Keynote Speakers

Enhancing Creative Productivity: A Developmental, Domain Specific Approach

Rena Subotnik

Center for Psychology in Schools and Education; the American Psychological Association, USA

This presentation and associated discussion will explore the intersections of child and adolescent development, psychosocial skills training, and domain specific abilities on creative productivity and innovation – with a special emphasis on science, mathematics, and music.  I will argue, based on the study of adult creative producers, that talent development is long term, domain specific, and closely tied to mental and social skills.  Further, the beginning, peak, and end points of the path to high level creativity or innovation vary by domain.  Performance fields like chess, sport, and classical music have accumulated a growing literature on how to generate results beyond those derived from disciplined practice and accumulated knowledge.  In collaboration with practitioners in performance domains, psychologists have been exploring how this literature can be imported to creative production in the sciences.  Lots of gaps remain in conceptualizing and testing high creative performance factors, which provides rich opportunities for new research lines and international collaboration.

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Lines in the Sand: Are Certain Students Being Marginalized in our System?

Ken McCluskeyKen McCluskey

Winnipeg University, Winnipeg, Canada

If we expect students to communicate and behave positively in the classroom, on the playground, and on the school bus, there obviously must be rules, order, and organization. And certainly, educational environments should be physically and emotionally safe for all children and adolescents. However, when overly rigid, punitive codes of discipline are put in place, many students – who cannot adapt to inflexible reactions and responses – may be harmed instead of helped. Indeed, under certain conditions, teachers, administrators, and support staff may inadvertently say and do things that essentially drive nonconforming, difficult young people from our system. Even with the best will in the world, educational caregivers can sometimes make unfortunate choices, draw lines in the sand, and push at-risk students over and out. The goals here are to raise relevant issues, identify specific pitfalls to avoid, and consider more hopeful, creative alternatives.

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Getting from Creative Potential to Creative Talent: Assessment & the Educational Challenge

Todd Lubart

Todd Lubart

Université Paris Descartes, Paris-France

A new conceptual framework that focuses on latent creative potential and the process allowing individuals to transform their potential into accomplishment (displayed creative behavior) will be presented.  First, the concept of creative potential will be examined, including the relevant psychological factors and the use of EPoC (a new measure for the Evaluation of Potential Creativity).  Second, creative talent will be defined and operationalized, allowing the difference or « gap » between the initial state of creative potential and the end state of creative talent to be characterized. Third, educational strategies to develop the psychological resources needed to bridge the talent gap will be described.

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Meaningful Learning through Creative Education

Patrick Blessinger

Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association, New York City, USA.


Patrick draws on his international experience as a university instructor, designer of educational programs, and researcher in learning and inquiry to discuss a meaningful learning approach to creative education, based on his book, Meaning-Centered Education. While many people believe that creativity is mainly the province of geniuses and artists, Patrick contends that creativity should be recognized as the essence of higher order thinking as well as a practical life skill that should be nurtured in everyone. Creativity can be described as the meaningful application of imagination. Creativity is important on both a global scale (innovation) and an individual level (imagination). So, how do we use creativity in novel and meaningful ways to explore new possibilities for ourselves and for society? And how do we foster creativity in an educational culture defined largely by conformity, standardization, and hyper-specialization? While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, Patrick discusses some of the benefits of creative education for learners as well as the implications for educators.

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