Facilitating creativity as a core competence in Engineering Education

P. Andersson, Balder Onarheim

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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    In Engineering Education (EE) there is a growing emphasis on providing students with skills and competences within innovation and entrepreneurship. This development has emerged from an identified need for establishment of new enterprises, creation of new possibilities for employment and to contribute to enhanced growth. Engineers are considered to have a key position in this development, and many engineering challenges call for new solutions. Creativity is a prerequisite for the ability to combine present knowledge into new solutions. Hence, creativity is an important subset in innovation. This development gives reasons to reconsider the content in EE and how it is taught. If creativity and innovation are the new key components in academic training of engineers it is also necessary to embrace openness to collaboration and multidisciplinary, holistic views on real life complex problems, and design competences in EE [1]. Still it is well known that there is inertia in Engineering Education to develop new structures and traditions in teaching and learning [2]. In the whole education system there is a growing interest in creative engagement of pupils and students, and the body of research in the area is growing rapidly. Research in this field has an emphasis on the role of the teacher in facilitating creativity, while the question of how to train teachers in teaching creativity is less emphasized [3]. How do we teach creativity to those how are going to teach creativity in EE? At the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) a mandatory teacher training program for new faculty has in its present design been successfully held since 2004. Different approaches to fostering teachers? beliefs of creativity and innovation as teaching methods have been explored in the programme, based on approaches like the ones described in [4]. Based on qualitative surveys and interviews this paper will discuss how the programme influence teachers? beliefs about 1) creativity in teaching and learning, 2) view on creativity as an important engineering skill, and 3) desire to emphasise creativity in their own teaching. The results indicate that while new faculty like to master a traditional way to teach at university, some new faculty is convinced by elements of the course material and thus display another behaviour ? embracing new perspectives in EE and being more open to include creativity as a part of their teaching.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Sefi Annual Conference 2015 : Diversity in Engineering Education: an Opportunity To Face the New Trends of Engineering,
    Number of pages8
    PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education
    Publication date2015
    Article number56628
    ISBN (Print)9782873520120
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event43rd Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2015) - Orléans, France
    Duration: 29 Jun 20152 Jul 2015
    Conference number: 43


    Conference43rd Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2015)
    Internet address


    • New learning concepts for engineering education
    • Entrepreneurship and engineering education
    • Creativity
    • Innovation

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