Dr. Ronald Beghetto, Professor of Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, is an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Creative Behavior (the oldest and longest standing journal devoted to creativity research), and creativity advisor for Lego Foundation. His research focuses on promoting creativity in everyday teaching, learning, and leadership practices. A central theme in his work examines how making small changes to existing teaching, learning, and leadership practices can offer. As he says speaking of creativity in education:
I talk about the concept of lesson unplanning. It’s not about starting all over again, it’s about starting with what you already have, which may be an over-planned lesson, where you’ve predetermined what the outcome is, how to get there, what it’ll look like when you get there and the criteria. All that is fine when you’re initially introducing a concept and rehearsing it. But once students have it, consider whether you can start removing pieces? Maybe have them come up with a different way of meeting the criteria, or come up with their own problems? So, we as educators maintain the criteria…but what if we allowed students to come up with the ways they’re going to meet that criteria?
As he says:
It’s not about thinking outside the box, it’s about thinking creatively inside the box… we’re really really good at defining and specifying the task constraints down to an almost ridiculous level of detail. But we’re not that great about creating spaces for originally meeting those task constraints in different and unexpected ways.
Dr. Beghetto is also the latest creativity researcher to be interviewed in our ongoing article series for Tech Trends. You can find a list of all the articles in the series here, and if you are interested in just the interviews, go here. Read the complete article by following the link in the citation below:
Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & the Deep-Play Research Group (2018). Creativity, Uncertainty, and Beautiful Risks: a Conversation with Dr. Ronald Beghetto. Tech Trends. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0329-y
Photo credit: Punya Mishra