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Contested Issues in Student Affairs: Diverse Perspectives and Respectful Dialogue


We are in an unprecedented time when it comes to the world’s complexity—never has the need been greater for students to be prepared to think for themselves and act creatively to solve perplexing problems. As an artist, faculty member and administrator in higher education, faculty developer, and researcher of creativity in college students, I am passionate about creating environments where students can exercise such skills. In the art culture, risk, experimentation, exploration, and even failure are expected routes that lead to finding one’s own style, voice, and signature statement. My awareness of these expectations first began to intensify as I advanced from student to instructor of art. Early in my career when I taught introductory courses in drawing and painting I watched bright students act unsure of their efforts on the first days of class. Students would frequently confess a lack of creativity before I would even have a chance to talk with them about their work. When a pattern of these perceptions started to emerge, I began to question how and why students sometimes do not consider themselves creative and what they must think creativity is to hold this view. Finding a dearth of empirical research on creativity in the college environment, I set out to better understand how students’ views of creativity influenced their sense of self and actions. The results of my qualitative study with students from a variety of majors convinced me that their creativity was often stifled by the time they reached college.

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Citation information for the book: Magolda, Peter Mark, and Marcia B. Baxter Magolda. 2011. Contested issues in student affairs : diverse perspectives and respectful dialogue. n.p.: Sterling, Va. : Stylus Pub., 2011.


Stylus Publishing

Place of Publication

Sterling, VA

Link to published version