Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education: Innovative Approaches, Methods, and Ideas

By Paul Jay Edelson; Patricia L. Malone | Go to book overview

EDITORS' NOTES

There is a renewed interest in human creativity as a focus of interdisciplinary scholarship. Whereas much previous research and writing approached this subject from the perspective of psychology and tended to view creativity as a trait unevenly distributed throughout the population, newer approaches emphasize the role of environment, social organization, and ways of encouraging more creative behavior. For example, a systems approach to creativity encourages us to look at how social environments can be altered to promote creativity. The implications of these new perspectives on human creativity for adult educators are many and far-reaching, extending to the schoolroom, the corporation, and the community, and including enhanced creativity within continuing education itself. The purpose of this source book, then, is to provide adult educators with updated views on creativity and how it can become an essential quality of their professional and personal lives. Unlocking greater creativity in the classroom and in other dimensions of continuing education stands before us as a significant challenge toward which we can strive with both imagination and motivation.

In the first chapter, one of us, Paul Jay Edelson, sets the stage by presenting an overview of current creativity research and its implications for adult education. In Chapter Two, Susan Anderson describes an innovative, schoolbased peer education model for alcohol and drug prevention. Enhancing citizenship and fostering community change is the topic addressed in Chapter Three by Catherine Flavin-McDonald and Molly Holme Barrett with Paul Aicher and Martha McCoy. They speak from the unique perspective of what a small foundation can do in creatively tackling giant national issues. In Chapter Four, Folkert Haanstra of the University of Amsterdam provides an international perspective through his research on the Dutch creativity centers, whose goal has been to stimulate creativity throughout the Netherlands.

Chapters Five through Eight address creativity in higher education. In Chapter Five, Clifford Baden of the Harvard Graduate School of Education analyzes the development of the world-famous Harvard Institute for the Management of Lifelong Education (MLE). In Chapter Six, Bill Clutter addresses how the strategic direction of a major urban university was changed with the assistance of creative continuing education leadership. In Chapter Seven, James F. Polo, Louise M. Rotchford, and Paula M. Setteducati of Nassau Community College (Long Island) write about a unique partnership with the Bell Atlantic Corporation. And in Chapter Eight, Mary Lindenstein Walshok shows how continuing educators can initiate innovative educational collaborations and have far-ranging impact on their regional economies. We conclude in Chapter Nine with some observations on creativity in adult and continuing education and what we think the major challenges are for the future.

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