Creativity – definitions, inhibitors and stimulants

The following videos were recorded as part of an exercise at the 2019 APAC Adobe Education Summit.


What the experts say

Let us look at some of literature from experts in this area. One of the educators in this activity was Dr Bronwen Wade-Leeuwen from Macquarie University who wrote the book Out of the Shadows in response to her PhD research based on fostering creativity in teacher education programs (Wade-Leeuwen, B. 2016).

In her book, she outlines a range of definitions of creativity from experts such as Professor Ellen Jane Langer (Harvard University), Ellis Paul Torrance (University of Georgia), Sir Ken Robinson (Author, Presenter) and Robert Sternberg (Cornell University) (Wade-Leeuwen, B. 2016)

Professor Langer says that creativity has dynamic qualities with the power to explore uncertainties that can reveal multiple perspectives during an activity (Dunoon and Langer, 2011).

Dr Torrance says that Aspects of creativity include uniqueness, fluidity, flexibility, elaboration, humour & avoidance of premature closure. He also defines creativity as the process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements & disharmonies.  (Torrance & Wu, 1974)

Professor Sternberg defines creativity as the production of new ideas, approaches and actions (Sternberg, 1999)

In his book Out of Our Minds, and in many of his recordings and presentations, Sir Ken Robinson defines creativity as the process of developing original ideas that have value (Robinson, 2011).

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive article to be published that will explore how some of the above definitions link with the interviews and other sources.


Dunoon, D. & Langer, E. (2011). Mindfulness and leadership: Opening up to possibilities. Integral leadership Review
Robinson, K. (2011). Out of our minds: Learning to be creative, London: Capstone Publishers
Sternberg, R. J. (1999) Handbook of Creativity. New York: Cambridge University Press
Torrance, E. P. & Wu, Y.  (1974) Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Personnel Press, Ginn. Xerox Education
Wade-Leeuwen, B. (2016) Out of the Shadows: Illinois: Common Ground Publishing