Fostering Creativity in Students in the Teaching of Structural Analysis

Jinguang Teng, Chang Yong Song, Xing Fei Yuan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The need to design structures for ever harsher environments, to greater heights and spans, with greater controllability and durability, and of greater economy and safety, calls for creative solutions by today's structural engineers. This paper examines the issue of fostering structural engineering creativity in students, which does not appear to have been discussed in the open literature. The paper begins with a brief discussion of creativity followed by an analysis of the design process as a creative process. This analysis identifies the deficiencies in the current approach of teaching structural analysis which emphasises the mastery of skills for quantitative analysis but neglects the development of structural insight and an ability for divergent thinking. A number of measures which may be able to rectify these deficiencies are then discussed. These include the imparting of qualitative-analysis skills in students, the use of structural paradoxes to develop problem-solving skills, and a stronger emphasis in teaching on links between structural forms and functional attributes and between different structural forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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