To close the current “innovation gap”, schools must help
students develop creative thinking skills and understanding of technical
careers as requiring creativity. A first step is understanding students’
current perceptions of the work of such careers. The goal of this study was to
identify patterns in how secondary school students viewed the work of a
technical career, engineering, in comparison to art, a career more
traditionally associated with creativity. The sample consisted of 104 students
(ages 13 - 15) entering their first year of a program that intentionally
integrates engineering, science, and art instruction. The students in our study
completed two assessments during their first week of school. On one side of a
paper they drew an engineer and answered questions about what engineers do. On
the other side of the paper, they drew an artist and answered questions about
what artists do. These drawings and associated writing were coded. We then used
the statistical method of latent class analysis to model the responses. We
identified three patterns in the ways that students perceived the work of engineers
and two patterns in the ways that students perceived the work of artists.
Cite this paper
Harlow, D. , Nylund-Gibson, K. , Iveland, A. & Taylor, L. (2013). Secondary Students’ Views about Creativity in the Work of Engineers and Artists: A Latent Class Analysis. Creative Education, 4,
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