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How Creativity is Integrated into the United States Army War College Curriculum as Told by Faculty: A Qualitative Case Study


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The military operating environment will continue to increase in complexity. Strategic leaders will be challenged in new ways, leaving little room to doubt that creativity will be needed to lead in the 21st century. The military has not historically focused on creativity as a leader trait or skill requiring development. However, the Joint Chiefs of Staff envision a much larger role for creativity and have explicitly stated creative development as an outcome of Professional Military Education. The United States Army War College educates the Armys strategic leaders, and creativity is necessary for strategic thinking and strategy building. Therefore, this study examines creativity from the perspective of United States Army War College faculty, specifically how faculty describe creativity within the curriculum. Creativity is framed within a system involving the student, the faculty, and the Army. The studys main finding is a misalignment in the system when defining, assessing, and assigning value to creativity. This misalignment is due to a system-driven focus on curriculum topics (system-driven pedagogy), the lack of formal evaluation within the Armys culture of accountability, and inconsistent language regarding creativity within doctrine and policies guiding Professional Military Education. Alignment in the system regarding creativity can be achieved through consistent language and a common definition of creativity, an outcomes-based approach to creativity, and formal evaluation of creativity.



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