Creativity, connoisseurship and change : the application of the connoisseurship model of qualitative evaluation to an investigation into the development of creativity in primary school children and to the process of improving educational practice
The research described within this thesis aims to integrate two radically differing approaches to investigating classroom life and to bring them together within one investigation in such a way that they inform and compliment each other These two approaches are the traditional , experimental, deriving from a scientific basis and the qualitative illuminative deriving from an artistic basic. A model of qualities classroom evaluation criticism is employed within a traditional experimental research design. A second major aim is to document a substantial investigation into the development of creative or divergent thinking abilities in children of primary school age and illuminate some of the inter-relationships that exist amongst the development and approaches to the organisation of teaching and learning. Finally it is aimed to produce an end product which may be used as the basis for curriculum development work and the professional development of teachers and student in training. Qualitive and quantative data presented are certainly of educational significance and may be used in in-service and initial training courses. The conclusions are well times to inform the National Curriculum framework and methodologies that they may employ in the future. It is concluded that it is certainly possible to harness and nurture divergent thinking abilities in primary school classrooms and that there is a definite relationship between teaching method/approaches to curriculum organisation and the development of children's creative potential. It is also demonstrated that the combined use of the methodologies utilised would appear to have tremendous potential for deepening out understanding of classroom processes and for making informed recommendations about approaches to teaching and learning.