The Five “Core Dispositions” Of The Artistic Mind

Share Button

Can we measure creativity? How would we go about doing so? Such questions are explored in a new working paper published by the global Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, reports Erik Robelen of Education Week:

“In the paper, researchers at the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester in England put forward a definition for creativity focused on five ‘core dispositions.’ They field-tested their work in a dozen schools. A creative mind, they say, is:

• Inquisitive (wondering and questioning, exploring and investigating, challenging assumptions)

• Persistent (sticking with difficulty, daring to be different, tolerating uncertainty)

• Imaginative (playing with possibilities, making connections, using intuition)

• Collaborative (sharing the product, giving and receiving feedback, cooperating appropriately)

• Disciplined (developing techniques, reflecting critically, crafting and improving).”

Robelen asked Robert Sternberg, an expert in intelligence-testing from Oklahoma State University who has studied creativity extensively, what he thought of the notion of a “creativity index”:

“We don’t want an index that trivializes creativity, such as by counting numbers of activities that, on their surface, sound creative, rather than exploring what is actually done in the activities to encourage creativity,” said Sternberg. “We don’t want to encourage quantity over quality of activities.”

I’m skeptical of efforts to measure creativity. I do like the framework that these researchers have come up with, though—especially the way they’ve conceptualized creativity as a set of “dispositions,” or orientations toward the world and toward one’s creative work, rather than as something you “get” or “achieve.” (Read more here.)

What do you think—does “inquisitive, persistent, imaginative, collaborative, and disciplined” fit your idea of the creative mind? 

(I chose an image of Pablo Picasso to accompany this post because, after visiting the stupendous Picasso museum in Paris, he is my ultimate ideal of the creative mind.)


Share Button

3 Responses to “The Five “Core Dispositions” Of The Artistic Mind”

  1. Lee says:

    Keith Sawyer has written extensively on creatvity (his latest book Creativity Explained published in 2012 is invaluable). There is a wealth of information about measuring creativity. The Torrance test is priblematic but probavly still the best measure we have. http://keithsawyer.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/do-you-use-creativity-tests/

  2. If nothing else, those five dispositions seem like good things to be conscious of and helpful aids in an effort to maximize creativity.

  3. Margo Mason says:

    What I would love to see is an “exercise” program for strengthening creativity similar in format to “Luminosity.” That one is much too left-brained for me, as an artist/writer/Internet entrepreneur.

Leave a Reply