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Irish Design Education: Providing access to conditions of a Climate for Creativity in Learning and Teaching

Author Siobhan Murphy
Abstract The Knowledge Economy is a term that gained much rhetoric on the island of Ireland as government think tanks considered what, if anything could be the panacea for our future. Nationally Forfas (2009) highlighted 'creativity , design and innovation' as a prominent panacea, likewise the European University Association (EUA, 2007) on a European level highlight creativity in higher education as a panacea. Moreover increasing student numbers in third level education demands new ideas. However to depart constructively from the lip service creativity, design and innovation receive, practical ideas, tools and approaches must be identified.

This study focused on design courses in Ireland as a means of accessing creative classroom conditions for further an d higher education. It is proposed that a new research paradigm in the area of creativity could be a 'Climate for Creativity' thus transporting approaches to creativity and innovation from arts education to all educational disciplines and beyond.

Qualitative research methodologies using a triangulation of methods of data collection including surveys, classroom observation and focus groups have been carried out. Dimensions of a creative climate developed by Goran Ekvall (2001) in 1983, a Swedish industrial psychologist, have been used as a basis to the inquiry. The research process has provided the opportunity to develop those dimensions whereby effective classroom conditions of a climate for creativity have been revealed.

Many of those conditions revealed support current literature on creativity and innovation and include conditions such as collaboration, autonomy and problem based learning. However there are other more revealing conditions that will help inculcate new approaches to the teaching of creativity and innovation. Moreover the conditions of a climate for creativity have been developed into a pedagogical framework that can be used in educational and organisational training.

This paper will present those findings; the conditions of a climate for creativity and innovation and the pedagogical framework.

Keywords Learning climate, creativity, climate for creativity, classroom conditions, effective learning, creative pedagogy, higher education
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2017
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