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Saturday, 15 September 2012 14:37

Why Creativity & Human Development?

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The 21st Century is widely regarded as the Age of Creativity. Whether or not you agree with that statement, there is little doubt that creative solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems are very much needed. Certainly, there has been growing interest in creativity, with certain governments and business leaders regarding the capacity to be creative as key to economic success. The role of creativity in individual health and well-being is also widely acknowledged - in fact a future issue of this journal will be devoted to exploring exactly what that role is - in our personal lives, in the community and at work. Whether or not you agree that creativity also has a dark side depends partly on how you define it.

Fostering creativity and healthy human development are generally thought to be worthwhile objectives. Indeed, there is a vast body of literature on each area. But until now, with the odd exception, much of this literature has focused either on the development of creativity or on human development but not consistently on both together. Most texts on human development tend to make only fleeting reference to creativity and vice versa. And yet the two are inextricably linked. We now need to know much more about how they are linked throughout life and what the implications are for health and well-being, organisational and community development, and government policy and practice. We also need to know much more about how creativity and human development are addressed in different countries and cultures – our next journal theme.

Creating this journal means that we now we have a dedicated international space for everyone to raise questions, share insights and research findings, and comment on all aspects of creativity and human development. We would be very pleased to hear from you.

Meanwhile, here are a few intriguing questions:

  • What best supports creativity development at different stages of people's lives?
  • Does what we know about healthy human development tally with what we know about the development of creativity? In other words, are the factors which support creative capacity the same as those which support healthy human development?
  • Do these vary at different stages of human development and if so what are the implications, for policy and practice?

Please feel free to comment and add any related questions which occur to you.


Last modified on Thursday, 22 November 2012 21:30
Dr Marilyn Fryer

Marilyn is a Director of the Creativity Centre UK Ltd, and Chief Executive of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust - a voluntary role. A chartered psychologist and author, her work has been presented and published internationally.

Marilyn enjoys talking about creativity education in the UK. This was the theme of her keynote presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Japanese Association of Educational Psychology in Shizuoka, Japan; the Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia; and the International Forum on Creativity at the opening of the Nobel Prize Centennial Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur where she was also a panel member for Forging the Creative Agenda for Malaysia. Marilyn has also undertaken consultancy on the development of creativity for various government bodies in the UK and overseas.

Before co-founding the Creativity Centre with Caroline, Marilyn spent much of her career in the university sector undertaking research and teaching creativity education, developmental and cognitive psychology. At Leeds Metropolitan University, where she was Reader in Psychology, she set up the cross-university Centre for Innovation and Creativity (CIC) as well as devising and delivering a series of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in applied creativity, supervising research and undertaking her own research into creativity in education.

One of the things Marilyn most enjoys is meeting people from all over the world and collaborating with them to create publications and learning resources in the area of creativity and human development, which is one reason why she enjoys being an editor of this journal.
More in this category: « Welcome from Marilyn Fryer
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