts
  • Forbes study

Why it is Hard to be Creative
  • External pressure
  • Internal pressure

Main Ideas
  • There are 13 key or micro-decisions behind the
    macro-decision to be creative.

Key Decisions
  • To redefine problems
  • Example Automobile executive

Key Decisions
  • To analyze creative solutions to problems
  • Example The hapless student

Key Decisions
  • To sell solutions
  • Example A talk at a testing company

Key Decisions
  • To realize that intelligence and knowledge both
    help and hurt creativity
  • Example A trip to the zoo

Key Decisions
  • To take sensible risks
  • Example Showdown at tenure time

Key Decisions
  • To overcome obstacles
  • Example The ill-fated IQ test

Key Decisions
  • To find what one loves to do
  • Example Playing the trumpet

Key Decisions
  • To continue to grow
  • Example Talk when I was in graduate school

Key Decisions
  • To believe in oneself
  • Example Dean Koontz

Key Decisions
  • To tolerate ambiguity
  • Example Discovery of the structure of DNA

Key Decisions
  • To take oneself and ones ideas somewhat lightly
    and to have a sense of humor
  • Example The ill-fated colloquium in Pittsburgh

Key Decisions
  • To seek an environment that encourages and
    rewards creativity
  • Example Transforming admissions

Key Decisions
  • To recognize that creativity is a way of life
  • Example Pablo Picasso

Teaching for Creative Thinking
  • create
  • design
  • invent
  • imagine
  • suppose

Teaching for Creative Thinking
  • CREATE (a poem, sculpture, a new game)
  • DESIGN (a new system of government for the
    classroom, a scientific investigation, a
    comfortable home
  • INVENT (a new means of transportation, a new life

Teaching for Creative Thinking
  • IMAGINE (what life would be like in another
    country, what it would be like to be president of
    a country, how bees communicate with each other)
  • SUPPOSE (worldwide temperatures keep increasing,
    people were paid to inform on neighbors who do
    not support the political party in power)

Assessing for Creative Thinking
Draw the Earth from an insects point of view
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How could you tell if there space aliens hiding
among us ?
Less Creative Response
  • Test their knowledge of countries on the Earth to
    see if they know what the names of the major
    countries are

More Creative Response
  • Test their knowledge of television shows and
    movies that Earth children would have been likely
    to see when they were children

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What would the world be like today if some major
event in history had come out differently?
Creative Essay What if
  • If the Trojans had heeded Laocoons advice and
    thrown Odysseus wooden horse into the sea, they
    would have defeated the Greeks at Troy. Aeneas
    would then never have had reason to flee the
    city, and he would never have ventured to Italy
    to found Rome. Without Rome, neither the Roman
    Republic nor a Roman Empire would have existed.
    Concrete, the arch, plumbing, and the sauna might
    never have been invented. The modern implications
    of Rome never having existed are indeed drastic.
    Lacking even concrete floors, people would resort
    to sleeping in the mud, and, without plumbing or
    saunas, they would be perpetually filthy and,
    generally, quite chilly. France could not have
    built the base of the Eiffel Tower without
    arches, so tourists would be unable to purchase
    miniature collectible Towers in Parisian
    convenience stores.

Good but Less Creative EssayWhat if
  • What if the ratification of the nineteenth
    amendment did not pass and women were never given
    the right to vote? What would life for women,
    like me, be like in the United States? For one
    thing, I probably would not be writing this
    essay. If women were not given their right to
    vote, I probably would stop going to school after
    this year and it would be unlikely that I would
    receive a college education. Without suffrage, my
    career options would be limited, if a career were
    a possibility at all. My accepted practices would
    be limited to staying home and taking care of the
    family. Rather than being equals, women would be
    subservient to men. I might not drive, I might
    not dress in the way in which I choose to, and I
    might not be able to live my life the way that I
    can in the twenty-first century.

The Rainbow Project
  • Measuring creativity (and practical thinking) via
    paper-and-pencil or computer can
  • Double prediction of first-year undergraduate
  • Reduce ethnic group differences by half

The Kaleidoscope Project
  • Measuring creativity on a university application
  • Eliminate ethnic-group differences
  • Improve prediction of first-year grades
  • Select students who are more likely to be
    involved in meaningful extracurricular and
    leadership activities

The Panorama Project
  • A new project at Oklahoma State University to
    measure, in admissions, creative as well as other
    kinds of thinking (analytical, practical, wise)

The Aurora Project
  • Measuring creativity for 8-12 year olds across
    domains can enhance our identification of

Suggested References
  • Sternberg, R. J., Grigorenko, E. L. (2007).
    Teaching for successful intelligence (2nd ed.).
    Thousand Oaks, CA Corwin Press.
  • Sternberg, R. J., Kaufman, J. C., Grigorenko,
    E. L. (2008). Applied intelligence. New York
    Cambridge University Press.

Suggested References
  • Sternberg, R. J., Jarvin, L., Grigorenko, E. L.
    (2009). Teaching for wisdom, intelligence,
    creativity, and success. Thousand Oaks, CA

Summing it Up
  • The End of Eternity

  • Creativity is a decision
  • Anyone can make this decision anytime
  • So Decide for creativity!