Janet Kolodner, GA Institute of Technology Photo
Segal Seminar Series

Janet Kolodner, GA Institute of Technology

March 19, 2014, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
1.230 (Ford Design Studio)
2133 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208

(How) Can We Help People Develop Their Creativity?


There are many systems out there that help people create more creative products. But creating products and systematically taking a creative approach to solving problems and designing are two different things. How can we help people develop more creative problem solving and design capabilities? Research on the processes involved in being creative provides some clues. So does research on helping kids learn to be scientific reasoners. In this talk, I bring the two together -- using what we know about processes involved in creative reasoning and what we know about helping children learn reasoning skills to propose ways of helping people become systematically creative. I suggest a pedagogical approach (one based on what case-based reasoning suggests about promoting learning) and several types of software resources to support such learning -- a special type of simulation and modeling system, a special type of case library, and software in support of story telling.


Janet Kolodner is a Regents' Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research has addressed learning, memory, and problem solving in computers and people. She pioneered the computer method called case-based reasoning and uses its cognitive model to inform design of formal and informal science and technology curriculum. Learning by Design, her design-based inquiry-oriented approach to science learning, is a foundation of Project-Based Inquiry Science (PBIS), a 3-year middle-school science curriculum. In her informal science education endeavors, middle schoolers learn science through cooking and learn to explain while designing hovercraft. A persistent theme cutting across this whole set of endeavors is understanding and fostering creative thinking. Janet is founding Editor in Chief of The Journal of the Learning Sciences and a founder of the International Society for the Learning Sciences. She is currently on loan to the National Science Foundation where she is lead program officer for the Cyberlearning: Transforming Education program.

For more information visit  http://home.cc.gatech.edu/jlk  

This seminar is co-sponsored by the School of Education and Social Policy.

Contact Haoqi Zhang at hq@northwestern.edu with any questions.