How do trainee primary teachers understand creativity?
2007-06-11T13:27:34Z (GMT) by
This paper draws upon preliminary findings from research undertaken in three UK primary training providers as part of the Creative Teachers for Creative Learners project, funded by a Research and Development Award from the Teacher Training Agency. The project aims to support the development of primary trainee teachers’ understanding of, and teaching for, children’s creativity in design & technology (D&T) and other curriculum areas by producing an interactive bank of teaching and learning materials set within a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). As an initial stage in the development of these materials, the project team has been exploring trainees’ current understandings and perceptions of creativity, both as a personal attribute and as fostered by the primary curriculum in England. This paper will focus upon two sets of data generated as part of this process and the extent to which Harrington’s (1990) ‘creative ecosystem’ is a useful theoretical and evaluative framework for trainee teachers. At Bath Spa University College, primary PGCE trainees have been set a directed task in schools during which they select lessons from two curriculum areas to observe: one which they expect to offer scope for creativity and another which they judge to lack creative potential. They have evaluated the support offered for children’s creativity in each subject area using the framework drawn from Harrington (1990) and have frequently found their preconceptions challenged. At Manchester Metropolitan University and Goldsmiths’ College, undergraduate trainees have produced cartoons to express their own notion of the ‘creative person’. This has produced some interesting outcomes with regard to where opportunities for creativity can be found.