Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 34, No. 2, May 2011, 219–232
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
Thie goal of ths research project is two fold: first, this research aims at finding out how teachers talk about creativity at a school community level, and what they recognise as creative acts among pupils at the primary and secondary levels.
Second, the research project's purpose is to investigate the role played by teacher conceptions of creativity in relation to promoting the creativity of pupils.
These purposes are based on the assumption that what teachers talk about as creative acts among pupils, is also what they see and recognise as creative in this context. That is, discourses about creativity among teachers can be extremely important in relation to who receives credit for what kinds of creativity among pupils.
The participants in this study were 14 teachers who worked at both the primary and secondary levels in Denmark.
The author conducted three semi-structured focus-group research interviews with 14 teachers at three Danish primary and secondary schools.
The stories contain examples of creative teaching and learning, but they also raise the fundamental issue of whether the ongoing and increased focus on tests and control of pupils’ learning promotes or hinders pupil creativity.
The author claims that teachers should be creative themselves and through such behaviour will pupils discover the true nature of creativity and how to be so themselves. Teachers must be willing to experiment with their teaching whenever appropriate and in such a way that demonstrates to pupils how to work creatively.
The main point of this study is that creativity is more of a problem-solving approach, a way of defining traditions of living and part of the daily improvisational approach to handling everyday life and finding new solutions to life’s ubiquitous dilemmas.
However, the author argues that tests do not in themselves act as barriers to creativity, but the nature of the test material, the types and content of tests or examinations, are extremely important to the ultimate impact of the learning process.
Therefore, frames, examinations, tests and other kinds of constraints, such as deadlines, can indeed enhance creativity.