Behind My Essay: Creativity Cultivation in the Western and Eastern Societies

Finally finished my essay!!! woohoooo~~~

In this post, I want to share some more thoughts regarding to the my essay topic: Creativity Cultivation in the Western and Eastern Societies.  My main references are one book [1] and one paper [2].  If you are interested in more details about the differences between the West and the East, I highly recommend these two articles! And here, the East  primarily means for people in Mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Singapore; the West primarily means people in the United States.

Thanks to my American advisor who gives me this idea to write an essay about creativity cultivation in the West and the East.  The universities in the US emphasize diversity way much more than those in my country, such that I did not really know that how one person’s cultural value affects its learning and research.

When I was grading my students’ assignment, I noticed that it is more efficient to grade it from one country to one country. It seems like students from the same country tend to have similar logical thinking. (The assignment I graded is graduate fluid mechanics.) Based on my observation, Iranian students’ derivation tends to be longest and more complicated; Chinese students’ derivation seems to be more concise and much similar to the classnotes or the solution that my TA advisor gave me; American students’ derivation usually are very intuitive and creative.  I have asked my Iranian friend’s opinion about this. He told me because in Iran, the exam is usually very hard and the grading is also very harsh. So, students will always try to solve the problems in many different, and write everything done so that they may get more points. On the other hand, for Chinese students, I can understand better. Our rote learning trains us to become an exam machine. If the professor teach us one way to solve the problem, we will use that method and rarely think of other ways.  As for American, they tend to be more creative but sometimes need more logical thinking. Therefore, I think due to the cultural difference, students from different countries have different needs when leaning new knowledge. As a professor or an advisor, he/she has to have better understanding of each cultural and adjust their teaching method, especially at graduate school where many students are from all over the world.

 

References:

  1. Lau, S., Hui, A. H., & Ng, G. C.,2004. Creativity: When East Meets West. River Edge, NJ: World Scientific.
  2. Kim, K. H., 2005. Learning from each other: Creativity in East Asian and American education. Creativity Research Journal, 17(4), 337–347.
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