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RESEARCH PAPERS

Barriers to Creativity in Engineering Education: A Study of Instructors and Students Perceptions

[+] Author and Article Information
Kazem Kazerounian, Stephany Foley

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3139

J. Mech. Des 129(7), 761-768 (Feb 28, 2007) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2739569 History: Received October 04, 2006; Revised February 28, 2007

This paper studies “creativity” in engineering education, by examining the perception of instructors and students. We aim to identify factors that impede a creative environment (creativity blockers). The study entails a review of established research in the fields of psychology and educational psychology to identify factors which create an educational environment conducive to creativity. These factors are formalized in the Ten Maxims of Creativity in Education, a set of criteria that constitute an educational environment conducive to fostering creativity in students. These maxims form the basis for our work in examining the contemporary engineering education. Extensive surveys are designed, created, distributed, and statistically quantified to study the perceptions of engineering educators and students, in comparison to nonengineering educators and students. The results unfortunately show that current engineering students experience almost none of the Ten Maxims of Creativity as part of their academic experiences.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Creativity criteria perceived by instructors in various disciplines to be absent from the educational experience

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Creativity criteria perceived by students in various disciplines to be absent from the educational experience

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Creativity criteria perceived by instructors and students in various disciplines to be absent from the educational experience

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