International Center for Studies in Creativity: Curricular Overview and Impact of Instruction on the Creative Problem-Solving Attitudes of Graduate Students

International Center for Studies in Creativity: Curricular Overview and Impact of Instruction on the Creative Problem-Solving Attitudes of Graduate Students

Gerard J. Puccio (Buffalo State, State University of New York, USA), Susan Keller Mathers (Buffalo State, State University of New York, USA), Selcuk Acar (Buffalo State, State University of New York, USA) and Nur Cayirdag (Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0643-0.ch009


This chapter provides an overview of the programs offered by the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) at Buffalo State, State University of New York, where creativity is taught and studied extensively at the graduate and undergraduate level. Following the discussion on creativity as a 21st century skill and perennial need for creativity in the workforce, programs and courses are introduced along with the historical roots and philosophy of creativity at ICSC. The Creative Problem Solving Model, which represents the core of the curriculum, is described. The chapter also presents the results of the study regarding the impact of the graduate program on the creative problem solving attitudes of the graduate students based on qualitative and quantitative data.
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Creativity has been perceived as an elusive and complex construct (Brown, 1989; Ford & Harris, 1992; Sternberg, 2006). The content we present in this chapter centers on creativity, however, it is quite tangible. We will present information about programs and curricula focused on the development of creativity and provide empirical evidence showing impact of such creativity programs. More specifically, such creativity models as Creative Problem Solving: The Thinking Skills Model is described as the theoretical underpinnings are briefly discussed.

The creativity courses and programs offered at the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) have been developed over the decades are founded on certain beliefs about creativity. We believe that:

  • Creativity is a crucial life skill that helps individuals and societies survive, grow, and prosper.

  • Everybody has creative potential although its expressions can vary both in degree and style.

  • Creativity can be cultivated, developed, and taught.

The current chapter aims to explain and present:

  • Creativity as high demand 21st century skill.

  • The mission and history of the ICSC.

  • Programs offered by ICSC and curricular overview.

  • Results of the qualitative and quantitative data collected from graduate students.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Certificate in Creativity and Change Leadership: Eighteen credit-hour graduate-level certificate program sanctioned by The State University of New York (SUNY) that is available to students who wish to study on campus or as a distance student.

Divergent Thinking: The ability to think in various directions and the capacity to generate many ideas, solutions, and options.

Convergent Thinking: Reasoning that brings together relevant information to arrive a valid conclusion.

Thinking Skills Model: Elaboration and expansion of Creative Problem Solving model with specification of required cognitive and affective skills involved.

Creative Attitudes: The way one feels and acts in relation to creativity.

21st Century Skills: Critical skills needed to be successful in collegiate programs and contemporary careers and workplaces.

Ruth Noller (1922-2008): Navy veteran and professors of mathematics and creativity who developed the formulaic definition of creativity in which attitudes are defined as the crucial catalyst for creativity that emerges from the interaction of Knowledge, Imagination and Evaluation.

Sidney Parnes (1922-2013): Academic and former president of Creative Education foundation that developed the Creative Problem Solving and the author of Creative Behavior Guidebook.

Alex Osborn (1888-1966): Advertising executive who is the father of brainstorming, the founder of Creative Education Foundation, and the author of Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving.

Master of Science in Creative Studies: Thirty-three credit-hour program with three strands namely Foundations of Creativity Strand, Creative Problem-Solving and Facilitation Strand, and Research, Development, and Dissemination Strand.

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