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Design students' experience of engagement and creativity

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The terms creativity and engagement are used broadly throughout the literature and are in common usage in our education and design language. Students, however, understand these terms in unexpected ways and this can sometimes cause a disjunction between the teacher's intention for the learning activity and the ways in which the student may go about it.

In this article we tease out the relationships between engagement and creativity for student learning in design. Our data suggest that engagement relies on certain conditions and attributes that have to be met before a student makes a personally meaningful commitment to study. Engagement here means some form of interlocking between the student and the task, or some form of attentiveness facilitated by the teacher or the environment. By creativity we mean the meshing between person, process and product which is then appreciated by the broader design community. We suggest that understanding creativity as a complex attribute contributes to the nature and quality of student engagement with their learning and the profession.
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Keywords: creativity; engagement; identity; learning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Macquarie University.

Publication date: 2007-10-03

More about this publication?
  • How can art, design and communication aid teaching? Do these teaching methods work better in certain fields of study? Focusing on arts and media-based subjects, and encompassing all areas of higher education, this journal reveals the potential value of new educational styles and creative teaching methods.

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