A qualitative study of creative thinking using experiential learning in an agricultural and life sciences course
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The purpose of this study was to explore whether creativity can be nurtured in an experiential learning environment at the college level. The study investigated how well process-based creativity models and construct-based creativity models reflected creative behavior in an experiential and team-based learning environment. The research design included field observations, focus group interviews, student questionnaires, and portfolio assessments. Study participants were selected students from Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Findings indicated that both process-based and construct-based creativity models are good indicators of creative behavior. Torrance’s creativity dimensions that emerged among students included problem awareness, ability to produce and consider many alternatives, ability to put ideas into context, ability to use humor, kinesthetic responsiveness, and ability to break through boundaries. Treffinger’s creativity dimensions included sensitivity to problems, tolerance of congruity, fluency, good research and management skills, cognition, memory, analysis, application, openness to experience, confidence, independence in inquiry, willingness to respond, and readiness for transformations. Dacey’s constructs included sensitivity to problems, divergent thinking, convergent thinking, openness, independence of judgment, self guidance, and playfulness. Jackson and Messick’s constructs included analysis, intuition, openness, and reflection. Study findings also indicated that all steps of the Osborn and Parnes processbased creativity model were fully utilized in the experiential and team-based learning environment. As part of the effort to seek models of teaching and learning that encourage students to be more creative while solving complex problems in the world of agriculture, findings of this study can be used to determine how creativity can be fostered through experiential and team-based learning.
Aboukinane, Chehrazade (2007). A qualitative study of creative thinking using experiential learning in an agricultural and life sciences course. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from