Ronald A. Beghetto, PhD

Ronald A. Beghetto, PhD

Dr. Beghetto is an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings.  He serves as Professor of Educational Psychology, Director of UCONN's Innovation House (Link) and Graduate Program Coordinator for the Cognition, Instruction, Learning, & Technology Program in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.  

Dr. Beghetto is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Creative Behavior and series editor for Creative Theory and Action in Education (Springer Books)

Prior to joining the faculty at UConn, Dr. Beghetto served as the College of Education's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Education Studies at the University of Oregon. He also served as Faculty-in-Residence for Research and Evaluation Projects for UO's Center on Diversity and Community (CoDaC). Dr. Beghetto earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Indiana University (with an emphasis in Learning, Cognition and Instruction).  

His work highlights how making slight changes to existing teaching, learning, and leadership practices can result in new ways of thinking and acting.  Central themes in this work include:

  • The potential for creative thought and action is always and already present in educational settings (it's not something that only certain people possess or something that schools can "provide", "take away", or "kill"; but certain situations in schools can  support or suppress it); 
  • There is a time and a place for creative thought and action (e.g., when facing uncertainty or attempting to improve upon existing practices);
  • Creative thought and action is supported in settings that are open to difference (not in settings that privilege sameness);
  • Supporting creative potential and academic learning can be complimentary ("both/and") rather than competing ("either/or") goals;
  • There are no short-cuts, easy tricks, or magical strategies for developing creative potential into creative accomplishments (it requires, among other things, systems of support, subject matter knowledge, deliberate practice, persistence, honest and supportive feedback, risk-taking, the investment of a lot of time, and an unshakeable sense of possibility thinking);
  • Creative thought and action operates within constraints (and therefore it's often more about thinking and acting in new ways "inside the box" rather than outside of it); and
  • If we want to support young people's willingness to take creative risks, then we need to start by taking such risks ourselves.  

Dr. Beghetto's newest book Big Wins, Small Steps: How to Lead For and With Creativity is Published by Corwin Press.  His recent books include Creative Contradictions in Education (with Sriramon) published by Springer;  Killing Ideas Softly? The Promise and Perils of Creativity in the Classroom published by Information Age Publishing; Teaching for Creativity in the Common Core Classroom (with Kaufman & Baer) published by Teachers College Press; and Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom (1st & 2nd Ed) (co-edited with Kaufman) published by Cambridge University Press.  

Dr. Beghetto is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts (Div. 10, APA).  He is the 2018 recipient of the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts and 2008 recipient of Daniel E. Berlyne Award from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association.  Dr. Beghetto has also received recognition and numerous awards for excellence in teaching, including the University of Oregon 's highest teaching award for early career faculty (2006 Ersted Crystal Apple Award), the 2015 ALD Faculty of the Year Award at the University of Connecticut, and the Provost's Recognition for Excellence in Teaching (University of Connecticut).