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Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development

The Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development is a service, instructional, and research center based in UGA’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. Our work is dedicated to the nurturing and development of creative potential, which is present in all individuals, across the lifespan. The Torrance Center is renowned for its creative skill and talent development training programs for educators and other professionals, its innovative and discovery-oriented summer programs for children, and its public engagement events in the form of festivals and conferences that are open to the global community. The overarching goals of the Torrance Center are to investigate, evaluate, and implement techniques for enhancing creativity across domains of human enterprise and to increase creative literacy in the local, state, national, and international communities.

The Torrance Legacy

Biography of E. Paul Torrance

Known to many as the “Father of Creativity,” E. Paul Torrance, a native Georgian and UGA Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor Emeritus, was a pioneer in creativity research and education for more than 50 years.

He was a monumental figure who dedicated his lifelong research and teaching to the development of the creative potential of individuals of all abilities and ages. Across his career, his major accomplishments included 1,871 publications: 88 books; 256 parts of books or cooperative volumes; 408 journal articles; 538 reports, manuals, tests, etc.; 162 articles in popular journals or magazines; 355 conference papers; and 64 forewords or prefaces.

His legacy is highlighted by the creation of the Future Problem Solving Program International, the Incubation Model of Teaching, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. All programs, research, and teaching activities sponsored by the Torrance Center are built upon his legacy.

History of the Torrance Center

The Center was originally founded by Mary M. Frasier in the spring of 1984 as the Torrance Studies for Gifted, Creative, and Future Behaviors. At that time, the stated goals were:

  1. Research concerned with (1) developing giftedness, (2) identifying and nurturing creativity, and (3) educating for the future
  2. Professional training for leadership in gifted, creative, and future education
  3. Dissemination and retrieval of information about gifted, creative, and future studies

Pictured above with E. Paul Torrance (from left to right) are Kay Bruch, Kathy Goff, and Mary Frasier.

Torrance Center directors:

The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking

Photo of TTCT E. Paul Torrance began creating the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) in the 1950s, and it was first published in 1966. The tests are intended for a variety of uses, including:

  • to better understand the human mind, how it functions and develops
  • to help develop more individualized instruction for learners
  • to provide additional information for remedial and psychotherapeutic programs
  • to assess the differential aspects of educational materials, programs, curricula, procedures, etc.
  • to point out potentialities that might otherwise go unnoticed, especially in children from culturally diverse and lower socioeconomic backgrounds

The TTCT is comprised of the following batteries:

  • Thinking Creatively with Pictures—TTCT Figural
  • Thinking Creatively with Words—TTCT Verbal
  • Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM)
  • Thinking Creatively in Sounds and Words
    • Sounds and Images
    • Onomatopoeia and Images
  • Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA)

These assessments measure elements of creative thinking such as curiosity, imagination, boundary-breaking, and humor through a variety of well-recognized creativity components, including Fluency, Originality, Elaboration, and Flexibility. The TTCT, however, does not measure motivation, skill, or opportunity for creative achievement.

The most widely-used TTCT are the TTCT Figural and TTCT Verbal. A number of states require the TTCT as part of their gifted assessment battery, including GA, TX, AL, NC, and a number of states highly recommend its use, such as WA and CO. Due to its prominent use in gifted education, the TTCT is renormed approximately every ten years and was most recently updated in 2017.

For more information about purchasing TTCT Booklets for administration, please visit Scholastic Testing Services, Inc. .

Learn more about TTCT training

Torrance Center Events

The Torrance Center hosts a variety of public events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, conferences, and the annual Torrance Festival of Ideas.

Torrance Festival of Ideas

Torrance festival logo This cultural festival is a platform where creative and innovative professionals across fields of human enterprise present their new exciting projects and innovative ideas to the general public. The creative spirit of Athens will be showcased in this open public engagement event.

Learn more about the Torrance Festival of Ideas

Torrance Lecture

Torrance lecture photo The E. Paul Torrance Lecture, sponsored by the College of Education’s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development, annually brings scholars and creative artists to UGA to discuss issues related to creativity. It was established in 1985 to honor Torrance, a native Georgian and pioneer in research on the identification and development of creative potential.

Learn more about the Torrance Lecture

Torrance Conferences

“The Riding School” by Franz Marc The Torrance Center runs special conference events that focus on topics and themes of relevance to creativity. These events are open to the community at large and feature expert perspectives from scholars, educators, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Learn more about the Torrance Conferences

Upcoming Events

Requesting event list...

Latest Developments

Open Positions

Photo from Torrance 100-year anniversary

  • Rolling call: Seeking innovative instructors for our educational programs (such as the Creative Scholars Program). To register your interest, email Desiree Sharpe .
  • Potential graduate students should email Anna Abraham to register their interest.
  • Internships (contact any member of the Torrance Center team)

Torrance Center in the News

Selected Presentations

  • Abraham, A. (Mar 2022). The Case for Cultivating Creative Health. Creative Brain Week - a Global Brain Health Institute initiative at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland [Speaker]
  • Abraham, A. (Nov 2021). What’s Your Curiosity? – Exploring the psychological ideas of ‘Looking-Glass’, from perception and identity to the science of creativity. The Victoria & Albert Museum Friday Forum Symposium [Speaker and Discussant]
  • Abraham, A. (Aug 2021). Creativity: The Case for Disease-Resistant Capacities of the Human Brain. Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA 2021) for the Division 40 (Society for Clinical Neuropsychology) [Symposium Speaker]
  • Abraham, A. (May 2021). Creativity and the Imagination in Learning. CREATE Centre, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia (May 13, 2021) [Q & A Webinar]
  • Abraham, A. (May 2021). Adopting a neuroscientific perspective in the study of creativity. Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK [Keynote Talk]
  • Abraham, A. (Mar 2021). The Neurocognitive Mechanisms Underlying Creative Conceptual Expansion. The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, TX [Guest Lecture]
  • Abraham, A. (Jan 2021). The Creative Brain. First Cognition Academy 2021 of the Max Planck School of Cognition, Germany, [Guest Lecture]

Selected Publications

  • Abraham A (2022). Creativity or creativities? Why context matters. Design Studies, 78: 101060.
  • Asquith, S. L., Wang, X., Quintana, D. S., & Abraham, A. (in press). Predictors of creativity in young people: Using frequentist and Bayesian approaches in estimating the importance of individual and contextual factors. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
  • Abraham, A. (2021). The Ingredients of the Creative Mind. The American Journal of Psychology, 134(1), 107–110.
  • Abraham, A. (Ed.). (2020). The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
  • Abraham A (2019). The neuropsychology of creativity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 27, 71-76.
  • Abraham A, Asquith S, Ahmed H & Bourisly AK (2019). Comparing the efficacy of four brief inductions in boosting short-term creativity. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 3 (1), 85-93.

Professional Training

Photo of Torrance Summer Institute Training The Torrance Center offers training on a variety of topics centered around creativity and talent development. Training is held periodically at UGA, but training held online (via Zoom) or on-site for your district, company, or organization can also be arranged.

TTCT Training

The Torrance Center offers expert-level training on scoring the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) Figural and Verbal forms. Upon successful completion of the training program, learners will receive an official certificate of scoring reliability. The Torrance Center is the only officially recognized site for certification of TTCT scoring mastery.

While the majority of TTCT training participants are teachers, we welcome trainees from any field or industry who are interested in using the TTCT to assess creative potential. We have trained people from a variety of backgrounds, including administrators, researchers, university faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, business managers, psychologists, and counselors. Our certified trainee population represents over 30 states and 25 countries.

Learn more about TTCT training

Torrance Center Summer Institute (TCSI)

In previous years, the TCSI offered courses on the principles of creative thinking as a framework for curriculum development, classroom teaching, and assessment. From 2022 on, we aim to diversify the course offerings at the TCSI to reflect the unique academic and pedagogical expertise for which the MFECOE is renowned. Educators will learn practical strategies for enhancing their overall classroom instruction. This is a great opportunity for teaching practitioners, administrators, and researchers to receive state-of-the-art instruction and guidance for optimal pedagogical practice.

Learn more about the TCSI

Other Professional Training

The Torrance Center offers training and expertise on a variety of topics around creativity and talent development using our multidisciplinary network of scholars. In addition to the topics below, we offer flexible professional training tailored to fit the needs of your district, company, or organization.

  • Cultivating Classroom Critical and Creative Thinking Skills
  • Creativity for 21st Century Skills
  • Creative Strategies to Maximize Creative Potential
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Creativity and Leadership in the Workforce

For more information on the Professional Training Programs, contact Desiree Sharpe .

Education Programs

Creative Scholars Program

In 2020, the Torrance Center began a new summer program that builds on the legacy and research of E. Paul Torrance. Dr. Torrance stated in 1965 that one of the precepts of progressive education is that “education is a continuous reconstruction of living experience that goes beyond the four walls of the classroom.” The Torrance Center Creative Scholars Program (CSP) is designed to reflect this spirit and to inspire and enhance creative, imaginative, and problem-solving skills across the lifespan.

Learn more about the Creative Scholars Program

Legacy/Former Programs

Duke TIP at UGA

Prior to Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) closure announcement in October of 2020, the Torrance Center offered TIP Academic Year Programs and supported TIP Summer Studies Programs throughout the calendar year. The Torrance Center shared more than a decade-long relationship with Duke TIP, a natural partnership that reflected both organizations’ dedication to providing exciting educational opportunities for gifted middle and high school students.

Beyonders Challenge

The Beyonders Challenge program was an online, academic year program for students showing high levels of motivation to learn topics like microbiology, epidemiology, and podcasting. The program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently unavailable for the indefinite future.

Discovery/Challenge Programs

These popular public outreach programs were designed by E. Paul Torrance in the 1980s (and further developed after his retirement) for K-12 students held on Saturdays, onsite at a school or other location in Athens. These programs are currently inactive.

For more information on Education Programs, contact Desiree Sharpe .

Research

Topics of Focus

Theme 1: Development and Training of Creativity across the Lifespan

Brain illustration

  • Predictors of creativity in adolescence
  • Longitudinal investigations of creativity
  • Aging and creativity
  • Training creativity
  • Creative thinking strategies

Theme 2: Types of Creativity

  • Artistic creativity (visual, musical, kinesthetic, literary)
  • Scientific creativity
  • Social creativity

Theme 3: Psychology of Creativity

  • Personality and intelligence
  • Creative problem solving and reasoning
  • Creative Cognition
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Perception and Action

Theme 4: Creativity and the Brain

  • Neuroimaging studies of creativity
  • EEG studies of creativity
  • Neuropsychological studies of creativity
  • Mental illness and creativity
  • Psychophysiology of creativity

Theme 5: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Outreach, Service, and Consultancy

Outreach
  • “Creative Problem Solving/Future Problem Solving” was presented to Habersham County Schools on January 4, 2019.
  • “Using Creative Strategies in the Workplace” was presented in the Athens-Clark County Library on November 14, 2018.
  • “Maximizing Creativity: Connecting Theory to Practice” was presented to the staff of Finnish Broadcasting Company Strömsö lecture on June 19, 2017.
  • The College of Education Camp DIVE Summer Exploratory Academy is an engaging and enriching summer program for students enrolled in Clarke County Schools grades K-8 that integrates the needs of students and the resources of UGA and the Athens community. In 2016, the Torrance Center and CLASE partnered to provide teaching and learning of food system dynamics using instructional conversation, the incubation model of teaching, and creative problem-solving.
Academic Service
  • American Psychological Association
  • Georgia Professional Standards Commission: Task Force on Gifted Education
  • Georgia Department of Education: Gifted Education Committee
  • Georgia Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference
  • Innovation in Teaching Conference Steering Committee
  • Leverhulme Trust, UK
  • National Association for Gifted Children Annual Conference
  • National Science Foundation
  • Southern Oregon University Creativity Conference
Consultancy

With individual school districts as requested:

  • “Cultivating Classroom Critical and Creative Thinking Skills,” Okefenokee Regional Educational Services Agency
  • “Administering, Scoring, and Interpreting the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural Forms A and B,” Fairbanks North Star Borough School District

With individual universities as requested:

  • “TTCT-Figural Technical Assistance and Scoring for Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD),” Emory University, Atlanta
  • “Creative Strategies, Creative Potential, Visiting Scholars Workshop: Creativity and the Future of the Workforce,” University of Montana
  • “Administering, Scoring, and Interpreting the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural Forms A and B,” Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

Visiting Scholar Program

visiting scholars photo Initiated in 1984 as part of the founding of the Torrance Center, the Visiting Scholar Program was developed to encourage research by national and international scholars in creativity. Individuals come to the Torrance Center to study or conduct creativity research and then return to their home institutions, forming a network of worldwide scholars.

The Torrance Center continues this legacy by hosting visiting scholars and teachers nationally and internationally with a variety of research interests. This international visiting scholar program provides research networking opportunities for participants to help them connect with faculty members and graduate students, expand their knowledge in creativity theories, and practice creativity in addition to general educational psychology. The visiting scholars can sit in on the courses offered in the gifted and creative education program at UGA during their visiting period.

Past Visiting Scholars

  • Kwi-Ryun Kim (July 2018-July 2019), Hanlim University, South Korea
  • Linda Speranza (Jan. 4-11, 2018), Mesa Community College, Mesa, Arizona
  • Eun Jin Kang & Nam Hee Do (May 15-19, 2017), Korean Institute of Child Care and Education, South Korea.
  • Vaibhav Tyagi (Feb. 1-29, 2016), Plymouth University, Plymouth, England
  • Frank Laesche (Feb. 1-29, 2016), Plymouth University, Plymouth, England
  • Annita Kobes (Jan. 25-July 25, 2016), University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Sebastian Schmidt (Feb. 2015-Feb. 2016), University of Music, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Keeling Leahy (Aug. 2015-Aug. 2016), University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Elisabeth Morney (Aug. 1–Dec. 31, 2015), Vasa University and YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Network), Vasa, Finland
  • Young-Myung Song (March 1, 2013-Feb. 28, 2015), Center for Daegu Supporting Gifted Education, Daegu, South Korea
  • Fei Zi (Jan. 28, 2013-Jan. 28, 2014), Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
  • Lev Redin (Oct. 15-Nov. 15, 2013), Kazan National Research Technological University, Kazan, Russia
  • Ma Min (March 1-May 31, 2012), University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Marisete Welter (May 21-Aug. 31, 2012), University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Nga Giap Binh (Nov. 6-Nov. 29, 2011), University of Munich, Germany

For more information on the program and the application procedure, contact Desiree Sharpe .

Affiliates and Collaborators

Faculty and Staff

Anna Abraham
Director
Yawei Guo
Program Assistant
Tabatha Minish
Administrative Specialist I
Desiree Isis Sharpe
Program Coordinator III

Contact Info

Director: Anna Abraham
123 Aderhold Hall 110 Carlton Street Athens, Georgia 30602
© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
706‑542‑3000