Teaching Creativity

I just returned from a visit to The Teaching Company.  You may have seen their ads in the Wall Street Journal or any number of other publications; they develop and sell videotape and audiotape courses by the U.S.’s best professors.  I was honored to be invited there to do what they call an “audition lecture” of 30 minutes.  We’re talking about developing a 24-lecture course in “cultivating creativity” that is research based.  What would you like to see in such a course?

My first thoughts are to use the outline of my book Explaining Creativity, an overview of the research about creativity.  I’ve just signed with Oxford University Press to write a second edition of this book.  Although it was just published in 2006, the research has progressed rather rapidly since then, and there are enough new findings that a second edition is necessary.

And on a related note: I’ll be on sabbatical from Washington University for the next 12 months, and will be in residence at three different locations:

1. Four weeks this summer at the San Francisco Exploratorium;

2. Three months, the fall term, at the University of Cambridge, England;

3. January through May 2010 at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

I plan to put these three experiences together and write a book about how to teach creativity.

7 thoughts on “Teaching Creativity

  1. I would like to see such a course, but I worry that creativity, while vital that it be understood intellectually, is something that needs to be practiced. Shouldn’t a true course on creativity be experiential as well?

  2. Yes, you’re absolutely right. It will be a challenge to make such a course interactive and active learning, but that’s true of any audio lecture course. Maybe in another year, I’ll be posting to this blog about how I’m addressing the challenge.

  3. Would be interested to see how you went with this. I always find these types of topics interesting because if you’re not creative in the way you present it do you not lose a certain degree of credibility?

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