Componential Theories of Creativity: A Case Study of Teaching Creative Problem Solving

TitleComponential Theories of Creativity: A Case Study of Teaching Creative Problem Solving
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsRennick, C., and K. McKay
Conference NameProceedings of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA)
Date Publisheddec
AbstractEngineering is the discipline of applying scientific and mathematical tools to solve practical problems for society. At the core of a person’s problem-solving abilities is their creativity. This is a preliminary and exploratory theory-based paper summarizing the two most prevalent componential theories of creativity as applied to a case study. These theories outline a set of processes which contribute to a person’s ability to be creative in a domain. The components differ slightly between models, but include: motivation; domain-specific knowledge, skills, and abilities; and cognitive process of creativity including problem finding, ideation, and evaluation.To demonstrate the practical application of these theories to engineering pedagogy, they will be applied to a case study of a 2-day academic hackathon called “Tron Days”. Tron Days guides students through a multi-step modelling and verification process and concludes with teams of students designing and constructing a robotic arm. At the end of the second day, students demonstrated their functioning robotic prototypes. This event has now been run twice for first semester Mechatronics Engineering students, and similar implementations with different problems have been run in seven other engineering programs at the same institution. Each section of this paper will demonstrate the application of componential theories of creativity by drawing connections to the Tron Days event.