Date of Award

4-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Department

College of Education

Abstract

Higher education instructors do not sufficiently incorporate creativity in the teaching and learning environments within which they operate. While there is a great deal of research available regarding creativity and primary or secondary education, there is little research available regarding creativity and higher education. This study contributes to that gap of knowledge by surveying faculty members in one institution of higher education in order to understand their perspectives regarding creativity, both as it relates to being a creative individual and to teaching others to be creative themselves. There were 358 faculty members who participated in the online survey designed specifically for this study. Those participants were tenured, tenure-track, visiting, and affiliate faculty from eight different academic units at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The survey instrument asked participants to answer six demographic questions, eleven Likert scale statements, and two short answer questions. The results of the surveys were gathered and organized by response, allowing the researcher to identify similarities and tabulate percentages of responses. The majority of faculty participants believed creativity to be a positive concept that should be incorporated in higher education. However, when asked if they believed their faculty peers engaged in creative action, most participants did not perceive that to be the case. Several barriers to creativity, along with factors that could potentially promote creativity, were identified in this survey as well. The results have important implications for institutions of higher education if they are seeking to incorporate creativity. There is still a significant amount of research needed that could further promote this field of knowledge.

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