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.     The question of how we can encourage creative capacities in young people has never been more relevant than it is today (Pink, 2006; Robinson as cited in TEDtalksDirector, 2007; Eisner as cited in VanderbiltUniversity, 2009). While the world is rapidly evolving, education has the great challenge of adapting to keep up. Scholars say that to meet the needs of 21st century learners, pedagogy must focus on fostering creative skills to enable students to manage in a future we cannot yet envision (Robinson as cited in TEDtalksDirector, 2007). Further, research demonstrates that creativity thrives with autonomy, support, and without judgment (Amabile, 1996; Codack [Zak], 2010; Harrington, Block, & Block, 1987; Holt, 1989; Kohn, 1993). So how well are schools doing in this regard? How do alternative models of education nurture or neglect creativity, and how can this inform teaching practice all around? In other words, ultimately, how can we nurture creativity in education? This documentary explores these questions from a scholarly art-based perspective. Artist/researcher/teacher Rebecca Zak builds on her experience in the art studio, academia, and the art classroom to investigate the various philosophies and strategies that diverse educational models implement to illuminate the possibilities for educational and paradigmatic transformation.
.     The Raising Creativity documentary project consists of multiple parts across multiple platforms. There are five videos in the series that answer the why, who, how, what, and now what about creativity in education respectively (i.e., why is this topic important, who has spoken/written on this topic already, how will this issue be investigated this time, what was observed during the inquiry, and now what will this mean going forward?). There is also a self-reflexive blog that addresses certain aspects of the topic in greater depth (located here, on this website) and in the context of Rebecca’s lived experience to complement the video format. Together, all video and blog artifacts housed on this website function as a polyptych, wherein the pieces can stand alone individually yet are intended to work together and fulfill the dissertation requirements for Rebecca’s doctorate degree in education in reimagined ways.




Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Codack [Zak], R. (2010). Portrait of the artist/researcher/teacher: A reflection on the nature of

.       learning. Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, 4(7), 89–145.

Harrington, D. H., Block, J. H., & Block, J. (1987). Testing aspects of Carl Rogers’s theory
.      of creative environments: Child-rearing antecedents of creative potential in young
     adolescents. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology52(4), 851–856..    
.      doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.52.4.851
Holt, J. (1989). Learning all the time. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s,
.        praise, and other bribes. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Pink, D. H. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. New York, NY:
      Riverhead Books.

TEDtalksDirector. (2007, January 6). Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? Retrieved

.       January 26, 2013, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

VanderbiltUniversity. (2009, November 4). Prof. Elliot W. Eisner: “What do the arts

.       teach?” Retrieved May 1, 2013, from http://youtu.be/h12MGuhQH9E