Associate Dean for Research and Outreach Brad Hokanson (Graphic Design) received funding from the Metropolitan Consortium and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs to study creativity as a major component of workforce readiness. Hokanson's research and teaching focuses on the development of creativity skills and their application in problem solving.
"Creativity is three times more indicative of future achievement than is intelligence," said Hokanson. "Central to the research is the long term understanding of creativity in the metropolitan area."
He cites studies that find creativity has declined among school children since 1991. The grant, "Creativity and achievement: Running backwards," will include testing the creativity of children in a metropolitan school district and correlating the findings with their Minnesota achievement test scores. Hokanson will work with the Center for School Preparedness and Dr. William Bart of the College of Education and Human Development.
"The current trend in the United States is to increase standardized testing," Hokanson explained. "At the same time competitor nations are seeking to downplay the importance of such testing and to increase creative capability."
In May, Hokanson presented the results of his previous research on creativity and design, "Teaching creativity: A research supported approach," at the 2012 Learning by Design, Creativity in Higher Education in Helsinki, Finland. The conference, sponsored by Laurea University, was attended by representatives from 22 countries.