Neurocognitive evidence on creativity and diversity: implications for inclusive STEM education

Janet van Hell
Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University

Recent neurocognitive and behavioral research has led to important insights into creative thinking in undergraduate students and the extent to which the neural basis of creative thinking and ideation outcomes vary in female and male undergraduate students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds, and from different STEM disciplines. How can we employ these insights to advance undergraduate courses on creative thinking and design ideation to better serve gender and linguistically and culturally diverse undergraduate student populations and to build inclusive STEM environments? During this workshop, we will first introduce participants to recent research insights into creative thinking in undergraduate students that use neurocognitive and behavioral quantitative research techniques. We will specifically focus on research that examined creative thinking in female and male undergraduate students, and in monolingual and bilingual undergraduate students in different geographical locations. These research outcomes will be translated to a list of educational implications for diverse classroom settings and inclusive STEM environments. After a 10-minute plenary discussion, these educational implications will be further discussed in smaller breakout-groups. The breakout-groups will report back in the plenary session, followed by a plenary discussion and workshop wrap-up.


Gul E. Kremer (, Zahed Siddique (