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The first premise is that creativity requires a focal perceiver perspective to be determined or assigned. As criteria for perception or judgment, what we currently consider “dimensions” of creativity instead may be “precursors.” Ultimately, creativity shifts meaning for the whole culture. The second premise is that creativity requires a temporal perspective: its assessment is time-dependent on the first instance the perceiver notices. If the perceiver accepts the creative “ it,” then it is shared for others to judge it, creating a diffusion and adaptation process. The strongest form of creativity, then, is when it stands the test of time, goes beyond its own zeitgeist, and is institutionalized for future generations.


What is the life of an idea? How do some ideas result in creative outcomes? People interested in creativity often want to know the answers to these questions. Although there are numerous methods and measures for assessing creative persons and products, there is little by way of methods for documenting and analysing the trajectories of ideas. The purpose of this paper is to address this need by introducing a new approach for tracing and analysing ideational pathways. Ideational pathways refer to the trajectory of ideas in temporal and spatial dimensions. That is, how ideas travel through time and space and whether those ideas end up resulting in creative outcomes. We open the paper by providing a theoretical and conceptual background for ideational pathways. We then introduce an emerging approach for tracing these pathways and apply it to two examples. We close by discussing implications and directions for future research.


The aim of this study was to explore the education expert and non-expert consensually rated nature of creativity operationalized as observable behaviour. When operationalized as observable behaviour akin to concrete educational objectives accessible to being taught, is creativity a construct valid both internationally and over time, and what are its distinguishing features? A representative sample of concretely stated behaviours descriptive of creativity displayed by children and adolescents was evaluated with high convergent validity by educational psychologists, specialists in gifted education, university students of teacher studies, and mathematics teachers (N = 208) on the level of creativity, and ten additional behaviour features. The results of the canonical correlation analysis suggest internationally and temporally stable and an educationally viable bridge between general creativity construct operationalization and measurement on the one hand, and the domain-specificity of creative behaviours and their features on the other. By viewing the general creativity construct as a meta-theoretical heuristic, and focusing on one group of domain-specific consensually rated creative behaviours and their progressive nature as educational objectives, the findings of this study are discussed in the context of general and gifted education.

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