ERIC Number: EJ1048591
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
"I Am Not a Format": Teachers' Experiences with Fostering Creativity in the Era of Accountability
Olivant, Katie F.
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, v29 n1 p115-129 2015
This phenomenological study examined the experience of fostering creativity and creative thinking in the classroom under high-stakes testing conditions, as described by teachers at a magnet elementary school in Central California. The tensions between standardization and professionalism, as well as performativity and creativity, served as the conceptual framework for this study. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with ten teachers. Phenomenological techniques were used to analyze the data. Significant statements were extracted from interview transcriptions to yield textural descriptions, and two structural themes emerged regarding fostering creativity in the classroom: connections versus disconnections and right fit versus lack of fit. The findings showed that teachers see creativity as an important component of teacher agency and highly value the role creativity plays in helping children learn and enjoy learning. However, high-stakes testing conditions inhibit their ability to foster creativity and teach creatively by diminishing teacher autonomy and professionalism, narrowing the curriculum, and leaving teachers out of reform discussions. The results of this study may inform future research and provide information for policy-makers and educators interested in reestablishing creativity as a critical element of teacher agency and an essential learning skill for children.
Descriptors: Phenomenology, Creativity, Creative Thinking, Elementary School Teachers, Magnet Schools, Interviews, Teaching Methods, Teacher Attitudes, High Stakes Tests, Professional Autonomy, Curriculum, Testing, Accountability, Student Evaluation, Time Factors (Learning)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California