اهمیت سرمایه اجتماعی برای خلاقیت دانشجویان در آموزش عالی در چین
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32135||2014||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7850 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Thinking Skills and Creativity, Volume 12, June 2014, Pages 14–25
Drawing on socio-cultural theory, this paper investigates the effects of different sources of social capital on student creativity. A sample of 216 graduate students from a leading Chinese research university were surveyed regarding their social capital and creativity. Our results indicated that the peer, advisor, and expert social capital of graduate students can independently and interactively influence their creativity. Specifically, the three sources of social capital can positively affect creativity. In addition, peer and advisor social capital had a significant joint effect on creativity. However, peer and expert social capital had a negative interactive effect on creativity. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed in this paper.
Creativity is a popular topic among practitioners, and has entered discourse on higher education (Chan and Ngok, 2011, Reza and Reza, 2011 and Yeh et al., 2012). Creativity is the ability to develop novel and potentially useful ideas (Shalley et al., 2004 and Zhou and George, 2001). It has been recognized as a beneficial factor for a society such as China, which continually requires innovation to survive and prosper (Chan and Ngok, 2011 and Cropley and Cropley, 2009). Thus, studies on higher education indicate that “it is essential for students to cultivate creativity in an increasingly competitive contemporary society” (Davis, 2008, p. 223). Consequently, enhancing student creativity is currently regarded as the priority aim of higher education institutions (Reza & Reza, 2011) because they are responsible for educating, instructing, and generating knowledge (Celik, 2013). However, an increasing number of administrators and scholars have realized that the higher education system must do more to encourage the development of student creativity (Cropley and Cropley, 2009, Pil and Leana, 2009 and Wu and Albanese, 2010). Such realization has prompted calls from numerous scholars for more research into ways to help boost student creativity in higher education contexts (Chan and Ngok, 2011 and McWilliam, 2009). In the existing literature, scholars increasingly realize that socio-cultural origin is becoming critical for creativity development, especially student creativity (Amabile, 1996, Barron and Harrington, 1981, Eteläpelto and Lahti, 2008, Rojas-Drummond et al., 2008 and Sternberg and Lubart, 1996). According to the socio-cultural theory, which emerged from the work of psychologist Lev Vygotsky, social interaction plays a fundamental role in individual development (Vygotsky, 1978b). This theory describes human learning as a social process (John-Steiner and Mahn, 1996 and Sawyer, 2002). In this view, some scholars indicate that social interaction, which provides access to new knowledge and information (Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998), is essential and fundamental for creativity development (Glăveanu, 2010). Rojas-Drummond et al. (2008), for example, posit that creativity development is “achieved through dialog and that education is enacted through the interactions between students and teachers reflecting the historical development, cultural values and social practices of the societies and communities in which educational institutions exist” (p. 178). Accordingly, social capital, which reflects important socio-cultural resources of the respective communities, has been proposed as the essential socio-cultural factor for creativity (Reagans & McEvily, 2003). Social capital refers to “the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit” (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998, p. 243). Scholars have argued that social capital helps people acquire, allocate, and utilize resources to develop personal competence (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998). This premise indicates that establishing close relationships with key field professionals could help students achieve critical resources and expertise, which is important for fostering their creativity (Davies et al., 2013 and Pascarella and Terenzini, 2005). However, few studies have empirically investigated the role of social capital, especially its sources, in fostering student creativity in higher education (McWilliam, 2009 and Wei, 2012). This research is an effort to address the above mentioned shortcoming. We aim to investigate how various sources of social capital affect the development of student creativity in China according to socio-cultural theory. In China, research network of graduate students normally involves peers, advisors, and external experts, who are the key sources of social capital for graduate students (Bienkowska and Klofsten, 2012 and Reza and Reza, 2011). Thus, we label the sources of graduate students’ social capital as (a) peer social capital; (b) advisor social capital; and (c) expert social capital, respectively. Peer social capital is developed based on connections with classmates or research team members, whereas advisor social capital reflects the nature of the relationship between students and their supervisor (Bienkowska & Klofsten, 2012). Expert social capital originates from student ties with experts who are outside of the organization (Hansen, 1999). Accordingly, we argue that the different sources of social capital play different roles, both independently and interactively, in affecting student creativity. The present study is distinct from previous research in several aspects. First, this study applied socio-cultural theory to examine how socio-cultural origins (namely, social capital sources) affect the development of the creativity of graduate students. The findings help extend the application of socio-cultural theory in general and social capital in particular in higher education. Second, this study facilitates a more detailed understanding of the influence of social capital on creativity because it examines the nuances of different sources of social capital and their effects on student creativity. The study investigates not only the independent effects of various sources of social capital but also their interactive influences on creativity. Finally, this study empirically examines how various sources of social capital would affect the development of student creativity in the emerging economy of China. Complementing prior research on social capital that was primarily conducted in mature economies, this work empirically assesses the role of social capital to explain the development of student creativity in China.