The Neurolecturer as Model for Design Education: Fostering Creativity and Innovation Based on Neuroscience

The Neurolecturer as Model for Design Education: Fostering Creativity and Innovation Based on Neuroscience

Miguel Rivas (University of Central Lancashire, UK) and Giovanni J. Contreras Garcia (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0911-0.ch009
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Are there lecturers capable of educating a digital generation of players in state-of-the-art innovation and creativity techniques? Far-reaching challenge to accomplish, but hard to avoid if governments and institutions want to overcome the future challenges of the global economy, particularly emerging nations such as the ‘BRICS' and ‘MINT.' Education design can be instrumental to support a deep transformation of society, but the expertise needed in the classroom must be updated for a new era, characterized by educational approaches aimed at developing multiple intelligences. Teaching styles that match students' personality will enrich that process by taking into account their behavior when making pedagogic decisions. Cognitive neuroscience applied to learning will be a plus to ensure a deep transformation of design education in the in 21st century. The conceptualization of a new kind of lecturer, capable of carrying out this application is the center of this chapter.
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According to The Economist (2013), and American business ‘think tanks’ (Shierholz, 2014), the latest crisis has three main causes: a lack of skilled workers, a lack of leadership abilities from those who caused it, and a lack of innovative creativity to anticipate it. An opportunity that cannot be wasted to nurture men and women socially committed through education.

A new lecturer in Design Education should emerge to move emerging nations towards a focus on creativity. The GDPis not exclusively based on economic indicators anymore (Bauman, 2001), but on intangibles like welfare, health and education.

Design educators are key players in spreading creativity and innovation in emerging nations by teaching differently. That will be easier with state-of-the-art syllabus characterized by passion and authenticity applied to Design practice.

Those who currently teach and aspire to upgrade their performance already know that emotions are rooted physically, and profoundly influence not only what people reason and feel, but how they reason and feel. If Design students do not know that, either they will not be able to make proper decisions, or will make self-defeating ones as future leaders.

Two main questions are considered in this chapter:

  • 1.

    Are educators/institutions in China and other emerging nations prepared for a post-crisis time, characterized by the need for a more creative and emotional approach, capable of creating more suitable educational environments?

  • 2.

    What kind of lecturer is the answer? What kind of lecturer can develop these environments and upgrade performance in both Design education and creativity-related industries? Furthermore, how is this lecturer going to be trained?

A designer is a holistic individual, used to go beyond limits, with an ‘out of the box’ mindset as driver to learn on permanent basis. A designer is someone who loves disruptive innovation, over ‘sustainable’ or incremental one (Christensen, 2011). Only Individuals alike can are capable of training them.

Descartes was wrong: “Cogito ergo sum” is not valid anymore (Damasio, 2005), a single rational way of education is not acceptable when emotions are taken as important as technical knowledge. Reason and emotion are both essential to form a holistic professional; emotions are innate and technical knowledge comes from university, it is necessary to get both in the right balance. Graduation from the ‘school of life’ is as important as graduating from University for any designer interested in social trends, season styles and local fashion. But are design lecturers in emerging nations transmitting this message?


Emotional Education And Creativity: A Case From Spain

The Government of The Canary Islands in Spain, made a challenging decision in early 2014 by approving the inclusion of ‘Emotional Education and Creativity,’ in the primary education curriculum as a compulsory subject. The change aims to contribute on the recognition and expression of emotions, regulating, controlling and using them effectively. According to the technical report that recommends its inclusion, emotions are educable and, and this is something schools cannot ignore.

This initiative criticizes the accent set on classical education in the development of intellectual abilities to the detriment of the emotional ones, advocating the creation of spaces and specific times for the new learning.

This essential subject, includes three thematic blocks to be developed year by year throughout the six-year of primary school:

  • 1.

    Awareness and emotional literacy’, in which students learn to perceive, validate, accept, classify and communicate one´s emotions and those of others.

  • 2.

    Emotional regulation’, where they learn to manage conflicts and modify emotions appropriately, according to contexts and relationships.

  • 3.

    Creativity’, where they develop self-confidence on their own creative abilities, as well as a favorable attitude towards reality and novelty. Knowing how to recognize and handle fear and frustration, helps them to develop resilience and to control their impulses (Infocop, 2014).

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