July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Women in Engineering
Creative Self-Efficacy of Undergraduate Women Engineering Majors Creative self-efficacy (CSE) was studied in connection to beliefs about creativity. CSE is one’s belief in their own creative potential. The belief that creativity can improve was discussed as a “Growth Creativity Mindset” (GCM), and the belief that creativity cannot improve was discussed as a “Fixed Creativity Mindset” (FCM). Creativity within engineering has been described as crucial to the field, and as an aspect that is appealing to women engineers. Undergraduate women engineering students local to the Philadelphia area volunteered to take a survey of CSE and beliefs about creativity. Quantitative data analysis showed that an increase in GCM likely results in an increase in CSE for students with higher than average GPA. A change in CSE had no effect on FCM. Interviews were conducted with 15 survey respondents with different levels of CSE who met criteria for success in the engineering major (2.5 GPA or above and successful completion of calculus II). Synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that interview participants had similar lived experiences that lead them to a level of success in the engineering major, but different lived experiences that distinguished them with respect to CSE level. All participants were exposed to project based learning (PBL), had strong personal influences, exhibited perseverance in overcoming struggles, and described their negative perceptions of engineering before entering the major. Participants with all levels of CSE highlighted their own creativity with respect to the performing and visual arts, before reflecting on innovation as creative. Most participants with low CSE described their lack of creativity in the arts. They also discussed being “intimidated” by negative classroom experiences more than their peers with higher levels of CSE. Those with low CSE were also exposed to more engineering centered experiences in high school, and most had a parent who worked in the profession. It is expected that this research will provide a more comprehensive understanding of CSE, perceptions of engineering as a creative field, and the educational reform needed that connects creativity to engineering in an atmosphere that welcomes diversity.
Delahanty, C., & Silverman, J. (2021, July), Creative Self-Efficacy of Undergraduate Women Engineering Majors Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36877
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