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Where have all the inventors gone?: Is there a lack of spirit of research in engineering education curricula?

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3 Author(s)
Tobias Haertel ; Eng. Educ. Res. Group, Tech. Univ. Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany ; Claudius Terkowsky ; Isa Jahnke

In political discussions and the research and innovation policy of the European Union, the topic “creativity” seems to become increasingly important. Innovation depends on good ideas, so the need of innovative solutions in a globalized world puts creativity in focus. Engineers, who embody the creative inventors and tinkerers more than any other occupation group, carry an important contribution (or even the societal responsibility) to solving current problems. However, engineering education has not been known to be particularly creative or to foster creativity. Based on the results of several interwoven research projects, this paper presents an approach to the nature of creativity in the context of higher education and a small pre-study about the actual activities to foster creativity in two engineering courses. The results indicate a lack of fostering creative learning to establish a spirit of research among students. For this reason, two examples of well elaborated didactical concepts are given, able to foster creativity in engineering education in adaptable dimensions.

Published in:

Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL), 2012 15th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

26-28 Sept. 2012