ERG SES C 07, Children and Education
The title of my PhD research topic is; ‘Creativity in Primary Schools: Exploring perspectives on creativity within one Scottish primary school classroom’. The main aim of this research is to explore children’s and teacher’s perceptions on creativity within one primary school classroom in Scotland, exploring how creativity is and can be implemented in this classroom. This paper will focus on one of the research questions of my PhD research, which is about how the way that teachers exercise their power affects children’s creativity.
The theoretical framework of this research focuses on collaborative creativity (Craft, 2002, Paulus, 1999, Davis, 2013). It is illustrated that collaborative creativity is ‘the creation, development, evaluation, and promotion of novel ideas in groups’ (Paulus, 1999:779). Research has shown that traditional teaching methods suppress and ignore pupil’s responsibility, in contrast to collaborativelearning, which enables pupils to enhance their creative voice (Watson, 2012). Collaborative processes involve collaboration and collaboration involves interactions, that is, exchange of ideas and information between the members of the community (Paulus, 1999, Craft, 2005). It is suggested that the more social interaction there is in a group, the more creative it becomes (Davis, 2013, Sonnenburg, 2004) and that creativity flourishes in communities that their members interact and communicate through dialogue (Robinson, 2001). As the CREANOVA project states, ‘the stronger the social interaction there was in an environment and the more freedom there was then the more creative and innovative were the environments’ (Davis et al., 2012). Additionally, the theoretical framework of this study involves arguments about teaching creatively, which involves attempts to bring children’s interests in the classroom (Jeffrey, 2008), and teaching for creativity, which involves teachers who give more power to children, encouraging them to be active learners in a co-participatory framework (Craft, 2005).
This paper has identified gaps within the literature review linked to: a) a need to explore what creativity looks like in practice and how this is implemented within the Curriculum for Excellence and b) a need to explore creativity as a collaborative activity (Craft, 2002, Davis, 2013, Paulus, 1999) and the findings shed light on those gaps.
This paper will contribute to the theme of the conference by illustrating how teacher’s leadership and the way the teacher exercises power in the classroom affect children’s creativity, by presenting findings of this research. For this conference, this paper will also explore the claim that the Curriculum for Excellence provides more flexible settings by giving more power to the children, and will address children’s and teacher’s discourses on that. The paper will briefly discuss the methods chosen for this research.
This research was conducted in Scotland in the context of the Scottish educational system and the Curriculum for Excellence. However, the findings of the research can have implications to a wider, international audience, promoting dialogue and a creative cultivation of ideas and suggestions between different cultures and educational systems. As a result, this research addresses the European focus and opens the space for a global dimension. Additionally, by being a Greek person who conducted research in the Scottish educational system, I was able to conduct a cross-cultural comparison between the two educational systems and to address the influence of my socio-cultural background. Finally, it is suggested that future research on this topic could involve a comparative dimension between different countries or educational systems.
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