June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.429.1 - 12.429.12
Culture, Creativity, and Confidence: Synthesizing the International Experience
Success for today’s engineering students will depend on their ability to work with people of many cultures and experiences, to innovate creative engineering solutions to increasingly complex problems, and to develop innovative business and technology strategies using creativity and sensitivity as they navigate increasingly complex environments and markets. A four week (Maymester), six credit course was developed to provide engineering students at Purdue an opportunity to immerse and stretch professionally and personally in a global environment. The four instructor team that included an alumna, accompanied 21 freshman through PhD students from 9 of the 12 engineering disciplines and included 7 women and 5 African Americans. The destination was Chania, Crete. Home base was on the campus of the graduate research campus, Mediterranean Institute of Chania (MAICh) where students met and lived with graduate students primarily from the Mediterranean region. The course titled Global Leadership and Innovation was designed to provide an intercultural experience that would 1. immerse students in a culture vastly different from their own so they could learn to appreciate and value human differences, and develop strategies for venturing outside their comfort zone; 2. reinforce and help synthesize the notion of cultural identity and how our culture flavors our experiences, our interpretations, and our interactions with other people by using a uniquely American academic “product,” Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), for a feasibility study; 3. develop intellectual and practical tools so students can “make themselves ready” for creativity, openness to new ideas, and working effectively without enough information; and 4. develop teamwork and build a community of students who will share their experiences with others when they return.
The results from the student feedback were overwhelmingly positive.
“Solutions of societal problems require that these [safe, reliable, and innovative] technologies be applied in innovative ways with consideration of cultural differences, historical perspectives, and legal and economic constraints, among other issues. … We aspire to an engineering profession that will rapidly embrace the potentialities offered by creativity, invention, and cross- disciplinary fertilization to create and accommodate new fields of endeavor, including those that require openness to interdisciplinary efforts with non-engineering disciplines such as science, social science, and business. … We aspire to a future where engineers are prepared to adapt to changes in global forces and trends to ethically assist the world in creating a balance in the
Percifield, C., & Bowker, D., & Evangelou, D., & Henson, M. (2007, June), Culture, Creativity, And Confidence: Synthesizing The International Experience Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2962
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