Creative Education Foundation

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Founded in 1954, CEF is a non profit US-American membership organization based in Buffalo (New York).


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 of 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 relied on organizing the annual conference, evolving and applying creativity tools and techniques which can be used 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, in 1967, the organization launched the Journal of Creative Behavior (JCB),[3] a peer-reviewed first research publication devoted to the science of creativity, published by Wiley-Blackwell. Later, in 1972 it was followed by Creativity in Action, CEF’s monthly newsletter.

Since 1979 the CPSI-conference has 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 promote creativity and creative education; it started with the first Australian CPSI and was 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 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 be developed and nurtured.[5]

The CPS Process[edit]

Central to the Creative Education Foundation is their belief in the CPS Process. The steps are clarify, ideate, develop and implement; while the core principles include convergent and divergent thinking must be balanced, ask problems as questions, suspend judgement, and focus on "yes and..." rather than "no, but...". [5]


The Journal of Creative Behavior: CEF publishes a quarterly academic citing research in creative thinking titled, "The Journal of Creative Behavior". Edited by Ronald A. Beghetto from the University of Connecticut, the journal deals with methods to foster creative productivity, giftedness, management of creative personnel, testing, creativity in business and industry, development of creative curricula, creativity in the arts and sciences, and reviews of literature on creativity and problem solving. The content also focuses on the creative process. After self-publishing 45 volumes since 1967, the Journal of Creative Behavior moved to Wiley-Blackwell, a commercial publisher of academic journals.[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]