Date

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Comparative and International Education

First Adviser

Silova, Iveta

Abstract

As a result of globalization and the digital revolution, the concept of creativity has become increasingly central to education policy and practice, particularly during the times of growing uncertainty and accelerating change. On the one hand, the calls for creativity are driven by an economic imperative and instrumental values. The argument is that there has been a shift from an industrial-based economy to a knowledge-based economy to a creative economy. In such an economy, accessing knowledge is much easier than ever before. While producing knowledge still forms the basis of a strong economy, it is argued that what one can do with what s/he knows has become increasingly important, thus necessitating employers to be more creative and innovative. On the other hand, calls for creativity are also driven by the social and personal development of individuals, approaching the concept of creativity more holistically. From this perspective, creativity can help individuals not only grow professionally but also personally, intellectually, and collectively. While there is a wide range of creativity discourses, the increasing importance attached to the creativity concept has already resulted in the growth of creativity related programs in higher education. In particular, there has been an increase in the degree-, certificate-, and award-bearing programs in creativity across higher education institutions. Building on a social constructivist perspective and adopting critical discourse analysis (CDA), this study examines how universities approach the conceptualization and institutionalization of the concept of creativity by undertaking content analysis of program mission statements, curriculum materials, and interviews with a sample of program directors, faculty members, and experts in creativity and innovation to better understand the history, evolution, and the structure of their creativity programs as well as the possibility of fostering creativity in higher education. Focusing on degree-, certificate-, and award-bearing creativity related programs, the study examines which notions of creativity dominate in higher education programs and discusses the implications of these programs for higher education and the field of education more broadly.

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