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Creativity in a Policy Vacuum: ‘ An Investigation into the Understanding and Implementation of State Guidance and Policy on Creativity in Education by Intending and Newly Qualified Teachers ’. Dr Sally Elton- Chalcraft Dr Sue Cronin , (presenting authors) Prof Jeff Adams
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Creativity in a Policy Vacuum: ‘An Investigation into the Understanding and Implementation of State Guidance and Policy on Creativity in Education by Intending and Newly Qualified Teachers’
Dr Sally Elton-Chalcraft
Dr Sue Cronin,
Prof Jeff Adams
Dr Sandra Hiett,
Dr Elizabeth Smears
Dr Grant Stanley
Dr Barbara Walsh
To investigate what trainee, newly (NQTs), and recently qualified teachers (RQTs) understand by the National policy and guidelines on creativity.
To understand if perceptions change over time, and if so in what ways.
To know how trainees, newly and recently qualified teachers enact creative practices in the classroom.
To identify institutional (schools and training providers) conditions necessary to ensure beginning teachers can be creative in their classroom teaching.
To know what steps schools and training colleges need to take to ensure creative practices are sustained.
A three year longitudinal project (2009-12) to investigate the inculcation of creativity in beginning teachers in the first three years of their career:
This project was facilitated by ESRC funding for the Teacher Education Network (TERN) and funded directly by Esmee Fairbairn.
Scope of the project
This posed a methodological question: how to creatively capture beginning teachers’ understanding of creativity?
Many respondents (all in the final phase of their ITE programme) chose to include a qualitative statement when completing the questionnaire. Through a process of open coding five themes emerged from this data as follows:
“ I always try to approach teaching and learning from a creative point of view, but do sometimes feel that it’s difficult to apply it to all areas. I feel with more experience and the opportunity to teach more creativity I will gain more confidence in my own capabilities.” Primary PGCE
“I feel far more confident than I did at the beginning of my teaching, however, I still do not feel entirely confident coming up with appropriate levels of creativity to enrich my lessons”PGCE Secondary
“I feel confident to take risks and allow different opportunities for creative teaching and learning. I do feel that modules at university have helped with this particularly a module entitled 'ICT and Creativity’”
Many identified a strong connection between their subject specialist knowledge and experience and their preparedness to teach for creativity:
“My specialism at university of history has helped me teach cross-curricular and more topic-based [projects] allowing for creative sessions.” Primary PGCE
“I feel that my previous experience as an artist and having completed a BTEC in Art and Design and a Fine Art degree has prepared me with the tools and capabilities for teaching and learning through creativity” Secondary PGCE
Diligence and assiduous attention to guidance, formerly common amongst our participants, and been replaced by a cynicism and indifference to central policy in their responses.
“…seemed from university that they were teaching us all these wonderful ways – we’ve learned how children learn, we’ve learned how the brain develops, we’ve learned how to be creative… and then we’ve learned that in reality you have all the pressures of tests and performance, that put this out of the window.”
“you have a teacher who is saying ‘I know the answer; can you tell me the answer?’ then you are creating a group of children who are just dependent on pleasing the teacher.”
National Curriculum (England). Retrieved May 18, 2009 from http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-1-and-2/learning-across-the-curriculum/creativity/whatiscreativity/index.aspx.