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Can and Should Creativity be Assessed? Ep1 of Creativity in Crisis (Watch Video Discussions)

18 May 2020 34,424 5 Comments

Take the survey: can and should creativity be assessed?

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11am-12pm first Fridays US Pacific Time June 05 2020 Episode 1 of Creativity in Crisis: Prisoners of Our Own Imagination

As creativity becomes an increasing significant attribute/ability for students today, there is an increasing call for assessment. Is it possible to assess creativity? Are there any creativity assessments that have TRULY the power to predict individuals’ creativity capacity in the future? Are there any meaningful ways to assess creativity that is actually productive?

Furthermore, as schools and education systems began to struggle with creativity assessment, large international organizations such as the OECD has also begun to seriously consider creativity as an important educational outcomes. OECD’s Program for International Students Assessment (PISA) has announced that it will start creativity assessment in 2021. If you are curious, here is the 2021 PISA Creative Thinking Framework.

So, our first episode of Creativity in Crisis: Prisoners of Our Own Imagination is about creativity assessment. We will explore two large issues:

  1. What are the potential promises and pitfall of large scale creativity assessment of school-age children (e.g., PISA Creativity Assessment)?
  2. Even if we can assess creativity using international comparative assessments, should we?

Joining us are two scholars who are certainly more than qualified to explore the questions: James C. Kaufman and Bill Lucas.

James C. Kaufman is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author/editor of more than 35 books, including Creativity 101 (2nd Edition, 2016) and the Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (2nd Edition, 2019; with Robert Sternberg). He has published more than 300 papers, including the study that spawned the “Sylvia Plath Effect,” and three well-known theories of creativity, including (with Ron Beghetto) the Four-C Model of Creativity. He is a past president of Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. James has won many awards, including Mensa’s research award, the Torrance Award from the National Association for Gifted Children, and APA’s Berlyne and Farnsworth awards. He co-founded two major journals (Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and Psychology of Popular Media Culture). He has tested Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s creativity on CNN, appeared in the hit Australia show Redesign Your Brain, and narrated the comic book documentary Independents. He wrote the book and lyrics to Discovering Magenta, which had its NYC premiere in 2015.

Bill Lucas is Professor of Learning and Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL). He founded CRL in 2008, together with Prof. Guy Claxton. In 2017 Bill was appointed by the OECD as co-chair of the strategic advisory group for the 2021 PISA test of Creative Thinking which will draw on the work of the CRL. In 2018 he was invited to join the Durham Commission on Creativity in Education as an academic adviser and was subsequently co-author of its first report in 2019. Bill is an international adviser to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority in Australia, to Vinnvard in Sweden and to the OECD/CERI research into critical and creative thinking in France. Bill is Director of Learning for the Fellowship Programme of THIS, the new Healthcare Studies Institute at the University of Cambridge. Bill is known internationally as a speaker on the subjects of learning, change, creativity, healthcare improvement and leadership. He travels extensively to present keynotes, most recently in Sydney, Philadelphia, Helskinki, Qatar, Stockholm, Melbourne, Auckland, Belfast, Perth, Dublin and Dubai. He is a prolific, award-winning writer, and has authored and co-authored over forty books and chapters and many peer-reviewed papers.

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5 Comments »

  • Paula Intravaia said:

    What are the potential promises and pitfalls of large scale creativity assessment of school-age children (e.g., PISA Creativity Assessment)?
    My opinion is that schools should be assessed on how they create the environment and culture of creativity to support learner creative development. Assessing creativity in children, especially at scale, has the potential to create an artificial value system to be gamed by those with the most resources and/or those most threatened.

    Even if we can assess creativity using international comparative assessments, should we?
    No, however, self-assessment in conjunction with other related metrics used for individual creative development and informing the culture and environment of the institution may be useful.

  • Patti Shade said:

    Yes creativity should be assessed – just the product. . . Not the person.

  • Kevin Dunagan said:

    To me, it seems a bit of a “Hobson’s Choice.” By defining creativity in terms of the concrete, observable, and quantifiable, we risk turning it into something it’s not. Or, maybe we confine it to only one aspect of its full reality, and a trivial one at that. A proper conception of creativity should be able to account for creations like Michelangelo’s David, Shakespeare’s King Lear, or Einstein’s theory of relativity.

    Too often, studies of human qualities like creativity involve the establishment of laboratory conditions to render the quality visible and measurable, but the rendition ends up reducing the quality to simplistic, trivial terms, yielding only a truncated, two dimensional idea of the quality that the study sought to understand. Like high school biology vivisection of a frog: you make its inner anatomy observable, but in the process you kill the frog.

    Yet, such studies must be done. It has become clear that creativity is not the property of the “born genius,” and that the born genius isn’t a thing at all. There are ways to nourish creativity; in their absence, a developing creativity starves. And there are ways to poison it; if exposed to them, creativity doesn’t grow but may actually shrink, even shrivel away, though it’s an open question whether it can ever die. We need to determine these encouraging and inhibiting factors.

    Yet, the very means we derive from our efforts to discover them could in reality turn out to be themselves ways of poisoning creativity. This is the dilemma.

  • Creativity | ARTedTODAY said:

    […] I had the pleasure of listening to Can and Should Creativity Be Assessed– Creativity in Crisis- Ep. 1. This is a 4 part series with Yong Zhao and Ron Beghetto, features different guests each week with […]

  • Kate Searson said:

    Paula Intravaia
    I love your suggestion about schools being assessed to see whether or not they are providing the environment and culture of creativity to support learner creative development. This is a great idea. In a world obsessed with measurement this would encourage schools to promote and foster creativity, but it would not run the risks associated with assessing individual children.

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