The Science Of Creativity – #295

The Science Of Creativity

Dr. Cyndi Burnett: The Science Of Creativity – #295

In this episode:

  • The Science Of Creativity
  • Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way”
  • The Torrance test
  • The latest academic research on creativity.


For More of SuperCreativity Podcast By James Taylor

What is the case for developing creative thinking skills? How can we teach creativity in schools? Do schools kill creativity? Recently the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (or PISA), a global academic benchmark for measuring and comparing the academic performance of children across many countries, decided it should also measure creativity. Over the years educators including Sir Ken Robinson, Edward de Bono, and Ellis Paul Torrance have spoken and written about how to teach creative thinking. A new voice has entered this conversation, Dr. Cyndi Burnett.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett is the co-director of Creativity and Education, an online platform designed to help educators and parents bring creativity into their classrooms and homes. Nearly 100,000 people have now taken her online course on Everyday Creativity which is available on Coursera, making it one of the most popular creativity courses on the platform. She has also held the position of Associate Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State and prior to becoming an academic, Cyndi was a professional actress. 

The Science Of CreativityCyndi and I discuss the science of creativity, Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way”, the Torrance test, and the latest academic research on creativity.

Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript
Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

The Science Of Creativity

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 1:30
Thank you so much for having me, James.

James Taylor 1:32
So share with us all what’s happening in your world at the moment.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 1:35
What is happening in my world? Great question. So right now I’m working on developing an online platform for parents and educators and educators who teach little ones all the way up until you know, doctoral students, people who teach doctoral students for researchers look at how to integrate creativity into their homes and classrooms. And I use a five-step framework as a pathway to do that. And I’m happy to talk about that if you like it a lot later on. And so we are building resources, a lot of them are open-sourced, I have about 50 contributors from across disciplines across age groups, who are contributing their ideas and terms of how what they’re trying out, and what they’d like to do to bring creativity into education and sort of many case studies. And so we’re building that I have a YouTube station called creativity in collaboration with children’s book author Barney Salzberg, who wrote the book beautiful oops, which is a best seller book for children that looks at making mistakes and turning them into something beautiful. And so we have a series of short warm-up activities that parents and teachers can do with children or they can even try on their own. And so I’ve been working a lot on developing those materials. I’m about to launch a podcast myself with a colleague of mine, Dr. Matthew Warriewood. On Creative Conversations, and fueling creativity with educators and researchers who work in creativity and education. What does it take us back though,

James Taylor 3:14
before we’re going to get into some of those individual areas and what you do with it with creativity in education? Where did your passion for this topic of creativity begin with it all start for you?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 3:24
Well, I think it started when I was about three. And I love to dance as a child my dance shoes were my conduit to my imagination. And I remember turning on you know, I was a child in the 1970s. So I would turn on my records a disco Mickey Mouse and the sound of music and I would imagine being one of the Von Trapp family children and, and the funny thing is, I was the youngest of five children. I am the youngest of five children. And I preferred to be part of the Von Trapp family children because they would all sing and dance at any given moment. And I did too. So I love singing and dancing. My mom noticed this right away, obviously, because I was always singing and dancing. And so I enrolled in school and dance classes and continued on and then I saw the show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Donny Osmond and Toronto back in when I was 16. And I said I want to be in the show. And I want to be a professional actor.

And that’s when I just it sort of took over my life in terms of I wanted to be an actor, and I wanted to be doing musical theater. And so I went to school, my first degree was in theater and dance.

And then I moved to New York City with my best friend. And on the first day of New York City, I always said, I’m not going to move to New York City and become a temp or a waitress, I want to be auditioning, and I want to do whatever I have to do an audition.

So my first day in the city and I never been in the city before she wrote me these directions and she was like, okay, walk down the steps. Walk up these stairs, you know, turn right don’t turn left, and I went to my first audition. And a week later, I heard back and I got a first national tour. So I got my equity card, my tour of the US, I turned 89 cities in six months. And I finished the tour thinking, Wow, that was great. And I don’t ever want to do that, again.

Because the interesting thing about performing and this is true with a lot of sort of traditionally creative domains in the arts. You know, I loved performing, but to do it 150 times in a row, it sort of loses its possess. So as I was flying home back to my hometown in Buffalo, New York, I picked up a Time Magazine, and I’m a cover the magazine and this was in 1998 99. Actually, it was 1999. The Columbine massacre just happened in the United States. And these two young boys who had just, you know, took out a gun and started shooting kids was on the cover of Time Magazine, and I’m reading about this. And it was really upsetting to me. And I thought, you know, I’ve been sitting on a bus for six months, and all these things have been happening, and how do I make the world a better place? And so when I stepped off the plane that day, I turned to my parents, and I said, I don’t want to act anymore. I want to do something else.

So that launched me into my second sort of path. And someone a very good colleague, who is still a good colleague of mine, Karen Whelan, she said to me, you know, Cindy, stop asking, what do you want to do with your life? What do you want to learn about? And without a moment of hesitation, I said, I want to learn about creativity.

Now, this was back when Julia Cameron’s book, The artists way just come out, I’d read the book, I loved the book. It’s just celebrated its 25th anniversary. And, you know, recently, but when that happened, you know, this book, creativity on creativity, and living a creative life really resonated with me. So I thought, you know, I can just go anywhere and study creativity.

So I went to the University of Buffalo and I met with someone and it was, at this point, it was fall. And I said, I want to learn about creativity, where’s your program? And she said, No, there’s, there’s not programs and creativity, she said, but Buffalo State had something. And she said, Hold on, and I started talking to a graduate assistant at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. And this person said, you know, classes are just starting, and you could come in as a non-matriculated student. So in 24 hours of my saying, I want to study creativity, I was in my first graduate course, in Creative Studies at the center.

And so I studied the science of creativity. So the science of creativity was very different to me than the artistic side of creativity. So the artistic side of creativity for me was, you know, intuitive and expressive, and, you know, emotional, and, you know, you created out of this sense of, like, something happening inside of you. And the science of creativity was this cognitive, rational semantic process where there were specific steps you took, and there were tools and strategies you could bring in to help you be more creative and think in different ways. And it was very foreign to me, and I felt like a little bit of an odd, I felt a little odd in this program, because I was the only artist, you know, former artists in this program, you know, there were a lot of people in business and education and, and so but I enjoyed it because it stretched me in different ways. And it helped me look at things in different ways. And when I finished that, they asked me to come and start teaching there and in there, in their Creative Studies Program at the undergraduate level, and, and it was just an adjunct position.

So at that time, I was also doing a lot of teaching artists’ work. So, you know, it’s like, by day, I was, you know, this college professor teaching the scientific method and, and this cognitive side of creativity. And at night, I was, you know, teaching a bunch of kids how to express themselves through a musical or, you know, I choreographed a men’s Glee Club has men singing and dancing and, and it was just two totally different concepts. So my goal in my work over the last 20 years has really been bridging the science and the arts of creativity to showcase the common language between the two and to showcase how they’re different.

Julia Cameron’s ‘The Artist’s Way”

James Taylor 9:13
So essentially, I mean, those obviously right you know, that the artists way that Julia Cameron, but great beer very much speaks to, you know, more the heart. I’ve heard it’s sometimes referred to as a kind of woo-woo book, which I think is a good expression because I love the book. I think it’s been beautifully and I know so many people, not just in the arts and what you classes, maybe the creative industries, but also people that work in corporate America in the corporate world, who really liked that book, just as a way to open up or to reconnect with that creativity that they’ve maybe lost in school. One of the things that you mentioned it was that Time Magazine, reading that Columbine article I didn’t maybe it was random at the same time there was kh Kim published a study which looked at Korea. activity levels, in, in, in adults and indifferent people are in different countries as well. And one of the things that she talked about there was this thing she called the fourth grade or fifth-grade slump in schools America, we see creativity levels decline. So if you know if you maybe agree that we’re all born with, you know, this creative, this creative as creative potential, what happens to it? Because of so many organizations, you go in today, and especially in the corporate world, many of the people there feel like that’s been knocked out of them. What where does it go?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 10:34
Where does it go? Well, if you look at a traditional school system, and I’m not familiar with the school systems in Scotland, so I apologize, but and there is a fourth-grade slump. It was originally outlined by Paul Torrens, who was known as the father of creativity. And I know Kim has done a lot of work on the Torrens test of creative thinking. But where, where does it go? If we look at this sort of fourth, fifth-grade age level, and I actually have a fifth-grader and a seventh-grader, there’s a lot of natural ability natural need to conform. So there’s one, there’s one like a natural thing that happens when you’re in fifth grade. And I don’t know if you remember being in fifth grade or fourth grade, but you want to be like others. So there are certain words that even when I’m alone with my son, I’m not allowed to say, because he’s like, Mom, that’s embarrassing. And I’m like, what do you? What do you mean? grownups embarrassing, you know? And he’s like, it’s just, it’s not too bad. It’s just a stupid word, please don’t use that word in front of me. And, you know, you’re embarrassing me. I’m like, we’re literally on a walk in the middle of nature, like, Who am I am? Like, how am I embarrassing you, but there’s, there’s this need to sort of conforming and be accepted by peers at this age level. Right. And, and I think so that’s one level of it. But I think what also is the level is what’s happening in schools is the need to pass a test and a test, you know, a standard test, and we look, we look at standardized tests, you know, there’s one right answer, there are not multiple answers, right? So if you’re given a test, and it says, Okay, what is the answer to this question? A, B, C, or D? And then someone looks at this as what they say, Well, you know, it’s a well, that’s one right answer. They’re not asking you to come up with an original answer. They’re not asking you to come up with lots of answers. They’re not asking you to create questions about that question. Right. So there’s this, this need to conform and be able to answer the right question the right way. And even I’ve worked with schools and, and this one school I was talking to, and he said, Oh, we just need to get the kids more engaged. And I said, I can help you, I can help you with engagement all day long. I can help your teachers, I can help your school climate, there are so many things that I can do to help you make your lessons more engaging. And he said that would be great. But can you get our students to look at a standardized test and decide between two answers? Which one is the right one?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 13:01
No, no, I can’t do that. And he’s like, Okay, well, then I probably don’t need your services right now. And it’s like, okay, yeah, you probably, if that’s what your goal is, is to have kids answer the right question. I am not the person to do that. So I think that’s the sort of the second level. So there’s this natural thing that’s happening with kids this age. But the problem is, and when we look at the research over time, is it dips, and then there’s nothing to sort of reinvigorating it as kids get older unless they deliberately take creativity courses. And that’s why I’m a huge advocate for creativity courses in high school. And I mean, I’m an advocate for creativity courses all around. But, you know, there’s also a way because oftentimes, teachers come to me and they say, Cindy, you know, I really want to bring this creativity stuff in, how do I do it? I don’t have time. That’s the number one thing I don’t have time. And I have content I need to teach. And so I actually use I mentioned he Paul Torrens, who was known as the father of creativity and education, and he passed away in 2003. One of his students, Mary Murdock was one of my mentors. And she worked on this model called the torrents incubation model, which is a model I’m actually about to release a book about 20 lessons to use the torrents incubation model, but one of my prior books is around weaving creativity, which is one of the steps in his model, that you take a creativity skill, like, be original, and you integrate it into something that you’re doing in your content. So it’s sort of like a, you know, in the United States, we would say, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you know, you have a jelly sandwich, you have a peanut butter sandwich, when you merge them together, you actually get something that’s really delightful. And that’s true with creativity. So if you can take a lesson, like you’re teaching kids about using a telescope, and or a mindless hand microscope, and you have them looking at things under a lens, right, you’re naturally having them look at things in different ways, which is a creative skill. And if you can have them look at it in another way. Through their writing, that sort of amplifies their ability to look at things in multiple ways. And one of the things that I believe is that when you’re teaching kids creativity skills in one domain, then that transfers to another domain. So I can give you a quick example of that.

I was working with a school in Buffalo. And I was teaching them about just basic divergent thinking. And I had them generate 100 questions about things that they were interested in. And it was funny because after we did this whole exercise, we did lots of warm-ups and practices. And I gave them some tools and strategies. This, the French teacher came up to me and she said, Cindy, I don’t know what you’re doing with these kids. But it’s coming over into the French lesson, because I had the kids generate ideas on how they could celebrate the French culture in my class, and they came up with the wildest and unusual ideas. And I’ve just never seen anything like it. And so it just shows that if you teach kids about or you know, you teach anyone creativity and you deliberately teach them creativity, then that will help transfer into various areas, it spills over into all areas of life.

James Taylor 16:09
I’m James Taylor, business, creativity, and innovation keynote speaker, and this is the super creativity podcast.

If you enjoy listening to conversations with creative thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, artists, authors, educators, and performers, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week we discuss their ideas, their life, their work, successes, failures, creative process, and much much more.

You’ll find show notes for today’s episode, as well as free creativity training at If you enjoy learning about Dr. Cindy Burnett, then check out my interview with Bernie DeKoven, a founding father of play studies, and the creator of the first center for the exploration of games and play for adults. We explore the theory of fun and playfulness, and how it can affect every aspect of personal and interpersonal community and institutional health. Hear my conversation with Bernie Dickerman at After the break, we return to my interview with Dr. Cindy Burnett and learn about ways to measure creativity.

This week’s episode is sponsored by SpeakersU the online community for international speakers, speakers, you help you grow, launch and monetize your speaking business faster than you thought possible. If you want to share your message as a highly paid speaker, then speakers will teach you how just go to to access their free speaker business training.

The Science Of CreativityI guess there’s almost a little bit of similar what you’re saying there were obviously you had that Sir Ken Robinson’s talking about creative education that really, that was a clarion call to a lot of education and saying, Okay, this is something that we need to be thinking about. And we need to be integrating much more just systems. So they know here in I think Scotland and also in Singapore was one of the earlier ones because they had like Edward de Bono working with their education minister ministry talking about the power of creative thinking as a learned skill, I guess. Yeah. But in Scotland, they have a thing called curriculum for excellence where which is primarily used in elementary schools, where let’s say if they’re talking about spiders, they’ll have an art class. Okay, let’s draw us draw a spider, then they’ll do their math class, they’ll talk about spiders, okay? Or how many legs? Okay, if we had 3000? spiders? That’d be okay. which parts of the world? Do we find spiders in geography? Okay, let’s create a story about a spider, you know, storytelling. And so it kind of builds all those things together, and it gets all those little neurons kind of firing and crossing. And as you know, I’m sure you speak a lot about this idea of boundary-crossing where, yes, the most interesting ideas, they come from, you know, someone that’s been maybe interested in one area, and then they can apply some of those quite random ideas and random thoughts to something else to a completely different topic.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 18:55

James Taylor 18:57
So with your work, I mean, you’ve really kept going now into the creativity, education was that was a very conscious decision. Because if you kind of look in the space, it felt like a lot of schools, they were kind of already on this journey, they were seeing the value of creativity in schools often feels like that. So that’s, that’s that kind of age up to, let’s say, 1617, maybe into college into universities. What about all the adults out there? The ones are over, you know, past college leaving, you know, should they do they just have to kind of go somewhere else. So what advice would you give them to maybe stop reconnecting with that creativity in their life?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 19:37
That’s a great question. So if I’m at a cocktail party, and we’re not in the pandemic, and someone says to me, Well, what can I do to enhance my creativity? The first thing I would say is to monitor your judgment. Because the first piece about being a creative person is really being able to delay your judgment and noticing when you’re being judgmental of yourself. As well as others, because so often, I’m sure you hear it all the time. It’s like someone says, No, that’s a bad idea. That’s not going to work. But if you really stop and say, Okay, what do I like about this idea? You know, that’s the first piece. Um, in terms of training, I actually have on my website, 12. And we can, I’m happy to send you the link 12 different MOOCs, which are massive, open online courses, one of them is ours. But there are 12, massive open online courses you can take in creativity, that will help enhance your creativity as an adult, and they’re all free. So if you want to take a course, a formal course, to sort of enhancing your creativity, you can certainly do that there are lots of creative conferences out there, as well. As you know, there are lots of amazing books, and I recently did a survey with our readers to see and this you’re going to appreciate this James, I asked them what book has helped them become the most creative person and I had 387 people respond. And what was interesting to me is, out of 387 people, there were about 200 different book mentions. So it just shows like, first of all, how much literature there’s out there to help enhance your creativity, that people have different viewpoints. I mean, artists way did come out number one, which didn’t surprise me because it was sort of the first book that came out to really help people become more creative. Although there were a lot of other books. I mean, I could go into the whole history of creativity, which has been around for now, seven years. There are older books that help that, but hers was the first book that hit sort of mainstream popular press. And so I have a link to all of those books. And what I did is I compiled a blog post that showcased the top 10, but also sort of the honorable mentions ones that that were referred to refer to a few times, and then ones that just were mentioned, and it’s just like this beautiful catalog of all these books out there. And I you know, I would recommend you go and find a book that resonates with you. Because, you know, some people who have a design background might be interested in something like that someone who’s interested and in more of the artistic view of creativity might be interested in a more artistic view. So it just shows the diversity of our creativity and, and how much literature there actually is out there.

James Taylor 22:11
Talking about literature in your own writing, I mean, you’ve now published books, you’re working on a new book just now, that could have been snuffed out very easily at an early stage in your life by an experience you had with a college teacher. Can you tell us about that?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 22:26
Sure. So I had my freshman year of college, I had a teacher who she used to humiliate me in front of the class, and you know, it was a journal, we had to write a journal and, and she used to say, okay, bring me your journal, and then she would just put red marks all over it. And she would just say, you know, this, this isn’t right. And this isn’t right. And you have no depth in your thinking. And, and, and I used to leave her class crying. I mean, I was 18 years old. And, you know, I was just starting out in the world and, you know, had led a fairly sheltered life at that point. And, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. And her voice you know, continued to haunt me for years. I mean, I was I wrote a 300-page dissertation with, with her sort of on my shoulder and I had to continuously say, you know, not right now. And, you know, we give a lot I think everyone has a story like that if you talk with anyone that’s highly creative, they’ve had at least one person but likely even more than that, unfortunately, that have said to them, you shouldn’t do this you’re not good enough, this is impossible, do something more realistic. And you know, we have to manage those voices I’m not saying you know, completely shut them out. Because sometimes they can offer a shred of, of insight but I also think you need to sort of putting them away in some capacity whether you put them in your write their name, and you put their name in a box someplace and say you’re going to you know, your voice is going to live there for me or you know,

James Taylor 23:53
Sacra, the ceremonial box you’re going to put all these names into the garden and burn them and set fire to them.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 23:58
Yeah, so just you know, bury their names because it’s just not fair that dead people live rent-free in our creative minds, because they can truly take over you know, the work that we are meant to do and so so that’s what I would recommend but I you know, I think it’s it’s really challenging when you have those voices that tell you can’t do something because they can totally stop you from achieving those creative dreams that you have.

James Taylor 24:27
Now and creativity terms often use this lightbulb moment that aha that you eureka moment, you know, Archimedes had in your own work, can you tell us about maybe a key insight or lightbulb moment that has really helped propel you in the creative journey that you’ve been going on?

The Torrance test

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 24:46
Sure. So when I was a, you know, associate professor, I was tenured at the above state. I loved my colleagues and loved my students. I’d love the program. And I had the chance to go on sabbatical. So you know, I got a tenure promotion, I went on sabbatical. For a year, and I was in Hawaii, and on vacation with my family over the break, and as I was sitting there, I was thinking about getting research out and how challenging it is, as a researcher to get research out in a timely way. And, you know, I did this study with a couple of colleagues of mine, on creativity in social media. And it took us from the start of the study to end probably about three years to get it published. And honestly, by the time it got published, I was like, I don’t even know if this is relevant anymore, based on how much because it was around Twitter and creativity, based on how much had changed on Twitter. And so I was really frustrated at moving sort of the marker forward and creativity in education. And Paul Torrance wrote this paperback in the 1980s, about there being a hub around creativity and education. And quite honestly, in 2018, there was still a home.

So I was sitting there on the beach, and I was like, I need to do something else to move this conversation forward. And what I realized is that I wanted to leave my academic track, you know, this wonderful career, I was, I was leading to build creativity, education, and I because I really wanted to propel the conversation forward. And so the only way we can do that is one if we work together because you know, there are all these people doing cool things in silos. But you know, we’re not actually having conversations with each other. So how do I find all the people doing cool things? And there are so many people doing cool things, as you know, and how do I have conversations with them and have them share their work with the greater, you know, the world. So that’s, that’s when I decided to leave my position and build creativity and education. And I found an amazing colleague that used to be one of my students, who is the CO director with me, is he mamnoon. And together, we are building these resources and this platform to give educators and researchers, and practitioners a voice in creativity in education.

The latest academic research on creativity.

James Taylor 27:00
And his grammar, I think is such an important time the kind of work you’re doing just now we were speaking earlier about the the the PISA rankings, which traditionally in education just managed the measured the, you know, the master arithmetic, the language skills, but now for the very first time adding creativity as one of the things that they’re they’re measuring is going to be a report coming out and that soon. So I’m sure that when that report does come out, there’s going to be lots of countries, education authorities thinking about well, how do we, how do we go up the rankings? Somebody has a very ranking obsessed some of these education systems. So I think it’s very timely, the work you’re doing just now, what about as we start to finish up here, I’d love to know, in your own kind of creating what you do, you’re, you’re in a course creator, you’re a writer, you’re an academic, you’re a researcher, as well, is there is a one perhaps a tool that you find particularly useful in the work that you do.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 27:59
Yes, and it’s called focus, mate.

James Taylor 28:02
Have you heard of it? No, I haven’t heard this one.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 28:04
So focus mate has been a game-changer for me. So two summers ago, I went into this whole mode of how to get more done in less time. And I went through a whole bunch of books like atomic habits and deep, deep work. And I read a book called in distractible, and in distractible, he mentioned this platform form called focus, mate, and focus me You are paired with someone in the world for 15 minutes. And at the start of the session, you say Hi, I’m Cindy. And I’m going to be working on writing a blog post for these 15 minutes, what are you working on, and that person says, This is what I’m working on. And you say, great, and you mute your mics, and you have each other on screen, and your accountability partners for 15 minutes. And I am amazed at how much I can go into a flow state and these focus my sessions and at the end, you sort of report back to your partner, you don’t see each other again. And it’s been amazing in this pandemic, when when I feel you know, I’m working from home, I’m very isolated, to be able to be paired up with someone else in the world and you don’t know this person, you don’t know much about him. And that’s a great thing. Because if you knew them, in fact, several friends have said well why don’t you focus mate with me, I’m like, I can’t focus mate with you, because we’re just gonna start talking and I’m not actually going to get any work done. But with focusing on me you have this opportunity to pair with someone and just have this quick engagement and then you’re holding each other accountable. And I amazed James that, you know, there have been moments where I’m like, I just can’t focus on anything and I, I log on to a session and it’s a low cost, it’s $5 a month. You can try it out. You can do three, three sessions a week for free if you want and they give student rates so that students don’t have to pay or pay very little and it just puts me straight into a flow mode and it’s it is really been a game Change your and I’ve gotten two books done because of focus, mate. So it doesn’t really have anything to do with creativity other than it helps get me into a flow state.

James Taylor 30:07
No, that’s wonderful. I will put a link here as well actually we had near el, the writer on a few months ago, I talk about the book on there. And he didn’t actually mention that once I saw what she mentioned that one that would have been a great one to be using over the past couple of months. So that’s called focus me and we’ll put a link here as well. You mentioned earlier that in your article you wrote all about books, books on the topic of creativity, if I, if I sent your way if you’re lucky, let’s imagine going to go into lockdown. And you go into isolation, and you only get to get given one book at this time to read on the topic of creativity or something really to help you with your creativity inspires your creativity. What would that book be?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 30:48
That’s a great question. And as I mentioned, the list and I’ll send you a link to the list as well of all the creative books. And the creative book that has been most impactful for me in the last few years is actually not a creativity book, it’s Dare to lead by Bernie Brown. And I think it came out last October. And it was a game-changer for me and my creativity because she talks all about Bernie Brown talks about vulnerability and transparency and sort of this concept of enough and how you have these open relationships with people and how to lead. And it really was a game-changer. So when people talk to me about creativity, there’s so much connection between being a highly creative person and being vulnerable and transparent in who we are. And finding the strength to be that. And there was just so many connections for me in her book, especially I mean all of her books, but especially dare to lead that were game-changers for me

James Taylor 31:50
data, that’s fine, I would recommend wonderful by Bernie Brown, I’ll put a link here as well in the show notes. I want you to imagine now just for a second Sandy that I’m taking you back when you were moving we have a lot of people listen to the show, who are where you were a few years ago as an educator, maybe they’re a tenured or not tenured teacher, or professor or they’re in education in some way they have a passion for education or learning or training.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 32:16

James Taylor 32:17
let’s imagine what kind of putting you back to that time if you had to start again and start from scratch. So you’ve got all the knowledge you’ve acquired now towards the trade that you have now. But you know, no one and no one knows you. What would you do? How would you make an impact on the topic you care so passionately about on creativity?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 32:36
So where would I start? So if I was an educator, and I know everything I know now, but I had to go back?

James Taylor 32:44
Yeah, what would you do if knowing all the things that you can have? No. Now let’s imagine there’s that 25-year-old who is listening to the show just now. She has a real passion for creativity about creative education. What should she be doing? She should be going and getting that tenured professorship? Should you be going online creating videos there should be working and looking trying to apply creativity and business what what what suggestions would you give?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 33:09
Well, my suggestion would be the one that my colleague Karen gave me, which is what do you want to learn about and, and let that drive you. Because when you want to learn about something and you’re passionate about learning, you’re going to do exceptionally well versus doing something because you should do it or because someone is telling you to do it. And what’s amazing about what’s happening right now is things are changing so rapidly. So you know, if you want to learn about podcast started, you know, start a podcast, if you want to, you know to learn about writing, there are just so many resources out there for people to start learning. And there are so many free resources to start learning. If you want to learn how to integrate creativity into education, contact me we’ve got a new app coming out. So we’ve built two apps now. One of them is weaving creativity, I would love to talk with you and have you beta test the app if you want but really start with what do you want to learn about and then go from there. So if I had to start all over again, I would just keep following that path of learning, because that’s really where the growth and magic

James Taylor 34:16
happen. Follow that curiosity? Well, Dr. Cindy Burnett has been a pleasure having you on the show. So where is the best place for people to go to learn more about you and your work and be able to follow all the exciting projects you’ve got going on just now?

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 34:28
So we would love for you to follow us at

James Taylor 34:32
Comm. Fantastic. I’ll put links here to all the show notes, all the things that we’ve been talking about that Cindy’s kindly shared here, those list of books and all of the books that she’s mentioned, and some of the apps as well. Cindy, thank you so much for coming on today. It is wonderful hearing the incredible what you’re doing to inspire the next generation of creative leaders in the world. And thank you so much for coming. I wish you great success. And thank you for sharing with us all about your creative life.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett 34:57
Thank you so much for having me, James.

James Taylor 35:00
You can subscribe to the super creativity podcast on Spotify, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re there, leave us a review. I really appreciate it. I’m James Taylor, and you’ve been listening to the super creativity podcast.

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