Going Beyond: Creativity in Education

This course is a resource for those educators who are looking to weave creativity into education. It introduces the five pathways from the Creativity and Education Star framework:

  • Understanding Creativity
  • Embodying Creativity
  • Supporting Creativity
  • Integrating Creativity
  • Teaching Creativity

The course is designed to serve as a stand-alone or as part of a more comprehensive course, which includes a face-to-face training following the completion of this online course.

The lesson activities are based on best practices for creative approaches to education and are designed to engage and spark curiosity and learning. The objective of this course is to present opportunities for educators to embrace new ways of thinking about creativity, their creative leadership, and ways to ignite creativity in their classrooms. This course also serves to create a community of practitioners who will continue to support and motivate each other.

Lesson 1: Getting Started (30 minutes)

Release timing: Day 1 of the course.

Lesson Content:

  • READ & SHARE: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Open
  • WATCH & SHARE: Meet your guides
  • WATCH & DO: An Adaptable Mind
  • WATCH & DO: Introducing the Star Model for Creativity in Education
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Open
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 2: Understanding Creativity (30 minutes)

Release timing: Day 7 of the course

Lesson Content:

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Original
  • WATCH & SHARE: What is Creativity?
  • WATCH & DO: Looking at Creativity Another way
  • DO & SHARE: Your Definition of Creativity
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Original
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 3: Why Creativity? (30 minutes)

Release timing: Day 14 of the course

Lesson Content:

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Optimistic
  • WATCH & DO: Why Does Creativity matter?
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Optimistic
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 4: Embodying Creativity (60 minutes)

Release timing: Day 21 of the Course

Lesson Content:

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Courageous
  • WATCH & DO: Your Creative Operating System (cOS) Scan
  • WATCH & READ: Understand your cOS Dashboard
  • DO & SHARE: Practice Leap Skills
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Courageous
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 5:  Supporting Creativity (45 minutes)

Release timing: Day 42 of the Course

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Playful
  • READ: How Might We Support Creativity?
  • WATCH & DO: Storymining for Strategies
  • SHARE: Contribute Strategies
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Playful
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 6:  Integrating Creativity (45 minutes)

Release timing: Day 49 of the Course

Lesson Content

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Deliberate
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Weaving Creativity into Every Strand of Your Curriculum
  • SHARE: Contribute Strategies
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Deliberate
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

Lesson 7:  Teaching Creativity (75 minutes)

Release timing: Day 63 of the Course

Lesson Content:

  • READ: Why Bother?
  • START HERE: Being Deliberate
  • WATCH & SHARE: Discovering Process
  • WATCH & DO & SHARE: Practice Creative Thinking
  • READ, DO & SHARE: Practice Creative Thinking in the Classroom
  • READ & SHARE: Adding Creative Thinking to Your Process
  • KEEP IT GOING: Practice Being Deliberate
  • WATCH, DO & SHARE: Bring it into your Classroom

WATCH: Thank you


All lessons are delivered through pre-recorded videos so that educators can watch them at their convenience. The course has been designed with busy educators in mind however, we ask that educators plan for approximately 30 minutes a week to dedicate to the course assignments and activities in order to fully benefit from the content.

What participants say:

“I appreciated the opportunity to read the perspectives of others. It helps to refine my own thinking and take steps toward new initiatives. It was most useful to spend time focusing specifically on creativity and how to integrate it into daily activities.”

“I really liked the format of the course.  I found most useful the prompts given throughout, the questions, opportunities for collaboration, the assessment piece, and moments for self-reflection and personalized learning.”

“I liked the freedom to work through the course at my own pace.  The most useful aspect for me was having an accountability partner so I could safely practice my personal creativity with a colleague who would not judge me.”

Educators report that this course:

  1. Made creativity more tangible and less abstract.
  2. Gave them the vocabulary to use when they share the concept of creativity with students, peers, and parents.
  3. Showed them how to be deliberate and intentional about being creative and introducing creativity into their classrooms.
  4. Gave them permission to use their own creativity.
  5. Demonstrated the importance of creativity as a way of engaging and bonding with students in order to open the pathways to learning.
  6. Gave them a methodology that they can use effectively and repeatedly.
  7. Helped them build a community of practice which they can reach out to for support and resources.
  8. Encouraged them to adopt a growth mindset and to be constantly learning.
  9. Showed them that creativity is a skill and it can be developed.
  10. Helped them appreciate the importance of role modeling when developing creativity in others.

Want to get started?

Contact us through the Beyonder website at www.mybeyonder.com to learn how you can sign up for the Going Beyond: Creativity in Education course.

Your Course Guides:

Ismet (Izzy) Mamnoon is a change catalyst. She started her career as a financial consultant and evolved to become a serial entrepreneur and now works as a facilitator translating creativity from theory into practice. She was first drawn to the field of creativity and innovation when she became a parent. She speaks intimately about her journey on the TEDx stage.

Her acumen for applied creativity is evident in her diverse range of projects and clients that include large organizations, entrepreneurs, governments, academics, not-for-profits, the armed forces, educators, parents, and children all over the world. Her clients range in age from 5 to “undisclosed” and she has been known to facilitate just about anyone anywhere including but not limited to complete strangers in coffee shop queues and Marines at the Pentagon. Ismet is the founder of Beyonder which offers training and facilitation for Parents, Educators and Youth with the mission of using creativity as the means to unlock the human potential of the next generation.

Ismet was recently featured in TIME magazine’s special edition on the Science of Creativity for her creative approach to parenting and for the work she does globally to weave creativity into education. She is a graduate of the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State where she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the President’s Medal for Outstanding Graduate Student at Buffalo State, and the Firestien Family Creative Achievement award for her work in the field of creative thinking and facilitation.



Dr. Cyndi Burnett is a creativity and education specialist who is devoted to developing creative and engaging lessons in education. She spent 20 years as an academic teaching deliberate creative thinking and creativity problem-solving at the Center for Creativity and Change Leadership at SUNY Buffalo State. She is currently developing a CreativityandEducation.com platform to help educators navigate how to bring creativity into their classrooms.

Dr. Burnett has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, a Master of Science in Creativity, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, all of which she uses to help “ignite creativity in education around the world.” Her academic interests include: the use of creative teaching and learning models and techniques, creative thinking in higher education, and current trends in creativity.

Her work includes projects such as: working with educators to bring creative thinking into the classroom, connecting communities of creative thinkers via social media and designing and running a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Everyday Creativity. She is the recipient of the President’s Medal for Excellence in Teaching 2018 by SUNY Buffalo State, was Buffalo Business First, Woman of Influence 2018 for her work in creativity, and was featured in the NY Times article titled, “Creativity Becomes an Academic Discipline.” She is the co-editor of the Big Questions in Creativity book series and co-author of the books Weaving Creativity into Every Strand of Your Curriculum, 20 Lessons for Weaving Creativity into your Curriculum, and My Sandwich is a Spaceship: Creative Thinking for Parents and Young Children.



Why Bother?

To prepare our students to succeed as part of the workforce of the future…

Table 1. Review of Skills Necessary for Success in the 21st Century Workplace.

Puccio, G. J., Keller Mathers, S., Acar, S., & Acar Cayirdag, N. (2017). International Center for Studies in Creativity: Curricular overview & impact of instruction on the creative problem-solving attitudes of graduate students. In C. Zhou (Ed.), Handbook of research on creative problem-solving skill development in higher education (pp. 186-211). Hershey, PA: IGI-Global.


The World Economic Forum has developed Education 4.0: A Global Framework for Shifting Learning Content and Experiences Towards the Needs of the Future includes:

  1. Global citizenship skills: Include content that focuses on building awareness about the wider world, sustainability and playing an active role in the global community.
  2. Innovation and creativity skills: Include content that fosters skills required for innovation, including complex problem-solving, analytical thinking, creativity, and systems analysis.
  3. Technology skills: Include content that is based on developing digital skills, including programming, digital responsibility and the use of technology.
  4. Interpersonal skills: Include content that focuses on interpersonal emotional intelligence, including empathy, cooperation, negotiation, leadership, and social awareness.
  5. Personalized and self-paced learning: Move from a system where learning is standardized, to one based on the diverse individual needs of each learner, and flexible enough to enable each learner to progress at their own pace.
  6. Accessible and inclusive learning: Move from a system where learning is confined to those with access to school buildings to one in which everyone has access to learning and is therefore inclusive.
  7. Problem-based and collaborative learning: Move from process-based to project- and problem-based content delivery, requiring peer collaboration and more closely mirroring the future of work.
  8. Lifelong and student-driven learning: Move from a system where learning and skilling decrease over one’s lifespan to one where everyone continuously improves on existing skills and acquires new ones based on their individual needs.

Read the full report: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Schools_of_the_Future_Report_2019.pdf

When we include creativity in our classrooms, we equip our students with the necessary skills to be a part of the workforce of the future.

When we bring creativity into the classroom, recognize it, support it, value it, foster it and even require it – we exponentially increase our chances of giving our students the skills they need for the 21st century.

A 21st Century student…

  • is able to recognize the essence of the problem that is being solved by broadening, opening up, and redefining the challenge;
  • avoids accepting common answers by making a deliberate effort to search for alternative solutions, even when satisfied with one or more of the potential solutions that already exist;
  • breaks away from commonplace, obvious, and habit-bound thinking;
  • discards irrelevant information, establishes priorities, and focuses on the essence of the problem;
  • elaborates to the point of adding value without overwhelming others with the level of detail;
  • avoids the tendency to jump to a conclusion by taking time to understand the challenge, consider the important aspects, and think of alternative solutions;
  • accepts and uses emotions and other non-rational factors in creative thinking;
  • adds context to ideas by putting them together in meaningful ways;
  • associates thoughts, facts, and ideas in new and relevant ways to give them meaning beyond the sum of the parts;
  • visualizes concepts, ideas, objects, processes, and possibilities in vivid detail;
  • uses fantasy to explore imaginatively and create analogies to better understand a situation, challenge, or experience;
  • uses multiple sensory abilities to experience and process new situations and concepts;
  • sees situations and challenges from different perspectives and points of view;
  • visualizes beyond exteriors to understand internal dynamics and workings;
  • breaks through boundaries by redefining or rewording challenges to invite more creative solutions;
  • uses humor to instill a playful problem-solving atmosphere; and
  • Understands that creativity is infinite and can always adapt or be adapted.

What we need is an evolution not a revolution in the education system: 

  1. Start to recognize the need for creativity as an essential skill set for students and educators;
  2. Support and recognize educators who are committed to fostering creativity in the classroom;
  3. Invest in upskilling educators;
  4. Engage the parent community in the conversation around creativity as a life skill.
  5. Join or create a community of educators who are all invested in making this commitment.