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Big C and Little c

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Presentation by Robert Quinn and Cynthia Bickley-Green
East Carolina University
2010 ECU Gifted Conference

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Big C and Little c

  1. 1. Big-C and Little-c: The Creativity Crisis in the U.S.?<br />Cynthia Bickley-Green, PhD<br />Robert D. Quinn, PhD<br />School of Art and Design <br />East Carolina University<br />
  2. 2. The Problem?<br />Newsweek, July 10, 2010, The Creativity Crisis. For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it?<br />Kyung Hee Kim, College of William & Mary, May, analyzed almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward.<br />
  3. 3. Runco RE: Kim<br />Mark Runco was not overly concerned about Kim’s work. He pointed out that the decline that Kim found occurred on two of the four cognitive processes of fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Although the findings were significant; the effect sizes were small.<br />However, some issues related to creative production continue to trouble us as general visual culture observers. <br />
  4. 4. Our Troubling Observations<br />Fluency: Less interest in abstract imagery and lack of ability to inquire in terms of “why” or “what it is”?<br />Originality: Conformity in dress to emulate stars in popular TV shows.<br />Flexibility: Political/religious systems’ inability to compromise.<br />Elaboration: Short attention span of students who work on projects.<br />
  5. 5. What Might We Do?<br />Csikszentmihalyi: <br />Loosen the boundaries of domains and content areas for more interdisciplinary activities.<br />Runco: <br />Teach to develop creative thinking,<br />Give opportunities for creative production,<br />Provide appropriate support,<br />Model creative behaviors.<br />
  6. 6. What More Might We Do?<br />Runco (cont.)<br />Student’s personal creativity (little/mini –c)<br />Interest, intent, and motivation<br />Student’s cognitive ability to construct an original interpretation of experience synthesized into behavior or product.<br />
  7. 7. What More Might We Do?<br />Runco (cont.)<br />Discretion (when to use conventional/unconventional behavior) <br />Ego-strength<br />Art is a good place to teach creative thinking, not withstanding the “art bias”. Creativity or creative thinking should be taught in all domains.<br />
  8. 8. What is Creativity?<br />Creativity is the ability to produce work that is both:<br />Novel (i.e., original, unexpected), and<br />Appropriate (i.e., useful, effective, adaptive concerning task restraints)<br />(Sternberg & Lubart, 1999). <br />
  9. 9. Another Definition of Creativity<br />Creativity may be thought of as a culturally determined process dependent on:<br />What a social, cultural, or ethnic group perceives as novel, original, or unexpected, and<br />What product or action the group determines is appropriate and useful.<br />
  10. 10. Systems-Oriented Models <br />Cognitive scientists, art and design educators, and business researchers have developed systems-oriented models that consider situational factors in the environment as well as the creative factors of an individual person’s cognition and behaviors <br />
  11. 11. How Can We Encourage Acceptance of Creative Behaviors?<br />Consider Pitt County as a System<br />Youth Art Expressions Project (YAEP) Theme: Community Problems/Community Solutions<br />
  12. 12. Youth Art Expressions Program<br />Goal: To encourage youth to enter into civic dialog and action by imagining and artistically visualizing ways to address current problems related to substance abuse, youth violence, and related social issues.<br />However, students have also identified many other problems that they want to address so we accept all entries. <br />
  13. 13. From Little-c to Big-C<br />By linking creative thinking to community problems, we can encourage students to use their personal creative process in the broader community.<br />We invite any school to participate in the YEAP exhibition. <br />
  14. 14. For More Info. on the YAEP<br />November 30, 2010, Tuesday, 5:30 pm, in Room 1327 Jenkins Fine Arts Center.<br />Materials and information for the Youth Art Expressions Mall Exhibition will be distributed at this session.<br />Contact Us for More Information: <br />Cynthia Bickley-Green- bickleygreenc@ecu.edu<br />Robert D. Quinn- quinnr@ecu.edu<br />Jane Austen Behan- jbehan@pitt.k12.nc.us<br />
  15. 15. P.S.<br />Runco prefers not to simplify creative production to Big-C - Little-c categories.<br />Instead, he prefers to consider the internal cognition or neurobiology of creative thinking as a mental process that can be developed over the life span.<br />

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