A principal goal of higher education is to prepare students for the real-world challenges they will encounter upon graduation in their everyday life, in their work and in society. While discipline specific content knowledge is an important component of a college education, a 2010 survey of employers conducted for the Association of American Colleges and Universities reflected the changing expectations of employers for recent college graduates. Approximately ninety percent of employers surveyed said college graduates entering the workplace need a broader set of skills than in the past in order to meet increasingly complex workplace challenges. Among the top four workplace skills in demand are creativity and innovation.
This study employs a qualitative phenomenological approach to examine a particular curricular program designed to impart creativity and to promote the generation of new ideas that lead to innovation. Through the use of student surveys and in-depth interviews with students and faculty who have participated in the program, the study offers a synthesized description of the student experience of the curriculum and the pedagogies used in the program. The study identifies the key benefits of the program for students; offers guidance on what kind of pedagogical approaches are necessary for faculty to successfully implement this kind of program; and addresses the challenges involved in advancing a curriculum for creativity and innovation that utilizes unconventional pedagogies.
What seems clear from the student experience is that the curricular program is effective in imparting the knowledge and skills to practice creativity and innovation. Also evident is that the constructivist learning environment and the pedagogies employed in teaching the program, including hands-on and collective learning, critical thinking and problem-based learning, and formative assessment, contribute to a feeling of confidence in the mastery of the skills and results in deep learning by the students. Through the experience, students are empowered with a creative capacity and an ability to innovate, as well as with skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving. These are abilities that will prepare students for the complexities of rapidly changing world.
|Advisor:||Hartley, J. Matthew|
|Commitee:||Armacost, Mary-Linda, Kalikow, Theodora|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Higher Education Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Constructivist learning environment, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Higher education, Innovation|
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