The Impact of Teachersí Conversational Style on Student Undergraduatesí Performance in Creativity and Imagination in Graduate Project Processing

Chien-Heng Yeh
Tainan University of Technology
Tainan City, Taiwan

This study aims to explore whether different conversational styles between teachers and students have an impact on student performance in creativity and imagination in graduate project processing. Classroom observations and semi-structure interviews were conducted; and both qualitative and quantitative data were collected for analysis. The sample included 30 people, separated into four groups/teams, each with a tutor. Through classroom observations, we found that the four teachers had different conversational styles for directing and leading their groups of students. Semi-structure interviews were then held to understand how different the four teams were in their thinking processes and paths of imaginative and creative thinking. We also gathered some quantitative data using an Imagination and Creativity Scale.

The main findings were as follows. Some students suppressed their points or ideas because of fear of being criticized by their dominant teacher. One group even changed its ideas and project in a completely different direction, far from their original prototype, perhaps because there was an authority issue between the teacher and students. This must be an important issue of concern, especially when a group needs more power to make its own decisions to imagine or produce something creative. In addition, the team guided by the teacher who was inclined to be more open in conversation had a better performance in creativity than another team guided by a dominant teacher.

Finally, some suggestions are proposed based the above conclusions for further studies and for the practice of creativity and imagination education.