Fostering Creativity through Design and Technology Education
Keywords:Creativity, Design and Technology, Toolkit, Teaching Resources
The challenges faced by contemporary societies, together with the on-going change characterizing these societies, reveal the need for citizens who are able to think differently and adapt what is already known to new, unknown situations (Cropley, A., 2011). This ensures that change is pro-actively managed. Education plays an important role in supporting active citizenship (Apple, 2013), where a methodology that promotes creativity ensures the effectiveness of pluralism in democratic societies. Teachers, however, are faced with dilemmas, having to compromise between the requirements for creativity and the demands of education systems (Atkinson, 2000; Runco, 2014a). Design and Technology Education has a potential role in addressing these dilemmas, due to the authenticity afforded and the potential of design practice to foster the metacognition required for creativity (Christiaans & Venselaar, 2005a). This paper presents the research conducted to build a toolkit for secondary school Design and Technology Educators, intended to capitalize on this potential. It was developed following an exploration process aimed at identifying a pedagogy that facilitates the fostering of creative mindsets through the subject. This process consisted of interviews with Design and Technology teachers to understand creativity in the local classroom, in addition to a literature review. The toolkit was then evaluated through interviews with other Design and Technology teachers. The underlying philosophy of the toolkit is based on the 4P framework (Rhodes, 1961) – Person, Process, Product, and Press – to address creativity holistically, with the creative Person as its long-term goal. This is embodied through the design process at the core of the toolkit, facilitated using the spiral curriculum (Bruner, 1977) and specific design tools. The evaluation of the toolkit shows that it can support high-level thinking required for creativity, confirming the role of Design and Technology Education in preparing present and future generations for the society they design and live in.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Robert Farrugia, Lawrence Farrugia Caruana, Sarah Pule'
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