The Discourse of Creative Problem Solving in Childhood Engineering Education


Researchers and teachers are increasingly in agreement that classrooms should adopt more open-ended, ill-structured, creative problem solving pedagogies (Kapur, 2008). However, we lack sufficient understandings of how to assess the variegated outputs of learning activities that afford students considerable discretion over what they will produce, and of the mechanisms through which group work can produce those outcomes. In order to understand how collaborative problem solving discourse shapes the creativity of collaborative products (as measured by the novelty of those products), we analyzed collaborative problem solving talk and the resulting products designed for fictional character by 9 groups of middle- school aged youth. We found that engaged responses to peers’ proposed design ideas are predictive of novel solutions.

Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference of the Learning Sciences