Can Creativity be taught?.
Yes. Creativity can be taught.
The student can be creative. But...it needs creativity from the other one. The one who taught. Only a creative master can bring a creative student.
Can Creativity be taught?.
No. Creativity cannot be taught.
Even a creative master can only ignite the latent creativity that is already there within the student.
On the other hand, sometimes taking a certain amount of risk is necessary for success, no matter how old you are.
If you never push the envelope -- whether that means higher performance, lower cost, lower power or whatever -- then it's not likely that your designs are delighting your customers or worrying your competitors.
Yes, there is career risk when you take technical risks and don't succeed. But there is also career risk when you are overly cautious and your designs fail in the marketplace simply because they're nothing special.
As far as creativity vs. age, I think a lot of that has to do with the ability and willingness to take risks. As a young person without a career history to protect and few obligations, it's easy to go out on a limb or push the envelope.
Risk taking becomes much more difficult once you have mortgages, families, kids in college and a perceived greater difficult in finding a replacement job should your risk go wrong.
Society seems to generalize that if you're good at math, you're smart but not very creative and if you're good with colors, you're creative but not very smart.
Intelligence comes in many forms as does creativity. Engineering is a very creative field. The best engineers are called the best because of both their technical competence and their creativity in problem solving. I do think that creativity can be encouraged and nurtured. It can also be repressed, just like intelligence can be repressed.
It's easier to teach skills than creativity and intelligence, but both can be brought through teaching out so a student can better utilize what they have.
I agree DesDizzy. We have to bring disparate disciplines back together. Specialisation has served us well for over a century now but we are seeing many disciplines converging again, which needs a corresponding change to our academic structures. Unfortunately, the loss of financial/executive autonomy coupled with increased financial pressures due marketisation of the sector is preventing most academic institutions from pursuing this route.
As a non engineer (Risk Management consultant), with some educational experience, I would like to add a couple of thoughts. Firstly, I think in order to push the envelope, you have to know the envelope. This creativity doesn't necessarily originate from either an engineering perspective or a design perspective, but can come from either. One of the things that people seem to miss about Steve Jobs, is that he was a polymath. He was not a master in engineering or software or design, but he had an incisive foot in each camp, which made him a demanding task master. I feel that we are to hung up on producing "silo's" and demarcation lines rather than the polymath who can interact/innovate and act as a catalyst.
I also believe that these silly international league tables measure things that are easy to measure. It is easy to measure sciences. These subjects are amenable to rote learning. Rote learning does not facilitate problem solving ability. That is where the deficiencies of the Asian educational methods often lie and the advantages of Western methods (not withstanding it's deficiencies).
Creativity should be encouraged and nurtured, not taught per se. I find our Engineering education system terribly rigid and quite bland to be honest, bar few exceptions here and there. Engineers need to work more closely with scientists and artists in developing curricula that encourabe and nurture creativity and critical thinking.
Creativity comes naturally.I had seen this coming out from school children to the retired elderly. This is from various areas and not necessarily from the engineers. Creativity is common to all. Many times i get the engineering ideas from others and i use to wonder how these get triggered from the brains.