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Open 2013:  Creativity is Not a Purple Dragon
 

Open 2013: Creativity is Not a Purple Dragon

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  • Interestingly, creativity is not well researched in educational psychology. It is more in I/O psychology, with less emphasis on classroom application or information on how to integrate it. Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow did an extensive content analysis of education journals and found that there was not an agreed upon definition of creativity. We wanted to see if this is also the case in engineering education.
  • Interestingly, creativity is not well researched in educational psychology. It is more in I/O psychology, with less emphasis on classroom application or information on how to integrate it. Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow did an extensive content analysis of education journals and found that there was not an agreed upon definition of creativity. We wanted to see if this is also the case in engineering education.
  • Note: There were two articles written by the same authors in the same journal (IJEE) with the same literature review. We counted these as one since the lit review and definition were almost identical.
  • Conclusions:The number of peer-reviewed journal articles on creativity in primary engineering education journals is relatively small.There is no consistent definition of creativity used in engineering education research.Researchers primarily consider creativity in relation to problem-solving

Open 2013:  Creativity is Not a Purple Dragon Open 2013: Creativity is Not a Purple Dragon Presentation Transcript

  • Creativity is NOT a Purple Dragon
  • Creativity is NOT a Purple Dragon
  • Creativity is tucked away into various pockets of theengineering curriculum. Engineering Design Courses Entrepreneurship Programs Images from http://www.engr.psu.edu/future/WhyPSUEngr/ and http://www.sedtapp.psu.edu/index.php.
  • Students express frustration at the lack of opportunities tobe creative in the curriculum. “Most engineering classes are memorizing equations and solving problems in a specific way that has been taught to you.” “I’ve only had a few classes where I felt I was able to be creative in my work.” “Engineering classes are the place Creativity goes to die.”
  • The paper has three intended purposes:1. Discuss the barriers to integrating the creative process into engineering courses2. Understand how creativity has been conceptualized in engineering education3. Generate ideas on how to implement the creative process throughout the curriculum
  • There are several potential reasons why creativity is notwell integrated into engineering curricula.1. Myths relating to creativity2. Lack of ambiguity and opportunities for failure in most courses3. Rewards structure in most courses4. Difficulty assessing creative behaviors5. Students’ perceptions regarding instructor’s value of creative behavior
  • Kazerounian and Foley (2007) asked why creativity is notcentral to the engineering curriculum.1. Engineering students do not feel that instructors value creativity.2. Engineering instructors value creativity, but do not see it in their students.“Creativity is not valued in contemporary engineering education.”
  • Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow (2004) advocate for acomprehensive definition of creativity to guide research. “Creativity is the interaction between aptitude, process, and environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context.”
  • Following the methodology of Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow(2004), we examined how creativity is conceptualized inengineering education research.Content analysis of articles from 2006-2011 with “creativity” or “creative” in titleMajor journals in engineering education No conference papers No engineering design or entrepreneurship journals
  • The questions guiding the content analysis were: 1. Does the article explicitly define creativity? (i.e. “Creativity is…” or “Creative means…”) 2. How do the authors define/describe creativity?
  • Few articles were found that used the word “creativity” or“creative” in the title. Journal Number of Articles Advances in Engineering Education 0 Australasian Journal of Engineering Education 0 European Journal of Engineering Education 4 International Journal of Engineering Education 10 Journal of Engineering Education 2
  • Over half of the articles explicitly defined “creativity.” No Explicit Explicit Definition Definition 44% 56%
  • All articles related creativity to solving problems andfinding solutions. Problem solving Unique Process Product Useful Divergent thinking Interactionist Spiritual 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
  • Only three articles contained a complete definition similarto the interactionist model of creativity. Problem solving Unique Process Product Useful Divergent thinking Interactionist Spiritual 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
  • Current efforts at PSU to integrate the creative process intocourses include workshops and funded projects.
  • Current efforts at PSU to integrate the creative process intocourses include workshops and funded projects.
  • Current efforts at PSU to integrate the creative process intocourses include workshops and funded projects.
  • We also try to include discussions of creativity in otherteaching-related workshops.
  • Faculty are more accepting of the “creative process” ratherthan “creativity.” “Creative process = Engineering” “Creativity could be incorporated more broadly into engineering curricula beyond the design-oriented courses.”
  • Acknowledgements: Thank you to co-authors, Tom Litzinger and Irene Mena of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State. Thank you also to the Leonhard Center for providing funding for the creativity initiatives discussed in the paper.