The Freddie Reisman Center for Translational Research in Creativity and Motivation (FRC) addresses the disconnect between teachers' knowledge of creative and motivated students and teachers' beliefs that affect how they stifle rather than nourish creative students. The medical translational research model, referred to as Bench to Bedside, serves as our prototype for the FRC's model, Lab to Learner.
Creativity and motivation researchers publish for other academics and in journals and funded grant reports that teachers, students, and the parents/guardians of the students and corporate trainers do not have ready or easy access. As these populations are not the audience for the researchers, it is difficult – if not impossible – for non-researcher to translate the research findings into language or activities that would benefit their learners and end-users.
Simply put, the researchers' findings are not readily accessible or understandable by the various populations that could implement the research. The research generally sits and languishes in journals and reports for the next researcher to read and utilize for a subsequent research study. Although significant and a good thing, on the one hand, the FRC's leadership believes that the lag time between research findings and applications of the research by the end-users is much too long, if it occurs at all. An FRC goal is to significantly decrease the lag time between excellent research findings and its impact on classroom learning and instruction.
Key research will be sought from USA and international creativity and motivation trailblazers that will be translated into language that PreK-12 teachers and higher education faculty (and corporate trainers), their students (and corporate employees) and the students’ family and/or caregivers can immediately understand, with strategies on implementing creativity and motivation across these audiences. The FRC also will develop a generic template with examples for translating educational research that can be applied to many disciplines.
A team of Drexel University faculty, research students from across multiple disciplines within the University, and select like-minded organizations will be in contact with researchers from around the world collecting the best creativity and motivation research. The research will be assessed, and content evaluated for inclusion deemed important for instruction by FRC trained staff for translating the research to end user implementation. The Center’s funding also supports the recruitment of practicing teachers from across the nation who will collaborate with FRC’s leadership on designing authentic lessons based on relevant translated research to practice, including the experiences of the practicing teachers’ implementation of these lessons in their interactions with their students. Teacher feedback will lead to modifying the lesson plans as well as point out need for future research.
The FRC also will offer an evaluation plan for teachers to assess the results of the translational research. Center leadership will instruct the teachers and higher education faculty on how to use the provided evaluation plan as a template for teachers to create their own assessments. Thus, the FRC will offer suggested instructional and assessment activities derived from relevant research to implement with their students. It is noted that corporate trainers can apply the FRC’s services to their own learners.
The disruption to established educational models, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creates a ripe environment for research to be applied to new educational environments (like virtual instruction and learner-centered education sometimes referred to as unschooling). Due to this disruption of historic educational models, the traditional instructor-learner interactions will need to be modified and documented through the translational efforts of the FRC.