Developmental TheoriesSecondarySarah Marie CatalanaDevelopmental TheoriesDevelopmental theorists postulate that creativity develops gradually over time. This development is said to be mediated by the interaction between the person and the environment. Theorists such as Helson, Subotnik & Arnold, and Bloom study the roots of creativity and suggest how to appropriately design environments that encourage successful development of creative potential (Beghetto,Kozbelt, and Runco, 2010). Developmental theorists provide insight concerning the types of environments that stimulate creative development. Studies from Goertzel & Goertzel (1976), and Albert & Runco (1999) reveal that particular developmental experiences are correlated with creativity. For example, studies of creative individuals reveal that creative individuals had:
-Parents that exposed them to diverse experiences
- Parents who themselves were somewhat creative
-Families supported moderate independence, parents were not overly restrictive
-The opportunity to spend significant amount of time engaged in play as a child

What would they think of Destination Imagination?

Developmental theorists would be particularly interested in the environment that Destination Imagination establishes. Destination Imagination strives to create a safe learning environment that encourages discovery and innovation through play. ALL students are eligible to participate, the number one rule is that they WANT to participate. Participants are confident in the "no interference" rule which states that all ideas must be generated by the team-no team manager or other mentor can tell students how to solve a problem. Developmental theorists such as Ayman-Nolley, Pearson, and Russ would be particularly interested in the importance of play in Destination Imagination. These theorists are particularly interested in how nurture and environments may support creative efforts (Beghetto,Kozbelt, and Runco, 2010). Since Destination Imagination claims that there are "no wrong answers", participants are free to play and explore new ideas without the fear of failure. This freedom allows students to relax and reach their fullest creative potential. Furthermore, development theorists such as Bloom would be particularly interested in the Early Learning Component of the program which encourages younger participants to engage in creative thought in a safe, noncompetitive environment (Urban 2000).


Albert, R. S., Runco, M. A. (1999). A longitudinal study of exceptional giftedness and creativiy. Creativity Research Journal, 12, 161-164.

Beghetto, R.A., Kozbelt, A., Runco, M. A., (2010). Theories of Creativity. In J. Kaufman & R. Sternberg (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (pp. 20-47). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

[Dog Costume] Image retrieved November 20,2012, from

Goertzel, V., & Goertzel, M. G. (1976). Cradles of eminence. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Urban, D. (2000). Destination ImagiNation Team Manager Workshop. Retrieved November 20, 2012.