The following is from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Ellis Paul Torrance, "The Creativity Man," was born in Milledgeville, GA on October 8, 1915, died July 12, 2003. He was the son of the late Ellis Watson and Jimmie Pearl Ennis Torrance and widower of Pansy Nigh Torrance. Hew was a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of Athens First Baptist Church.
He is know throughout the world for his work in developing ways to assess and nurture creativity in all human beings. He developed the most widely used tests of creativity, created the Future Problem Solving Program, developed the Incubation Model of Teaching, and continued his study of the Minnesota participants in his longitudinal study of creativity. By the tim he retired from the University of Georgia as a Professor Emeritus, he had published 1,117 books, articles, chapters, tests, and book reviews, as well as delivered countless speeches and workshops at national and international sties.
After his retirement, he continued to remain prolific, authoring several new books on creativity. Some of his best known books are Guiding Creative Talent, Rewarding Creative Behavior, The Search for Satori and Creativity, The Incubation Model of Teaching, Mentor Relationships, and Why Fly. His most recent books are such co-authored works as Gifted and Talented Children in the Regular Classroom, Multicultural Mentoring of the Gifted and Talented, Making the Creative Leap Beyond, and Spiritual Intelligence: Developing Higher Consciousness.
After his retirement, the Torrance Center for Creative Studies was established to continue his legacy. Because of the work of this one man, children and adults all over the world have been given the opportunity and wherewithal to develop their creative talent. However, Paul Torrance will be best remembered by those closest to him best for his huge heart as much as for his colossal intellect.
Survivors include his dear friend, Mohammed Babaway of Athens; and seven cousins: James C. Funk of Tallahassee FL, Audrey G. Torrance of Lake Hartwell, Mildred E. Simpson of Milledgeville, Peggy E. Miller of Warner Robins, Earl Beall and Wiley Beall both of Dublin and Robert Beall o LaGrange. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, July 17, at 11:00 a.m. at Athens First Baptist Church with the Rev. Frank Granger officiating. Burial will be at 4:00 p.m. at the Black Spring Baptist Church Cemetery in Milledgeville, GA. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 at Bernstein Funeral Home. The family request in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Torrance Center at the University of Georgia to support the programs he loved. Bernstein Funeral Home of Athens is in charge of arrangements.
The following is from the UGA News Bureau, Monday, July 14, 2003 <http://www.uga.edu/news/newsbureau/releases/2003releases/0307/030714torrance.html>
WRITER: Michael Childs, 706/542-5889, email@example.com
CONTACT: Bonnie Cramond, 706/542-4248, firstname.lastname@example.org
‘FATHER OF CREATIVITY’ E. PAUL TORRANCE, UGA PROFESSOR EMERITUS
OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, DEAD AT 87
ATHENS, Ga. – E. Paul Torrance, known around the world as the "Father of Creativity" for his nearly 60 years of research that became the framework for the field of gifted education, died Saturday, July 12.
The 87-year-old University of Georgia professor emeritus of educational psychology invented the benchmark method for quantifying creativity and arguably created the platform for all research on the subject since. The "Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking" helped shatter the theory that IQ tests alone were sufficient to gauge real intelligence. The tests solidified what heretofore was only conceptual – namely that creative levels can be scaled and then increased through practice.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Athens. Burial will be in Black Spring Baptist Church Cemetery in Milledgeville at 4 p.m. Visitation will be at Bernstein Funeral Home on Wednesday evening.
His family asks that in lieu of flowers money be sent to support the programs at the Torrance Center through the Torrance Discretionary Fund or the Torrance Professorship. Contributions for either fund should be sent to the UGA Foundation, 824 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, Ga., 30602-5582.
"I have been hearing from people all over the world about how much he has meant to them, both personally and professionally. His life has filled the world with intelligence and love. He will always be with us as his work continues by all of those who have been touched by him," said Bonnie Cramond, professor of educational psychology and longtime friend.
"E. Paul Torrance dedicated his life's energies toward enhancing the recognition, acceptance and development of the creative personality in both education and the workplace. Aside from his indefatigable effort being missed with his passing, the void of his personal warmth, authenticity and devotion to humanity – particularly toward children and youth – makes the world a far more barren place. Already I miss his presence, and I know that the thousands whose lives he touched directly and indirectly must feel the same sense of emptiness," said Richard Olenchak, professor, psychologist, director of the University of Houston’s Urban Talent Research Institute and president-elect of the National Association for Gifted Children.
In addition to developing the most widely used tests of creativity, Torrance also created the Future Problem Solving Program and developed the Incubation Model of Teaching. He authored dozens of books and more than 2,000 published articles on creativity during the course of his career, making him one of the most published faculty members in UGA’s history.
He remained prolific after his retirement, writing several new books on creativity. Some of his best known books are Guiding Creative Talent, Rewarding Creative Behavior, The Search for Satori and Creativity, The Incubation Model of Teaching, Mentor Relationships and Why Fly? His most recent books are such co-authored works as Gifted and Talented Children in the Regular Classroom, Multicultural Mentoring of the Gifted and Talented, Making the Creative Leap Beyond, and Spiritual Intelligence: Developing Higher Consciousness.
Torrance’s 2001 book, Manifesto: A Guide to Developing a Creative Career, includes the results of his 40-year longitudinal study of creativity – the only one of its kind.
A film, Manifesto for Children, documenting Torrance’s life and work was broadcast on Georgia Public Television in the fall of 2000. The documentary focused on the longitudinal study which followed 215 young adults who attended two elementary schools in Minnesota from 1958 to 1964.
The students were given creativity tests each year and were followed up with a questionnaire in 1980. On the basis of their responses, the manifesto was developed to describe their ongoing struggle to maintain their creativity and use their strengths to create their careers and provide guidance to children.
In 1998, the participants were followed up to get a picture of their creative achievements and to validate the manifesto. Some of the 101 respondents had attained eminence, while others had attained only mediocre careers.
Heightened awareness of the importance of creativity led to the development of gifted programs all over the world. In Georgia, a student’s success on the Torrance Tests is key to admission into gifted programs – which exist because every school system is charged with targeting students’ learning levels.
"Georgia was one of the first two states to mandate gifted programs in all school systems for kindergarten though 12th grade," said Sally Krisel, the state’s director of gifted programs. "When students excel, they deserve to be challenged – and gifted programs are a great way to accomplish that. I have no doubt Georgia has excelled because of the influences of people like Torrance."
Torrance served as chair of the department of educational psychology at UGA from 1966-78. He developed the Future Problem Solving program in 1974 as an academic activity for gifted students at Clarke Central High School in Athens. By 1977, the activities had grown into a year-long program with interscholastic competitions and became international in scope. Today, an estimated 300,000 students in grades K-12 in 41 states and several foreign countries are involved in the futures studies and creative problem-solving activities comprising the FPSP.
The Torrance Center for Creative Studies, based in the College of Education’s department of educational psychology, was established after Torrance’s retirement in 1984 to continue his scholarly inquiry into the study, development and evaluation of gifted and creative abilities in individual from diverse age-groups, cultures and economic backgrounds.
"He continually proved himself a genius – and not just in theory, but in application, which has affected thousands of teachers and millions of students," says Joan Franklin-Smutney, director for the gifted at National-Louis University in Evanston, Ill. "His work will not perish because he genuinely wanted to see humankind progress."
Born on a Milledgeville farm in 1915, Torrance earned his undergraduate degree from Mercer, his master’s from Minnesota and his doctorate from Michigan.
He began his professional career as a high school and junior college teacher, counselor and administrator, developing his first creativity test at Georgia Military College. In 1945, he became a counselor of disabled veterans at the University of Minnesota Counseling Bureau. Soon, he was inducted in the U.S. Army and served as a psychiatric social worker and psychologist where he interviewed, tested and counseled men who had been court martialed.
Upon his discharge, Torrance joined the counseling bureau at Kansas State University and later became dean of men, counseling bureau director and professor of psychology. In 1951, he became director of the Survival Research Field Unit of the U.S. Air Force Advanced Survival School. In 1958, he returned to the University of Minnesota and served as director of the Bureau of Educational Research until 1966.
The following is from a poster by E. Paul Torrance. It belongs to Dr. Rosemary Jackson and has been signed by Dr. Torrance. Copies may be ordered from Full Circle Counseling, Inc., P.O. Box 2726, Staunton, VA 24401.
Manifesto for Children
1) Don't be afraid to fall in love with something & pursue it with intensity.
2) Know, understand, take pride in, practice, develop, exploit, & enjoy your greatest strengths.
3) Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games they impose on you.
4) Find a great teacher or mento who will help you.
5) Don't waste energy trying to be well rounded.
6) Do what you love and can do well.
7) Learn the skill of interdependence.
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