Rhetorics of Creativity: Sensing Engineering Undergraduate Limits in Universities of Technology (UoTs) in South Africa

By Teboho Pitso.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The paper considers how the growth and development of creativity within UoTs engineering undergraduate classrooms noted for conventional problem-solving can be stimulated. An attempt on such a journey takes one across the realm of creativity, which is a concept that embraces multiple meanings and variation in conceptions. Particular embedded assumptions about social reality frame creativity conceptions thus lending them to multiple conceptions. These assumptions, in turn, accentuate certain forms of creativity knowledge, how that knowledge can be understood, measured\characterized and taught. In short, each creativity conception represents a form of persuasion which attempts to consciously convince people of the supremacy of certain sets of assumptions about social reality over the others. Furthermore, various creativity conceptions embed particular typologies of creativity. It is argued that each creativity typology represents, in itself, a form of persuasion. Each form of persuasion emphasizes certain assumptions about social reality which influence how classroom practice should be structured to signify certain classroom interactions. It is suggested that, given the nascence of creativity in engineering undergraduate within UoTs in South Africa, invitational engagement method holds better prospects for creativity stimulation. Invitational engagement method allows for consideration of various options in relation to creativity where classroom actors are actively involved, have a sense of control and enjoy equal status. It is further suggested that significant adjustments in classroom practice are inevitable if creativity is to thrive within UoTs engineering undergraduate. This may call for the questioning of existing structural assumptions about classroom interaction. In other words, the latent epistemologies that drive classroom practice may have to be significantly transformed in ways that transfer huge responsibility for learning to the undergraduates.

Keywords: Creativity, Rhetorics, Persuasion, Conceptions

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp.57-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 988.679KB).

Dr. Teboho Pitso

Project Manager, Learning Development, Academic Development, Vaal University of Technology, Vereeenging, Gauteng, South Africa

Taught in secondary schools for fifteen years which includes senior positions as Deputy and Principal. subject teaching included Mathematics and Physical Science. I then joined Vaal University of Technology in 2002 as Academic Development Project Manager with focus on mainstreaming of Acdemic Development programmes such as Tutorials systems, soft skills, employability and work readiness skills. I presented papers in USA, Scotland and Sweden and more locally on Academic Development related topics such as on critical thinking and Supplementary Instruction. I am registered for a PHD in school of Education at Wits University and my research focus is on creativity in engineering undergraduate studies and how it can best be fostered.

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