Symposium Six

‘Finding the Creative Child’: Questioning the Theory and Practice of Creativity Assessment  

Moderator: Vlad Glăveanu

Presenters: Vlad Glăveanu (Aalborg University, Denmark); Lene Tanggaard (Aalborg University, Denmark); and Maciej Karwowski (Academy of Special Education, Poland). 

This panel discussion is dedicated to a critical debate over the uses and misuses of creativity testing in schools, their theoretical and methodological foundations, and their practical consequences. The panellists share different backgrounds and engage with this topic from a variety of perspectives: from psychometric to developmental and socio-cultural. Their starting point is a concern for the foundations of current forms of creativity assessment, their more or less implicit definitions of creativity and active construction of the creative (and less creative) child. This discussion requires active participation from the audience in a join exercise of sharing theoretical considerations and practical examples from different countries and from across various contexts. It is hoped that such a debate will help us become more reflective and cautious when it comes to creativity assessment, especially through the use of tests, and look forwards towards broader understandings of this scientific practice as a form of social intervention. Special attention will be given to the ways in which we can move from a focus on 'assessment as evaluation' to 'assessment as enhancement and development'.



Vlad Glăveanu is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark, and received his PhD from the London School of Economics, UK. His work develops the cultural psychology of creativity and has been published in various journals (e.g., Creativity Research Journal; Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts; Review of General Psychology; Culture & Psychology). His books include: ‘Thinking through creativity and culture: Toward an integrated model’ (Transaction, 2014), ‘Distributed creativity: Thinking outside the box of the creative individual’ (Springer, 2014), and ‘Rethinking creativity: Perspectives from cultural psychology’ (Routledge, 2014, co-edited with Alex Gillespie and Jaan Valsiner). Vlad is co-directing the International Centre for the Cultural Psychology of Creativity at Aalborg University and has research and teaching collaborations in London (LSE, ESCP) and Paris (Paris 5). He is co-editing the book series Creativity and Culture for Palgrave and is the Editor of Europe’s Journal of Psychology, an open access peer-reviewed journal published by PsychOpen (Germany).


Lene Tanggaard is professor in educational psychology at the Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark and co-director (with Vlad Glaveanu) of the International Centre for the Cultural Psychology of Creativity (ICCPC) and co-director (with Svend Brinkmann) of the Center for Qualitative Studies. She has held visiting positions at Berkeley and the University of Technology, Sydney. Her research focuses on the situational and contextual dimensions of creativity vis-à-vis real-life problems. Recent publications include; Towards an Epistemology of the Hand, Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29(3): 243-257 (with S. Brinkmann, 2010); Apprenticeship re-habilitated in a postmodern world? Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 63(4): 563-573 (with K. Nielsen); Stories about Creative Teaching and Productive Learning, European Journal of Teacher Education, 34 (2): 217-230 (both 2011), Tanggaard, L. (2013). The socio- materiality of creativity. Culture and Psychology. 19(1), 20-32 and Tanggaard, L. (2014). Fooling around: Creative learning pathways. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.


Maciej Karwowski, Ph.D. is an associate professor and head of Creative Education Lab at Academy of Special Education in Warsaw, Poland. His main research interests include educational psychology of creativity, measurement of creativity and analysis of contextual factor influencing creative thinking. Karwowski is author, coauthor, editor or coeditor of 10 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Creativity Research Journal, Journal of Creative Behavior and other scholarly journals. He co-edits a new journal Creativity: Theories-Research-Applications, serves as a Senior Editor in the Europe’s Journal of Psychology and sits in editorial boards of Journal of Creative Behavior and Thinking Skills and Creativity.