Conference Details

Sparking Student and Teacher Creativity

November 15 and 16, 2012
Thursday & Friday, 8 am - 4 pm
Hosted by Cary Academy
Cary, North Carolina
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BrainThe Southeastern Brain Conference is an annual two day conference on learning and brain research. It is hosted by Cary Academy, a national leader in education and a learning community dedicated to innovation, collaboration, and the purposeful use of technology. Each year it attracts high school and college educators, administrators, school counselors, learning specialists, and educational psychologists. The theme of the 2012 conference is sparking creativity in students and teachers. Our keynote speakers will talk about the neuroscience of creativity and how it is applicable to the classroom.


The Neuroscience of Creativity

Dr. Rex Jung will deliver the keynote talk on the neuroscience of creativity. Dr. Jung is a leading scientist in the emerging field of positive neuroscience, the study of what the brain does well. His groundbreaking research led to the first model describing a network of brain regions critically linked in the service of intellectual pursuits, known as the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (or “P-FIT”). Over the last several years, he has turned his attention to the manifestation of creativity in the brain—a cognitive capacity perhaps critically dependent upon, yet distinctly different, from intelligence.

The author of over 50 scientific publications, Jung’s research has been widely featured in popular media outlets including CNN, BBC, Psychology Today, New Scientist, The New York Times, and Newsweek. A clinical neuropsychologist by training, Jung is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Creative, Collaborative, and Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Garfield Gini-Newman will deliver the keynote talk on how to nurture creative, collaborative and critical inquiry in the classroom. As Senior Lecturer at OISE/University of Toronto and a senior national consultant with The Critical Thinking Consortium, Garfield has worked with thousands of teachers across grades and subjects, helping them to frame learning around engaging and provocative activities and authentic assessments. Garfield’s work with educators often has a transformative impact on teaching and learning. Garfield’s five years as a curriculum consultant with the York Region District School Board and his 15 years of teaching experience prepared him well for working with teachers in a manner that is engaging and practical. 

In addition to his work at the University of Toronto and delivering workshops, Garfield has also authored seven textbooks and has taught in the faculties of education at York University and the University of British Columbia.

Featured Articles

The Creativity Crisis


Published: July 10, 2010

For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong -- and how we can fix it.

Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?” He recalls the psychologist being excited by his answers. In fact, the psychologist’s session notes indicate Schwarzrock rattled off 25 improvements, such as adding a removable ladder and springs to the wheels. That wasn’t the only time he impressed the scholars, who judged Schwarzrock to have “unusual visual perspective” and “an ability to synthesize diverse elements into meaningful products.”

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Teaching Creativity, 2: Debunking the Mozart MythMozart

Myths about creativity can kill it!

In the 1980s, we taught a class on creative process at UCLA. Much to our dismay, many of our students accepted certain myths about creative invention that misled and demoralized them. The same myths cripple people in all walks of life. Debunking those myths can unleash creativity overnight, as the experience of one young man in our class testifies.

This young man - call him Sam - took our class to "rediscover" his creativity. In his first year of college he had written a chart-topping rock song for a well-known band. But in the attempt to come up with an encore, he found himself suffering from a profound case of composer's block. He wanted us to remove it.

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