Creative Education Foundation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Founded in 1954, CEF is a non profit US-American membership organization based in Buffalo (New York) which is devoted to foster creativity, creative problem solving and innovation in theory and practice in order to help youth, individuals and organizations reach their creative potential.


The organization was established in 1954 by the advertising specialist and creative professional Alex F. Osborn,[1] who was known as the inventor of the term and the creativity technique Brainstorming. As an early contribution according to its mission statement the organization held in 1955 the first annual Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), an international creativity conference, at the University of Buffalo.[2]

For years the organization had been directed by Alex Osborn together with the creativity theorist and education researcher Sid Parnes. When Alex Osborn died in 1966, Parnes took over the initiative and the chair. He installed the lifetime creative achievement award which was granted upon suggestion to persons who earned outstanding merits in the field of applied creativity. Also he installed a media-program of CEF-publications.

In 1987 John Meyerhoff took over as the CEO. He expanded CEF’s educational perspective to include business training.

Further CEOs added partnership programs and VIP-days and reinstalled CEF consulting and training programs.


In the beginning the focus lied on organizing the annually conference, evolving and applying creativity tools and techniques which can be utilized professionally and personally, conducting research in the field of applied creativity, problem solving and innovation, publishing books and teaching materials, and in the development of a comprehensive educational program which includes creativity specifically for scholars and young people.

As a part of its research aspirations the organization launched in 1967 the Journal of Creative Behavior (JCB),[3] a peer-reviewed first research publication devoted entirely to the science of creativity, which is now published by Wiley-Blackwell. Later in 1972 it was followed by Creativity in Action, CEF’s monthly newsletter.

Since 1979 the CPSI-conference offered four major program streams: Springboard for novices, Leadership Development Program, CPSI YouthWise,[4] and Extending sessions for exploratory studies.

Since 1989 the organization sponsored creativity conferences in the CPSI-sense on different continents to spread the idea of creativity and creative education; it started out with the first Australian CPSI later followed by the South African ACRE-conference (since 1994) and the European CREA-conference (since 2003).

In 2003 the CEF YouthWise-program was launched in South Africa, and in 2011 the Creativity in the 21st Century Classroom course enhanced the CPSI program.

Today the goals of CEF span a broad range of fostering creativity and giftedness including dialogue, serious play and training programs, conferences, programs, publications and other services in order to pursue the idea of creativity as human capacity which can deliberately be developed and nurtured. The mission statement says: "The purpose of the Creative Education Foundation is to engage and develop the next generation of creative thinkers and innovators." [5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Parnes, S. J. (Ed. ) (1992). Source book for creative problem solving. Buffalo, NY: Creative Education Foundation Press. ISBN 093022292X

External links[edit]