For Immediate Release CENTERS FOR RESEARCH ON CREATIVITY Contact: Kim Zanti (310) 455 0785
James S. Catterall (February 20, 1948 – August 23, 2017) James S. Catterall, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Affiliate Faculty member at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development, and Co-Founder of the Centers for Research on Creativity, has died. The cause of death was a massive stroke, according to his family. He was 69.
In a career spanning four decades, Dr. Catterall published more than 120 journal articles, chapters, parts of books, and reports on children’s development in the context of learning in the arts. Several key contributions to the field remain widely influential.
In the compendium Champions of Change, The Impact of the Arts on Learning published by the Arts Education Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (1999), his evidence-based research eloquently documented the powerful effects that learning in dance, drama, music, and visual arts has on the development of the whole child.
Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, published by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Arts Education Partnership in 2002, further documented the academic and social effects of learning in the arts. This collection of research gave curriculum designers and classroom teachers a definitive resource for incorporating the arts across subject matter into teaching practice. The evidence shows that learning and cognition is positively affected when the developing child is offered a broader and richer learning experience through an art form and its related practices and strategies.
In his introductory essay to the volume, Dr. Catterall wrote, “If a musical note can propel and reorient millions of neurons, the arts experiences described in this Compendium clearly impact the cognitive structures of the children and students involved. To begin, learning in the arts alone should be seen as evidence of cognitive restructuring - the increased expertise of a watercolorist or dancer manifests in neural reorganization. In turn, if altered neuro-function is a consequence of learning in the arts, it is reasonable to think that such neural-conditioning could enhance performance in related skills, either through improved related cognitive functioning or through positive affective developments such as achievement motivation. Thus we establish a neuro-function argument supporting learning through the arts-the cultivation of capabilities and understandings that occur as ‘byproducts’ or ‘co-developments’ of the changes in cognitive and affective structures brought about by experiences in the arts. More directly, the argument suggests that experiences in the arts create capabilities or motivations that show up in non-arts capabilities.”
His keynote speeches at education conferences internationally were particularly well received in countries with progressive education systems such as Finland, Estonia, and Norway. At home in Topanga, California, he was known for his round spectacles, khaki vest, and slip on brown clogs. On the second level of the town shopping center, he maintained an office for two decades filled with art, musical instruments, and his vintage lunch box collection. The office now serves as the Los Angeles headquarters for the Centers for Research on Creativity.
He was well versed in asking questions that no one else was asking when collecting and analyzing data. He did this most notably in 2009 with the publication of Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art. In it, he and Professors Susan Dumais (LSU) and Gillian Hampden-Thompson (York University, U.K), reported their findings from the analysis of the data from a 12-year longitudinal study, which followed more than 12,000 youth from 18 – 26 years old.
According to the Arts Education Partnership, “This study provides important empirical evidence of the significant role that the arts play in preparing young people for success, both in academia and in life. Its implications for education of underserved and English Language Learners (ELL) are particularly significant, given the compelling need to improve the educational opportunities available to urban inner-city and ELL students.” Dr. Catterall retired from UCLA in 2012 to pursue his interests in studying ‘everyday’ creativity, using a simple definition based on two criteria: ‘is it new or novel to the person who had the idea? And, is it useful?’ In his speeches, radio, and television appearances he was often heard saying that means, motive, and opportunity were key ingredients to spark and sustain a student’s creativity and love of learning, instead of subjecting them to a barrage of standard tests that teachers and students simply endure.
He developed the Next Generation Creativity Survey to measure the qualities that comprise creativity, including creative self-efficacy, collaboration, empathy, and critical thinking. The survey has been administered to nearly 4,000 students enrolled in arts, science, leadership, and makers programs throughout the United States. The Centers for Research on Creativity plans to combine the data from the individual programs into one database, further analyzing it to contribute to the field of creativity research.
In 2015, he published his last book, The Creativity Playbook: A Guide to our Creativity Debates. The volume is a concise discussion of the questions surrounding today’s creativity debates, set in a conversational, playful tone, giving the reader a glimpse inside the man who worked to expand, and at the same time, make more specific, our discourse around the multi-faceted topic of creativity.
Dr. Catterall, known for his genial personality, made life-long friends as he nurtured several generations of young scholars, policy makers, and arts and science organization leaders. Dr. Sherry Kerr, a former graduate student of Dr. Catterall’s, traveled frequently to China with him over the past two years, where they offered professional development to classroom teachers on arts integration, neuroscience, and human development. She said of her colleague, “The genius of James is that he saw things that no one else saw. He loved conversations about the theory and practice of the arts and arts integration, and then could sit in fascination looking at a child’s painting and make the connection between the child’s act of creating and the intellectual case, backed by data, for the importance of the arts in student learning. ”
Nina Ozlu Tunceli, Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs at Americans for the Arts as well as the Executive Director of the Americans for the Arts Action Fund said of Dr. Catterall upon his passing, “I am reminded of the enormous impact that he has had on increasing arts education school budgets and policies across every state and city in the country with his longitudinal research on creativity and arts education on children. As a lobbyist of 25 years, I have delivered Dr. Catterall’s research results to every Member of Congress to make the case for additional arts education resources in schools, through the U.S. Department of Education, and in nonprofit arts organizations, through the National Endowment for the Arts. It ultimately led then-U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2012, to state in a speech, ‘… The arts opportunity gap is widest for children in high-poverty schools. This is absolutely an equity issue and a civil rights issue.’”
At the time of his death, Dr. Catterall served as the principal investigator or external evaluator on arts education and arts integration studies being conducted in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and Santa Ana, California and in Cincinnati, Ohio and Edinburgh, Scotland.
James Catterall began his career as a high school math teacher and tennis coach at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota. He pursued his doctoral studies in education at Stanford and was deeply inspired by education American developmental psychologist and Harvard professor Howard Gardner's 1980 book Artful Scribbles: The Significance of Childrens' Drawings.
Professor Catterall held degrees in economics, with honors, from Princeton University, in public policy analysis from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. He was an accomplished cellist and bassist. He lived with great joy for more than 30 years surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains in Topanga, California, where he was a founding member of the Topanga Symphony Orchestra. Until the time of his death, he continued playing cello with the symphony and bass in his rock band Tyger Dynasty that formed in his early days at Princeton.
James Stanley Catterall was born in Summit, New Jersey. His parents, Shirley and William Catterall are deceased. He is survived by his older brother William Edward, wife of 34 years, Rebecca Epps Catterall, their two children Hannah Beth, 33 and Grady James, 30, and newborn grandchild Sage Elizabeth Bloomfield and by his first wife of nine years Judith Elizabeth Catterall, their child Lisa Grush, 44, and grandchildren Mikal Jacob Pendleton, 24, Addison James Catterall-Pendleton, 13, and Phoenix Catterall-Pendleton, 1.
The memorial service will be held at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga, California on Saturday, September 16 at 10:00am, followed by a gathering in the theatre’s garden. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his honor be made to Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles (http://www.inner-cityarts.org).
For Immediate Release CENTERS FOR RESEARCH ON CREATIVITY Los Angeles : London Contact: Alison Rowe (310) 455 0785
Topanga Academics Reach an Audience of One Million
The work of the Topanga-based Centers for Research on Creativity forms the basis for an Education Week Webinar on July 18. An expected audience of one million will log in to hear presenter Dr. Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Principal, MUSE Research, formerly Founding Director of Research and Evaluation at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, discuss how instructional innovators use creativity to transform school culture and improve learning.
One of the ground-breaking case studies cited in the webinar, “The Wooden Floor”, was carried out by Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus, UCLA and Director of Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC). The study is part of a forthcoming book co-edited by Drs. Rekha Rajan and Ivonne Chand O’Neal, “Arts Evaluation and Assessment: Measuring Impact in Schools and Communities (Palgrave Macmillan)”, which highlights the unique evaluation methods employed in assessing the impact of music, theater, dance, musical theater, opera, and multimedia arts in schools and communities, and on arts policy in various contexts.
The “The Wooden Floor” case study details the findings so far in the ten-year assessment of the Orange County organization, which uses dance, educational supports, and social services to achieve far-reaching social change.
The free webinar, “Draw on the Power of Creativity”, also features Cheri Sterman, Director of Education at Crayola and is moderated by Dominique Young. To register for the webinar visit ow.ly/UZtC30dcB3F
Note To Editors: What: “Draw on the Power of Creativity” Webinar When: July 18, 5pm PST. Duration 1 hour. Organized by: Education Week People:
Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Ph.D. Co-editor “Arts Evaluation and Assessment: Measuring Impact in Schools and Communities,” published by Palgrave Macmillan, Fall 2017; founder and president, MUSE Research, a creativity think tank. Dr. Chand O’Neal is also on the Research Advisory Board of the University of Pennsylvania’s Human Flourishing Initiative; Senior Fellow, Creativity Testing Services, Co-Chair for the Arts, Culture and Audiences Division of the American Evaluation Association, and was formerly the founding Director of Research and Evaluation for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
James S. Catterall, Ph.D. James S. Catterall is Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at the UCLA Center for Culture, Brain, and Development. In July 2011, Dr. Catterall became Director and Principal Investigator at the Centers for Research on Creativity, (CRoC), based in Los Angeles and London, UK. (www.croc-lab.org) He is the author of the 2009 book, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art, a 12-year longitudinal study of the effects of learning in the arts on the achievements and values of young adults (Los Angeles, CA: I-Group Books).
The Wooden Floor For ten consecutive years, 100% of student graduates from The Wooden Floor do what only about 30% percent of their socio-economic peers have done — finish high school on time and enroll in higher education. Centers for Research on Creativity’s custom assessment tool provided the solid evidence of the efficacy of their program.
For further information and high definition images, contact: Alison Rowe (310) 455 0785