Dr. Sawyer has published widely in scholarly journals, edited volumes, and influential handbooks and encyclopedias — a total of over 120 articles.

This list includes a representative sample of Dr. Sawyer's articles. Some are available for PDF download. For a complete listing of publications, see his vita.


  • An introduction to the learning sciences. Chapter 1 in The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. Download PDF
  • The learning sciences in the 2020s: Implications for schools and beyond. Chapter 33 in The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. Download PDF


  • The dialogue of creativity: Teaching the creative process by animating student work as a collaborating creative agent. Cognition and Instruction. Download PDF
  • Teaching creative thinking: How design professors externalize their creative thinking in studio classroom talk. Mind, Culture, and Activity. Download PDF


  • Dialogic status in design education: Authority and peer relations in studio class conversations. Social Psychology Quarterly. Download PDF
  • Fostering creative performance in art and design education via self-regulated learning. Instructional Science. Download PDF


  • Teaching and learning how to create in schools of art and design. Journal of the Learning Sciences. Download PDF
  • The role of failure in learning how to create in art and design. Thinking Skills and Creativity. Download PDF


  • Teaching creativity in art and design studio classes: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review. Download PDF


  • A call to action: The challenges of creative teaching and learning. Teachers College Record. Download PDF


  • The future of learning. The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, Second Edition. Download PDF
  • How to transform schools to foster creativity. Teachers College Record. Abstract | Download PDF


  • The cognitive neuroscience of creativity: A critical review. Creativity Research Journal.Abstract | Download PDF


  • Distributed Creativity: How Collective Creations Emerge from Collaboration. Journal of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.Abstract | Download PDF



  • Study group discourse: How external representations affect collaborative conversation. Linguistics and Education.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Social explanation and computational simulation. Philosophical Explorations.Abstract | Download PDF
  • The mechanisms of emergence. Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Improvised lessons: Collaborative discussion in the constructivist classroom. Teaching Education.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Creative teaching: Collaborative discussion as disciplined improvisation. Educational Researcher.Abstract | Download PDF


  • Nonreductive individualism, Part II: Social causation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Improvisation and narrative. Narrative Inquiry.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Artificial societies: Multi agent systems and the micro-macro link in sociological theory. Sociological Methods and Research.Abstract | Download PDF


  • Nonreductive individualism, Part I: Supervenience and wild disjunction. Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Unresolved tensions in sociocultural theory: Analogies with contemporary sociocultural debates. Culture & Psychology.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Durkheim's dilemma: Toward a sociology of emergence. Sociological Theory.Abstract | Download PDF
  • Emergence in psychology: Lessons from the history of non-reductionist science. Human Development.Abstract | Download PDF
  • A discourse on discourse: An archeological history of an intellectual concept. Cultural Studies.Abstract | Download PDF


  • Emergence in sociology: Contemporary philosophy of mind and some implications for sociological theory. American Journal of Sociology.Abstract | Download PDF


  • Improvisation and the creative process: Dewey, Collingwood, and the aesthetics of spontaneity. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 58 (2), 149-161.Abstract


  • The emergence of creativity. Philosophical Psychology, 12 (4), 447-469.Abstract
  • Improvisational conversations: Music, collaboration, and development. Psychology of Music, 27, 192-205.Abstract


  • The interdisciplinary study of creativity in performance. The Creativity Research Journal, 11, 11-19.Abstract


  • Improvisational theater. An ethnotheory of conversational practice. In Creativity in Performance.Abstract


  • Role voicing, gender, and age in preschool play discourse. Discourse Processes, 22, 287-305.Abstract
  • The semiotics of improvisation: The pragmatics of musical and verbal performance. Semiotica, 108, (3/4), 269-306.Abstract


  • Creativity as mediated action: A comparison of improvisational performance and product creativity. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 2, 172-191.Abstract
  • A developmental model of heteroglossic improvisation in children's fantasy play. Sociological Studies of Children, 7, 127-153.Abstract


  • The pragmatics of play: Interactional strategies during children's pretend play. Pragmatics, 3, 259-282.Abstract


  • Improvisational creativity: An analysis of jazz performance. Creativity Research Journal, 5, 253-263.Abstract