Possibility Thinking and its pedagogy in primary classrooms using learning resources associated with museum visits in Cyprus
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The concept of Possibility Thinking (PT) has been investigated both conceptually and empirically for over a decade in early year settings and primary classrooms. The basic aim of this study was to investigate Cypriot primary teachers and how they nurture the PT of 9-10 year-old children by drawing on learning resources associated with museum visits. This PhD thesis had as a sample eight primary teachers with their students’ age 9-10 years and employed various data collection methods including semi-structured interviews, observations (field notes, video-recordings, still images), teachers’ reflections and the researcher’s reflective journals. This research builds on previous studies that have documented PT and the pedagogical strategies which foster it. The findings were compared with the existing literature and contribute to the field in a number of ways. Firstly, the findings offer an in-depth investigation of the PT features and argue that the features have a different range and they shape differently according to the characteristics of the observed group. Thus, the data revealed the existing PT features from the literature. Secondly, risk taking was not identified among the features. This study offers an explanation about the absence of risk-taking by proposing a new feature, giving as a result a solution to the problem of the existence of PT without the feature of risk-taking. Thirdly, the findings contribute to understanding how the teachers nurture students’ PT through alternative resources of learning like museum visits. This was achieved through the refinement of the existing pedagogies and the proposition of a new one, as well as the identification of three affordances that teachers perceive from the interactive programme in which the children participated. The study provides a starting point for further research on PT by drawing on learning resources associated with museum visits. This PhD thesis presents a model of pedagogy of PT linked with museum affordances identified from the data and ends with suggestions for further research.
The full examination copy of this thesis has been permanently embargoed to ensure the anonymity of the participants of the research. Users may view an amended copy in which several images have been removed.
PhD in Education