A Meta-Analysis Study on the Effectiveness of Creativity Approaches in Technology and Engineering Education

Article excerpt


There are numerous approaches aimed to develop creative capacities have been proposed. These have been implemented in various fields including science, business, nursing, technology as well as engineering. This study used quantitative method of meta-analysis to synthesize the effect of several approaches to creativity, specifically in the field of technology and engineering across educational levels. Several databases such as EBSCOhost, ProQuest, Taylor & Francis, SpringerLink, IEEE Electronic Library, Eric and Google Scholar were searched for articles that study the effectiveness of approach to creativity or related issues ranging from 2000-2012 timeframe. Based on 16 articles adopted, it was found that the grand mean effect size for creativity approaches is 1.02 with standard deviation of 0.72. This study also identified seven approaches and twelve different instruments used to enhance and measure creativity in term of product and individual creativity. The finding showed that the implemented creativity approaches have a positive effect on students creativity development. As such, it is recommended that further empirical research on the effect of creativity approaches need to be conducted specifically in technology and engineering to support these findings.

Keywords: creativity approach, meta-analysis, divergent thinking, technology education, engineering education

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1. Introduction

The evolution of civilization depends on innovation, while innovation itself is highly depends on the creative ability possessed by every individual in these groups (Ma, 2006). In the new economy environment and well-developed technology, more innovation is needed in driving the growth and development of a country. Since creativity is the basis of innovation, there is no doubt that creativity is important to foster among individuals, especially students who are liable to be a catalyst in modernization and development of a country through various innovation to be implemented.

What is creativity? Creativity has been defined in numerous perspectives. However, the usual emphasis in this definition is that people's ability to produce products that are not only high in quality but also novel (Sternberg, 2001). According to Lubart (2000-2001), creativity involves the production of original, potential and can be used as well as novel solution to the problem having relatively high level of difficulty. The realization of one's creative ability depends, not only on knowledge and skills, but also on the use of quick and different kinds of information found in tasks requiring this ability (Karkockiene, 2005).

According to Investment Theory proposed by Sternberg & Lubart (1993), creativity requires a confluence of six distinct but interrelated resources: intellectual abilities, knowledge, styles of thinking, personality, motivation and environment. These resources combine interactively to yield creative performance. Three aspects of intellectual abilities are key for creativity: (a) the synthetic ability refer to the ability to see problems in new ways and to escape the bounds of conventional thinking, (b) the analytical ability which means being able to identify one's idea that can be applied or not, and (c) the practical-contextual ability refer to the ability to translate abstractions and theories into realistic application. It is a skill to sell or communicate one's ideas to others and also to convince others that the ideas, works or products is valuable and should be considered (Aqda et al., 2011; Sternberg, 2006). Creative people use these three types of thinking to consider the implications and possible responses to a problem (Aqda et al., 2011).

In addition, based on the Investment Theory, Sternberg & Lubart (1993) also claim that creative individuals are 242 those who buy low and sell high in aspects related to the idea. They invested their thinking in ideas that are considered less clear and less well known, and sell those ideas high as a result of creative input. …