Teaching as Creative Process: Perspectives From Personal Narratives

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Abstract

This paper explores the place of teaching in the landscape of creativity. It draws on analyses of interview narratives from dedicated teachers from various educational levels and teaching contexts; none had been singled out as creative by their institutions. Asked when teaching had been experienced as a creative process, rather than describing specific incidents, the teachers told of projects and goals that spanned a semester or year. Daily activities contributed to the projects, making creativity in teaching everyday creativity in both the technical and literal senses. Interview protocols were analyzed into meaning units and categorized into themes. Some themes were similar to those in studies of creative teachers and teaching, though no prior study explicitly put forward all of them. The interviewed teachers described practices previously suggested for nurturing student creativity. Most themes echoed features found in creativity studies of various other domains. Two unique features were the double nature of intrinsic motivation and the nature of the creative “product.”

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