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Friday, November 13 • 19:30 - 19:45
Creative Empowerment: An imperative for youth and adults in uncertain times

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In a world defined by large scale volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, there is an urgent need for innovations in education to nurture youth’s creative efficacy. Creative efficacy, or the confidence in one's ability to use their creativity to impact their world, allows people to generate multiple ways of adapting and thriving in the face of rapidly changing scenarios and chaos. Developed through 22 years of working with youth and adults in school and out of school programs in 15 countries, the Creative Empowerment Model is a pedagogical innovation–weaving together experiential learning, leading-edge group facilitation and arts-based expression–into principles and practices that empower teachers and youth educators to create vibrant learning communities that nurture creative efficacy.

In this presentation, I offer a rationale for centering creative efficacy in designing learning environments that are relevant and responsive to youth’s needs. I will present the Creative Empowerment Model’s theory of change, grounded in contemporary developmental science research and insights from over two decades of applications of this model in the field.
Participants will learn the key ingredients for a learning environment that nurtures creative efficacy: psychological safety, shared leadership among youth and adults, and a healthy sense of challenge that fosters growth. Participants will understand how to use the Creative Empowerment Model to increase confidence in one’s creativity and facilitate learning that is joyful, deep, and enlivening for both youth and educators.

After introducing the Creative Community Model and showing how experiential learning, group facilitation, and arts-based practices work together to address the deeper needs of young people, I will summarize the outcomes for youth. Nurturing creative efficacy leads to the development of a whole range of life skills for youth from different backgrounds. Analyses of youth’s experience in out-of-school week-long programs using the model points to the following outcomes: youth move from a guarded, walled off sense of self to a more open and authentic way of being in the world with others. They gain a deeper awareness of their inner life; develop more listening, forgiveness, patience, and gratitude; and develop trust in self and others including adults, teachers, mentors, and the world as a whole. Youth gain more confidence to enact the life they envision for themselves, their communities and their world.

The Creative Empowerment Model is equally appropriate and effective for shifting adult learning cultures to more effectively nurture adult personal and professional development as it is for creating highly effective learning environments for youth in formal schooling and community-based learning contexts. Adults find that the model is an accessible and practical method for engaging youth in meaningful ways instead of resorting to coercion or haphazard techniques. The model allows adults to remain responsive to emergent needs of the group and those of individual youth. Adults also discover a sense of renewal and commitment replaces feelings of burnout in their work as educators. The Creative Empowerment Model is a proven approach for creating highly effective learning environments that welcome youth’s imaginations and ways of seeing the world.

avatar for Andrew Nalani

Andrew Nalani

Evaluation and Learning Innovator at PYE, Partners for Youth Empowerment
Andrew Nalani, EdM., is a fourth year PhD student in Applied Psychology at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. His research threads together theories and methods in organizational, developmental and community psychology to design and evaluate transformative... Read More →

Friday November 13, 2020 19:30 - 19:45 CET