Creativity education is very important in university education, not only in Japan but all over the world. For example, Starko (2012) discussed the importance of creativity in class, maintaining that creative students can learn more in class. And the United States National Center on Education and the Economy made a strong appeal for a future higher education curriculum emphasizing the importance of creativity and innovation (NCEE, 2007). The European University Association (EUA) announced the keywords for creativity including:
‘Diversity, Value and Ethical Principles, Human Potential, Future Orientation and Quality Mechanisms’.
(EUA, 2007 pp. 7-8)
Moreover, the EUA (2007) proposed ten key recommendations to European higher education institutions, governments, etc. including that:
‘universities should look towards the future in all their activities, rather than being grounded in the past... should work towards developing internal quality processes that support the creativity agenda by being geared towards the future... ’.
(EUA, 2007 p. 8)
Livingston (2010) of the University of Southern California insists strongly on reforming university curricula for teaching creativity. Cramond (1999) also predicts that, in the future, the world will continue to become increasingly complex with problems requiring novel and elegant solutions.
However, it is quite difficult to propose a specific, stable, effective creativity education system for students, as many kinds of creativity education, including brainstorming, cannot be repeated or practised every day by an individual student or a group. Under these circumstances, it has been proposed that the Idea-Marathon System (Idea-Marathon) can be one of the innovative methodological breakthroughs for building a creative infrastructure for college and university students in Japan. Creativity Effects of the Idea-Marathon (IMS) for University students are analyzed and discussed in this paper. After explaining the Guidelines of the Idea-Marathon, the supporting systems of IMS, such as ‘e-Training System (ETS)’ and the weekly distribution of ‘Thinking Hints’, are explained.
Every day writing immediately what we think into our notebooks has been accepted and generally regarded as qualitatively important and effective for our creativity and education. However, it was necessary for us to demonstrate the effectiveness quantitatively. So we introduced the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) figural Pre-test and Post-test on the three month Idea-Marathon lectures at two universities and one college. The statistical analysis of the TTCT Pre-Post-test result by t-Test and ANOVA showed significant change between pre-test and post-test within five norm referenced indications. The experimental groups and control groups were also checked in the Idea-Marathon with Pre-Post TTCT. The experimental groups showed significant improvement while the control groups did not.
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