Thinking about thinking: Problem solving style in the engineering classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper will discuss a powerful tool called the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory, or KAI, which can be used to help describe a student's problem solving style 4,6. Developed by psychologist M. J. Kirton, the KAI provides valuable feedback which helps students understand the types of problems with which they are naturally more comfortable, as well as those which will challenge them the most. Armed with this information, students are able to determine which new skills they will need to enhance their engineering problem solving ability. In addition to helping students with their individual development, knowledge of the KAI is also helpful in forming productive teams, both in the classroom and in the field. The KAI is being used regularly in engineering problem solving and design courses at the Pennsylvania State University. Specific examples of its use and application in these classrooms will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6355-6363
Number of pages9
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
Event2000 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Engineering Education Beyond the Millenium - St. Louis, MO, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2000Jun 21 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Thinking about thinking: Problem solving style in the engineering classroom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this