Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education: Innovative Approaches, Methods, and Ideas

By Paul Jay Edelson; Patricia L. Malone | Go to book overview

Universities operating in a knowledge-based economy must approach
problem solving using interdisciplinary and cross-professional
perspectives
.


Dialogue and Collaboration
as Keys to Building Innovative
Educational Initiatives in a
Knowledge-Based Economy

Mary Lindenstein Walshok

As an early baby boomer, I grew up in a middle-class America of heroes and geniuses. Whether it was [The Lone Ranger] on television, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Sillitoe, 1992) in literature, the celebration of the whiz kids on the [Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question,] or the fast-tracking of the especially able in the era of Sputnik, mine was a generation that prized individual achievement and genius. The culture of exceptionality that developed in this country after World War II was reinforced by our incredible achievements in science and technology during the Cold War. And it has shaped the popular view that creativity is a highly individualistic quality, that ability is a gift—as in programs for [gifted] students—and that creativity comes from [flashes of genius] rather than from social processes.

But in the new knowledge-based economy, characterized by digital (that is, networked processes) rather than analogic (that is, linear processes), creativity and innovation increasingly come from webs of talent rather than flashes of genius. In this chapter, I will describe how the development of institutional mechanisms capable of addressing emerging transdisciplinary knowledge needs in the new networked economy can give rise to innovative academic initiatives unlikely to emerge from the more linear, individual, expert models of knowledge development and dissemination characterizing most research universities.

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