Saturday, September 25, 2010

Keynote: The Potential for Creative Learning and Teaching

Dr. Susan Keller-Mathers recently had the pleasure of both attending the Canadian Society for Teaching and Learning in High Education (STLHE) conference "Creative Teaching and Learning: Exploring. Shaping. Knowing" in Toronto and presenting the closing keynote “Potential for Creative Learning and Teaching” (video of keynote).

It was wonderful to reconnect with our long time Canadian colleague and ICSC alumni Gretchen Bingham as well as having the opportunity to engage with a community of scholars who teach in all disciplines across the academy. She had many rich conversations regarding what Alex Osborn considered central to the growth of the field of creativity “bring a more creative trend to education” and attended many very good sessions where she was engaged and challenged to continue to think about the ways we engage in the higher education classroom (see opening keynote video for example)

As a result, she also had the opportunity to submit an article for publication in the Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching (CELT) titled “Building Passion and Potential for Creative Learning in Higher Education”. Here’s the abstract:
“Building passion and potential for creative learning in higher education involves deliberately seeking to understand, appreciate and teach for creativity. The recognition of the urgent need for creativity and problem solving skills, the understanding that you must embrace creative learning for yourself first and that creativity cannot be left to chance is central. Developments in the field of creativity, both with regard to defining aspects of creativity and providing frameworks for integrating creative learning into higher education practices are discussed”

The Collected Essays will be published in time for the next year’s conference hosted by the University of Saskatchewan. Prior CELT collected essays can be downloaded at:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3rd edition of Exploring the Nature of Creativity

3rd edition of Exploring the Nature of Creativity

Mike and Ronni Fox have just completed the 3rd edition of Exploring the Nature of Creativity published by Kendall-Hunt. It is on the bookshelves now.

We wrote this book to give the newcomer to creativity a view of the creative person, the creative process, the creative outcome (product) and the creative press. In 1999 we could find no text that covered all four P’s. Most of what we found spoke to the creative person, or the processes, or the press, but nothing looked at the whole schema – so we wrote one. We used the working title “First You take a P” and later decided that didn’t sound scholarly enough. (The first edition was published in 2000. The second edition came out in 2004.)

Ronni was involved in this effort from the start. Here is the back story….
Shortly after we were married, I asked Ronni if she ever had insomnia. She said, “Yes, once in a while.” So I asked her what she did for it. Ronni said, “I just read a chapter out of one of your books!” She did follow that up with a comment about my work being information dense.
To counteract my information–dense writing style (Ronni’s words, not mine), we decided, from the start, to write Exploring together. She is a real writer – published – and paid! We decided to make it a teach-by-parable book. That notion has worked out nicely. The first edition was well crafted, except for 147 typos and incomplete sentences. Where is an editor when you need one? The second edition was supposed to fix that sort of thing. And it did – except for the new ones!

The third edition is genuinely different. E. Paul Torrance is in there now – thanks to Alan Black who was kind enough to point out the omission! A blinding flash of the obvious if ever there was one. The evolution of the CPS model shows early Osborn through the new Thinking Skills Model. The press chapter is clearer with little duplication of concepts. The focus is on simplicity. After all, it is an introductory text.

The royalties from the book are donated directly to the International Center for Studies in Creativity. The illustrations, cover design, and page layout were donated by folks involved in creativity. The illustrations were created by Alan Cowert. He does graphic facilitations, among other things. Allen lives in Alabama and works nationally. If you like his work, he can be reached at . The cover design was created by Jessica Hulbert. Jessica minored in creativity and is now a media specialist for a law firm in Getzville, NY. The page layout came from Nick Strascina. He minored in creativity and majored in graphic design. I haven’t heard from him lately, but I think he has his own graphic design business.

For about $60, Exploring the Nature of Creativity is a really good introductory book. I know. I wrote it – and Ronni fixed it!