VOL: 6  NO: 2  44-57   2009-2


Gender and creative thinking in education: A theoretical and experimental overview




* Gebze Institute of Technoogy, Faculty of Architecture Kocaeli TURKEY, **Yýldýz Technical University Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul TURKEY  


Received: November  2008   Final Acceptance: November 2009



Students differ from one another in a wide variety of ways. They have different backgrounds, different levels of motivation, different attitudes about teaching and learning, and different responses to specific classroom environments and instructional practices. Research on diversity issues related to creative thinking is quite important in education, since it is most critical to human advancement in science, art and technology. The question of gender differences in creativity is a complex, controversial and contentious topic. Researchers have attempted to measure differences between man and woman in order to provide a better understanding of the women’s under-representation in creative fields by identifying physical and psychological differences. Girls and woman remain substantially under-represented in mathematics, science, and technology in school and in the workplace. Although this problem is recognized, its complexity is widely underestimated and causes are not well understood. For this reason,  before the discussion on this case study, in the theoretical construction, diversity issues related to creative thinking research will be discussed in general manner for the benefits of different kinds of education.


The aim of this empirical study is to investigate gender bias in design education through divergent thinking measures that are “fluency”, “originality”, “abstractness of titles”, “elaboration”, “resistance to premature closure” as stated in the Structure-of-Intellect model of Guilford. Subjects consisted of 147 undergraduates from different level of design education. Because of the difficulties of defining and operationalising the concept of divergent thinking, Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) which is an extensive battery of tests devised to measure creative abilities, with a particular emphasis on divergent thinking were administered. The reliability and validity of the TTCT have been studied continuously and thoroughly and generally have been very highly supported. The major findings were that, there were no significant gender-based differences in creative thinking ability. This finding supported some of other studies which claimed that there are no sex differences in overall general intelligence and divergent thinking ability.


Keywords: Gender comparison, creativity, divergent thinking, architectural education


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