Developing Creative Capacities in STEM Learners
The challenges facing our world today, such as climate change, food security and energy equity, are increasingly complex and open-ended. Finding sustainable, culturally relevant, equitable solutions to these issues requires us to think beyond disciplinary silos and work together. This entails not only communicating and collaborating, but also engaging in creative practices that will lead to the innovations we need for a sustainable future. Tomorrow’s innovators will need to pose inventive questions, design novel research approaches and engage in collaborative analyses in order to study complex problems.
As Canada Research Chair in Creativity and STEM, Dr. Jennifer Adams integrates research on teaching and learning with transforming teaching practices in undergraduate education in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Her goal is to increase the creative capacity of STEM learners, as well as their participation in STEM fields and their contributions to decision-making around socio-scientific issues.
Adams and her research team are working with other researchers and stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between creativity, creative practices and post-secondary STEM education. They are also designing learning environments that will help foster creativity in STEM teaching and learning.
Adams believes that creativity plays a fundamental role in developing new scientific approaches and societal programs. By looking to creativity as an essential process in STEM education, she hopes to produce learning environments—and learners—that will yield new and innovative solutions to the socio-scientific challenges of today and tomorrow.