Creative teaching in Hong Kong primary schools : a study of teachers' perceptions
This qualitative study attempts to identify and analyse the perceptions of a group of local primary school teachers whose creative tasks led to their winning of the award of distinguished creative teachers in 1999. Guided by Cropley's creativity stages (1997), the investigation gathered and examined data by means of a two-phase approach, which began with a narrative analysis (Kainan, 1995) followed by an attributional study (Munton et al., 1997). As a result of the narrative analysis, the creative teaching under study is found to be illustrative of the necessary qualities possessed by effective teachers. Furthermore, it coincides with the education aims to officially advocated in Hong Kong. However, it is also found that the teachers have placed excessive emphasis on child-centred approaches and paid little attention to the value of the teacher-centred approaches. Based on the results of the narrative analysis, the attribution study comes to the findings that (i) teacher creativity is a process that can be described, learnt and fostered; (ii) the teacher participants play a critical role in initiating and sustaining the creative process while other external factors are contributory in influence and insufficient to keep the process going: (iii) across the six creativity stages, the perceived causes affecting the creative practices are regarded as mostly stable and generally specific, but their internality varies. The study concludes that having taken into consideration the influences caused by a variety of contextual constraints, the level of creativity, which is an outcome of adaptation, exhibited by the teachers is low but desirable. Since the constraints exist in various contexts, suggestions for fostering teacher creativity by tackling the constraints are offered at three different levels. Finally, Cropley's framework of creativity stages is found to suite the present study well and is thus recommended for similar enquiries.