The relation between students’ creativity and technological knowledge in crosscurricular technology and design projects

Bjørn-Tore Esjeholm
Finnmark University College, Norway

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Ingår i: PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 73:20, s. 172-178

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Publicerad: 2012-06-18

ISBN: 978-91-7519-849-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This study presents an analysis of how creativity in students work is related to the role of the key conceptual technological knowledge in four different cross-curricular technology and design projects in Norwegian primary and lower secondary school. All of the school projects examined were intended to be open-ended providing students with opportunities to be creative and develop their own solutions to the given task. The processes in the groups and the outcomes of the groups’ work are analyzed with regards to technological knowledge and how this relates to the students’ creativity in terms of producing genuine solutions. The analysis shows that in some of the projects the variety of solutions produced by the students is limited. In these student groups the solutions and procedures bear a high degree of resemblance to each other. The findings suggest that students’ limited conceptual technological knowledge constrains their ability to be creative and to produce genuine solutions. The findings also suggest that the projects showing less student creativity tend to be more controlled by the teacher and less open-ended than presupposed. A suggestion based on the findings is that the key conceptual technological content should be identified and communicated by the teacher prior to the project start. Discussing explicitly and exploring concepts and principles with the students before or during the project period will enhance their possibility to be more creative.


Conceptual knowledge; creativity; fundamental design concepts; technological knowledge


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