Students and Teachers Implicit and Explicit Theories of Creativity

Janina Uszyńska-Jarmoc 1  and Beata Kunat 2
  • 1 University of Bialystok, , Poland
  • 2 University of Bialystok, , Poland

Abstract

The current research aims to analyse ways of conceptualising the term creativity with the help of drawings, as a form of cognitive rendering by primary school students, pedagogy students and primary school teachers. The research seeks to find answers to three questions: What common notions of creativity are held by both primary school pupils and teachers and pedagogy students? Are there any differences in the understanding of this term among these groups of people? How far is the implicit, personal understanding of creativity in line with the scientific notion of this term? The visual ethnography method was applied in the study. Qualitative visual data (177 drawings of pupils, students and teachers) were used as the main source of data for analysis in addition to verbal data (written descriptions by the participants). Empirical data were analysed from the perspective of both an elitist and egalitarian approach to creativity, and using various ways to define creativity, as well as selected understandings of the term. Analysis of the qualitative data, demonstrated that pupils, students and teachers are able to treat creativity holistically and systematically, although they tend to associate creativity with the person who is the creator or with a broadly understood product, rather than the process or external circumstances that support creative activity. The research suggests that pupils’ definitions of creativity focus around four aspects of meaning: 1) creativity as self-expression; 2) creating new things; 3) ability to utilise the internal resources of imagination and creative thinking outside the system; 4) participation in solving everyday problems. Furthermore, it is possible to say that the knowledge of teachers in this matter is more consistent (cultural knowledge) and that of students is more personal (atypical, original, referring to a larger number of different problems and themes).

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