Developing creative and critical thinking abilities in business graduates: the value of experiential learning techniques
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Educational programmes should promote an ethos of lifelong learning and develop in graduates the capacity for long-term personal and professional development through self-learning and reflection. A business degree programme should seek to produce graduates who are confident, creative thinkers with the capacity to solve problems, think creatively, negotiate, make decisions and resolve conflict. The development of these capabilities should not be left to chance, but should be addressed explicitly in the programme. Whether creativity and critical thinking skills are innate or learned, there is little disagreement that experience deepens and expands these abilities. A module entitled ‘Critical Thinking’ has been introduced into a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies. In this module both individual and team experiential tasks are used to develop creative thinking. These tasks are relevant to business activities in product development, marketing, and process development. Experiential exercises in decision making and conflict resolution abilities build skills necessary to face challenges from new technologies, competition or the business environment.
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