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The Effectiveness of Teaching Creative Problem Solving (CPS) in Changing Students Behaviour in University Design Courses in Indonesia
Ka Yee Man
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The need for critical thinking and creativity in higher education has been emphasized by UNESCO (1998). While some universities have already recognized the need to teach creativity (Xu, McDonnell & Nash, 2005), creativity is not yet commonly taught in Indonesian universities. Research has shown that creativity can be taught and that creativity training can be effective (Parnes & Noller, 1972; Rose & Lin (1984)). Some training approaches are more effective than others, specifically approaches that focus on the development of cognitive skills and the heuristics involved in skill application (Scott, Leritz & Mumford, 2004) of which Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is an example.
Up until 2004, the Indonesian national curriculum for elementary and secondary education did not focus on active learning and the development of creative thinking skills in students. Rather, the emphasis was on a didactic approach to teaching. From their teaching experience at the university level, the authors (Susanti & Indrajaya) feel that there is a gap between university curricula and the lack of creative thinking skills possessed by students. Lack of creative thinking skills and blocks to creative thinking hinder students especially in design courses, where they are challenged to think independently to solve design problems and come up with creative design solutions.
This study has two aims. The first is to investigate the relative effectiveness defined as an increase in students problem-solving behaviour of three different approaches that were used to teach creative thinking in design courses. They revolve around three variables: duration (number of hours of instruction), format (content embedded versus content excluded; single versus multiple sessions), and type of instructor (external trainer versus course instructor).
Studies on effects of teaching creativity have been mainly conducted in the non-Indonesian environment. Thus the second purpose of this study is to investigate whether the teaching of creative thinking can be as effectively taught in the Indonesian environment as has been previously demonstrated in studies conducted in the non-Indonesian environment.
For this study, the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) method (Osborn, 2001) was used to teach creative thinking. Three groups of university students were taught CPS and a post-training survey is currently being conducted to investigate which of the three approaches to teaching creative thinking was more effective and whether problem-solving behaviour changed after CPS training. If problem-solving behaviour didnt change after CPS training, what were the inhibitors?