Effects of divergent teaching techniques upon creative thinking abilities of collegiate students in agricultural systems management courses



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


J.P. Guilford (1950) asked in his inaugural address to the American Psychological Association why schools were not producing more creative students. It has been this researchers experience that courses at institutions of higher education are geared to teaching knowledge, themes, concepts, or measures, and do not allow time for the students to develop original ideas. While current practice transfers a great deal of information to students, it hinders the ability of students to be creative in the disciplines. In agricultural education teacher certification programs, this method of teaching is not only hindering the ability of future teachers to think creatively, but their future students ability to think creatively.

Baker, Rudd, and Pomeroy (2001) purported that educators must prepare a specific curriculum to increase students creative thinking ability. In a critique of Baker, Rudd, and Pomeroy (2002), Wingenbach (2002) asks, What is the best approach for including the creative thinking process in agricultural education courses? (p. 1)Ž The purpose of this study was to increase the creative problem solving skills of undergraduate students at Texas Tech University in a mechanized agriculture classroom by utilizing divergent teaching techniques.

The researcher utilized the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking for the data collection tool in this repeated measures design. The following constructs were addressed in the raw data: (1) fluency- the ability to develop substantial amounts of ideas and drawings; (2) originality- the quality of newness that exists in something not done before; (3) abstractness- the ability to create good titles and to fully capture the events of what the information is dealing with; (4) elaboration- thought out or organized with thoroughness and careful attention to detail and; (5) resistance to premature closure- the ability to keep an idea open long enough to build upon each idea. A measure of the students overall creativity based on the subjects grade level and gender has also been assessed.

The population consisted of undergraduate student at Texas Tech University whose major course of study requires a course in welding and metalworking and/or students who have a special interest in welding and metalworking. A convenience sample (n= 18) was utilized for this qusi-experimental design. The researcher has described in detail the data collection schedule, and has laid out step-by-step instructions for administering three treatments designed to increase a persons ability to think in a divergent manner. These treatments consisted of The Sensory Connection, Brainwriting, and Brainsketching.

Following the data analysis the researcher concluded that the results from this study showed a wide spectrum of results when looking at the examined constructs and three teaching techniques. Three of the examined constructs showed significant difference between the baseline measurement and the intervening treatments. It is recommended that alternate divergent teaching techniques be studied to determine their affects upon creative thinking, student satisfaction, and cognitive performance.



Collegiate, Divergent, Teaching, Agricultural, Creative