Creativity in education: Exploring the problem-solving preferences of college students

Deanne Alison Southwell, Fordham University


The purpose of this research is to explore the problem-solving preferences of engaged college students. The literature suggests that society has changed, but our school system has remained the same. The present academic structure does not reflect the needs and changes of a creative society. In this quantitative research, I surveyed 107 college students using VIEW: An Assessment of Problem Solving Style. VIEW evaluates creative problem-solving preferences. I assessed students based on three dimensions: orientation to change, manner of processing, and ways of deciding. The orientation to change scale evaluates individuals as explorers or developers. Explorers create, while developers build. Manner of processing evaluates individuals as being external, and needing interaction and guidance, or internal, which is more reflective. The final scale of ways of deciding evaluates individuals as focused on the task or the person when addressing a concern. I used t tests and a Pearson correlation coefficient test to assess three hypotheses. I hypothesized that individuals would be developers or builders, focused on tasks based on the time-line and test-taking culture of education, and that longevity in activity would promote an external style on the manner of processing scale. The results indicated that students were developers and were marginally task-focused, but I did not identify any relationship between longevity of activity and manner of processing.

Subject Area

Higher education

Recommended Citation

Southwell, Deanne Alison, "Creativity in education: Exploring the problem-solving preferences of college students" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10000702.