In today’s episode of the Idea to Value Podcast, we speak with Prof Keith Sawyer from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Prof Sawyer is an expert researcher on creativity, and we talk about what it takes for children to learn most effectively, how teachers and schools need to adapt to new ways of teaching, and how this can teach us about becoming more creative.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • 00:01:30 – The convergence of research into learning and creativity, and how the two complement each other
  • 00:03:15 – What the research is telling us about the difference between shallow knowledge (memorising) and deeper knowledge (required for creativity)
  • 00:05:15 – Based on his research, Creative performance is based on a balance of general creative skills, as well as domain-specific experience and knowledge on which to build
  • 00:07:00 – The Art Bias in schools and teaching
  • 00:10:30 – If you teach for deeper understanding of a subject, the research shows that the performance of students on shallow knowledge (facts) assessments also improves as a result
  • 00:12:30 – Teachers should introduce some improvisation into their classrooms
  • 00:14:00 – Group Flow: where several people can be in a flow state together. Teachers can collaborate with their students through guided improvisation
  • 00:16:30 – How changing the style of teaching, and learning, can be scary for many participants at first
  • 00:19:45 – His view on what the trends of creativity are

Links mentioned in this episode:


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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.