Project Zero’s exploration of creativity can be described in three waves. The first wave identified creativity as an individual act of human invention, delving deeply into distinct portraits of creativity embodied by creative “giants”, as well as how breakthrough thinking and cognitive insight operate in the creative processes of artists. The second wave situated creativity within complex systems, exploring how knowledge and cognition are distributed across objects, individuals, artifacts, and tools in the environment. The current wave frames creativity as cultural participation, such as school cultures that value and support playful learning, or maker-centered movements that encourage learners to look closely, explore complexity, and find opportunity.


  • What is creativity and how does it develop?
  • How have conceptions of creativity changed (and how are they changing)? 
  • How do we introduce issues of access and equity into the creativity in education conversation?
  • What will the creativity of the future look like? 


  • Creativity and the arts are inherently linked, but the arts are not the only domain where creativity takes flight.
  • Creativity is a distributed and participatory process.
  • Creativity exists at the intersection of the individual, the domain, and the field.
  • Individuals are not creative, ideas are creative.

Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein,...

Published: 2011
In this volume, Howard Gardner gives us a pathbreaking view of creativity, along with portraits of seven figures who each reinvented an area of human endeavor. Understanding... Read more

Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education

Published: 2007
Many people believe that arts education is important, but few can say exactly why. Here at last are the results of the first in-depth research on the habits of mind that are... Read more

Participatory Creativity

Published: 2016
Participatory Creativity: Introducing Access and Equity to the Creative Classroom presents a systems-based approach to examining creativity in education that aims to make... Read more

Maker-Centered Learning: Empowering Young People to Shape Their Worlds

Published: 2016
Maker-Centered Learning provides both a theoretical framework and practical resources for the educators, curriculum developers, librarians, administrators, and parents... Read more