Cognitive and behavioural strategies for fostering creativity in graphic design education / Hanri Elisabet de la Harpe
De la Harpe, Hanri Elisabet
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This study developed a Methodology for the systematic and strategic fostering of creativity in graphic design education at university level. The thesis identified four social-psychological factors that have an effect on graphic design students' creative ability, namely their level of intrinsic motivation for creative activities; their ability to maintain autonomous, self-regulative behaviour that is conducive to creativity; a healthy self-belief in their creative ability and the minimization of negative stress in the educational milieu where creative tasks are undertaken. Each of these factors imply a range of strategies that may be used to maintain and stimulate creativity in graphic design education, such as the use of certain types of feedback, evaluation procedures that supports creativity, the creation of a safe, democratic, non-controlling classroom climate or the deliberate use of music and humoristic activities in the educational milieu. Additionally, a range of cognitive strategies that may be used for idea generation in graphic design are proposed. They include divergent thinking techniques, such as 'Random Association'; 'Morphological Synthesis'; 'Metaphors and Analogies'; 'Mind-mapping'; 'Idea Checklist'; 'Visual Thinking' and 'Sense Connections'. Each technique is described in terms of its unique methodology, advantages, creative potential and its applicability to graphic design. The study also proposes a tactical approach to the creative process, suggesting various cognitive strategies that may be used for each phase of the creative process. These strategies ensure that the whole spectrum of cognitive activities required for the successful production of a creative product is executed. The sum of these cognitive and social-psychological strategies provided the basis for the development -of two theoretical constructs that may be implemented as part of an undergraduate graphic design curriculum to cultivate creativity in students. They are: (1) a Learning Program in Creativity studies that consists of a number of study units and aims to provide tuition in the theoretical foundation that students need to enhance their creative ability (2) a range of General Guidelines that aim to provide educators with a range of didactic strategies and practices to support and stimulate creative ability in graphic design students.
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