Past studies have found that students with ADHD are underrepresented in the field of engineering. Researchers feel that traditional teaching methods are driving away those ADHD “out of the box” thinkers that have the potential to be pioneers in the field of engineering.
This study is going to compare the creative thinking processes of engineering students with and without ADHD, looking at what might be hindering students with ADHD from being successful in these traditional programs. The principal researcher, Arash Zaghi, is an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and was himself diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 32. He feels engineering courses do little to foster creativity.
An article on this study also points out that high school advisors often suggest university engineering programs to students who are creative and express a liking for things that are hands on, often resulting in a bad university program fit and unhappy students.
The study will also be looking to see if medications used to treat ADHD affect a student’s creative thinking. The study hopes to help dispel some of the myths about students with ADHD.
If only more of these types of studies could be funded, ones that provide insight into how students with ADHD can best use their strengths to become successful in their areas of study. Perhaps we need more adults with ADHD such as Arash Zagji, to lead the way.
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