about our work Creativity is foundational to individual identity building and encourages the attainment of empathetic orientations to society and provides a building block for personal agency and self-efficacy beliefs. ~ James S. Catterall
Banner image: The Wooden Floor students perform, in concert, choreography that they contributed to building.
Mission The Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC) seeks to understand human creativity and the conditions that can promote imaginative approaches to learning, design, and problem solving. History For over 30 years, James Catterall’s scholarly inquiries focused on the impact of the arts on child development, educational engagement and disengagement, testing, assessment, and economic and policy analysis within educational systems. He often asked questions that no one else asked, resulting in groundbreaking research that informed the discourse and practice of educators and administrators across the country and around the globe. In 2011, upon his retirement from the Graduate School of Education and Information Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, Dr. Catterall turned his energies towards creativity. He was intrigued by the recurring calls from the corporate sector for a "more creative workforce" that he heard ringing out in the media, in the wake of the 2008 market crash. But what did a more creative workforce really mean?
From an educational perspective, it raised more questions. Were we cultivating creativity in students who are future (or current) contributors to the workforce? How can educators cultivate student creativity? What about teachers? Which types of professional training can help them to teach more creatively? What are the roles of school principals, district superintendents, and parents in cultivating creativity? How can we define or redefine the ecosystem that we seek to change, whether a classroom, school, community, or the world? What do we even mean, when we talk about creativity!? He began having lengthy conversations with colleagues on the subject. The more he thought and talked about creativity, the more he sought to understand its underpinnings and how it could be encouraged and supported in students and teachers. Several conversations with colleagues such as Steven D. Lavine, President of the California Institute of the Arts, Professor Anne Bamford from the University of the Arts in London, and Kristen Paglia, CEO of P.S. Arts were instrumental in laying the groundwork for what would become an independent research institution, The Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC). Employing a dedicated team of scholars and professionals, CRoC partners with clients from the public benefit (non-profit) arena, school, district, state, and nation-wide education initiatives, teacher professional development programs, after-school programs, and more to explore, examine, and evaluate creative teaching and learning.
Located just outside of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountain town of Topanga, CRoC's affiliate offices are located in London and Cambridge, UK.
Areas of Interest Creative Development in Students Teaching for Creativity (Teacher experience, relationship to creativity, training, and professional development) Building Empathy and Collaboration into Teaching Practice and Student Engagement