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« Wishing You a Season of Fun and a Happy New Year of Ideas | Main | 100 Years Later the Imagination of John Martin Still Delights »

Celebrating Dr. Sydney J. Parnes, a Pioneer in Teaching Creativity as a Cognitive Skill

“Creativity can be considered a function of knowledge,
imagination, and evaluation.”

Dr. Sydney J. Parnes pioneered creative thinking in education and creative problem- solving with Alex Osborn, and was founder of the Creative Education Foundation (Where Brainstorming Began) in 1954, for which he served as president for many years. Dr. Parnes died Aug. 19, 2013 at age 91. 

The concept that imagination is so important and that there are ways to stimulate it captivated Parnes for a lifetime. He became the world’s leading expert on the topics of creativity, innovation, and problem solving. This groundbreaking educator, researcher, author, and keynote speaker founded the International Center for Studies in Creativity at the State University at Buffalo, N.Y. and its Master's degree program, the first of its kind.  

Parnes travelled the world, leading countless workshops and courses in creativity for educators and leaders. He authored a dozen leading-edge books and hundreds of articles translated into seven languages. When asked what fueled his passion for helping everyone release their creative potential in their personal and professional lives, Parnes replied:

“Creativity enables us to make our world a better place. Of all the gifts we have as humans, the one that stands out, giant-like above all the rest is our ability to be creative. It is responsible for the progress we enjoy today.”

See and hear the great Dr. Parnes himself in this recent two-part interview:

Dr. Sydney J. Parnes Interview Part 1

Dr. Sydney J. Parnes Interview Part 2

We, at Jr Imagination, hold deep appreciation to Dr. Parnes for his lifetime contributions in the field of creativity and his work to enrich all of our lives. We honor his legacy through our mission to offer lesson plans, activities, and articles that reflect his teachings and goals for the development of creativity in all children. 

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