Prof. Nathaniel Barr on Creativity and the Survival of Higher Education

by Prof. Jennifer Phenix

Dr. Nathaniel Barr (PhD University of Waterloo) is professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, teaching courses within the Board Undergraduate Certificate in Creativity and Creative Problem Solving. Nathaniel’s teaching and research interests lie in the psychology of creativity, human reason in the Anthropocene, belief, the relation between grit and mind wandering, the intersection of thinking and technology, currency authentication, and how best to align artificial and human intelligence in the workforce. Nathaniel’s work has been covered extensively in the media, including Scientific American, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and, this past August, The Evolllution, where he published “To Stand a Chance at Survival, Higher Education Needs Creativity” Check it out!

Nathaniel’s article explores how, in the face of the present disruption and future uncertainties we are all facing in this pandemic, higher education has been hit particularly hard with questions raised about “the purpose of higher education, what should be taught, how it should be delivered, who is included and excluded and what a degree or diploma is worth” (Barr 2020). For Nathaniel, as the title of his article suggests, creativity is the best hope and tool for “rising to the short-and-long term challenges facing higher education.” (Barr 2020).