Teachers' views on creativity.
This study explored the views of teachers and further
education lecturers in England and Wales about
creativity and its development. A survey questionnaire
was administered to 1028 teachers and lecturers, and
interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of 31
teachers. The questionnaire included original measures
of teachers' opinions about creativity and teaching
style preferences, as well as the Torrance "Ideal
Pupil" and "Ideal Person" Checklists - included to
facilitate comparisons with previous research.
Results indicate that most teachers subscribe to a
definition of creativity perceived mainly in terms of
"imagination", "originality" and "self-expression".
"Divergence is regarded as synonymous with creativity
by only half the sample. Most teachers think
creativity can be developed, but almost three quarters
think it is rare. Creativity is perceived as quite
different from intelligence. Over two thirds think
creativity is limitless, whilst less than a third
think intelligence is.
Clear differences in views on creativity emerged in
terms of some major socio-biographical factors - sex
and subjects taught, in particular. Such differences
appear to be linked to teaching style preferences by
the phenomenon "person orientation", as defined by
Collings (1978). It has been found that females,
general subject teachers, creative arts teachers and
nurse tutors tend to favour a pupil oriented teaching
style significantly more than males and maths/science/
technology teachers. Moreover, females are
significantly more likely to view creativity in terms
of self-expression than males, who are more "objectoriented",
as discussed by Collings and Smithers
(1984). Similarly, maths/science/technology teachers
are significantly less likely to envisage creativity
as "self-expression" than are all other groups.
What mainly distinguishes those teachers in the sample
most oriented to creativity from those much less
oriented, is a body of opinion which reflects a
preference for pupil-centred learning.