Making sense of brainstorming in transnational education: the challenge of contextualization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


The chapter investigates the role of brainstorming as an educational tool on the basis of the author’s experience in transnational education and a review of the literature. Brainstorming is an ideation technique invented by Alex Osborn in the 40s that has found numerous applications in education. Brainstorming is discussed as an example of US-born pedagogical technique that is often used in transnational education without sufficient attention to its contextualization. The chapter introduces educators to the debate around brainstorming, as a large body of literature dismisses it as less effective in comparison to individuals working alone or other techniques in terms of quantity and quality of idea produced. Advocates of brainstorming claim that when done properly it can be very powerful in generating breakthrough ideas and studies show that factors such as the presence of a facilitator, training, the right time and type of problem assigned can greatly change the outcome of a session. After reviewing this contrasting literature, the author concludes that these studies ignore the cultural origin of brainstorming and attention should be paid to the cultural implications of the technique in transnational contexts outside the US. The chapter closes offering practical advice to educators in transnational education interested in embedding brainstorming into their teaching and learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Developments and Future Trends in Transnational Higher Education
EditorsGareth Richard Morris, Li Li
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781668452271
ISBN (Print)9781668452264 , 166845226X
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alex Osborn
  • Brainstorming
  • Transnational Education
  • Creativity
  • Ideation


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