International Educators’ Perspectives on the Purpose of Science Education and the Relationship between School Science and Creativity
Hetherington, LEJ; Chappell, K; Ruck Keene, H; et al.Wren, H; Cukurova, M; Hathway, C; Sotiriou, S; Bogner, F
Date: 12 February 2019
Research in Science and Technological Education
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Background: Creativity across all disciplines is increasingly viewed as a fundamental educational capability. Science can play a potentially important role in the nurturing of creativity. Research also suggests that creative pedagogy, including interdisciplinary teaching with Science and the Arts, can engage students with science. ...
Background: Creativity across all disciplines is increasingly viewed as a fundamental educational capability. Science can play a potentially important role in the nurturing of creativity. Research also suggests that creative pedagogy, including interdisciplinary teaching with Science and the Arts, can engage students with science. Previous studies into teachers’ attitudes to the relationship between science and creativity have been largely situated within national educational contexts. Purpose: This study, part of the large EU funded CREATIONs project, explores educators’ perspectives on the relationship between Science and Creativity across national contexts drawn from Europe and beyond. Sample and Methods: 270 educators, broadly defined to include primary (age 4-11) and secondary (age 11-18) teachers and trainee teachers, informal educators and teacher educators, responded to a survey designed to explore perceptions of the relationship between science and creativity. Respondents were a convenience sample recruited by project partners and through online media. The elements of the survey reported here included Likert-scale questions, open response questions, and ranking questions in the form of an electronic self-administered questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was used to develop a combined attitude scale labelled ‘science is creative’, with results compared across nationalities and phases of education. Open question responses were analysed thematically to allow more nuanced interpretation of the descriptive statistical findings. Results: The findings show broad agreement internationally and across phases that science is a creative endeavour, with a small number of educators disagreeing about the 3 relationship between science and creativity in the context of school science. Those who disagreed were usually secondary science teachers, from England, Malta or outside Europe (primarily from the United States). The role of scientific knowledge within creativity in science education was found to be contentious. Conclusions: That educators broadly see science as creative is unsurprising, but initial exploration of educators’ perspectives internationally shows some areas of difference. These were especially apparent for educators working in formal education, particularly relating to the role of knowledge with respect to creativity in science. With current interest in STEAM education, further investigation to understand potential mediating factors of national educational contexts on teachers’ perspectives with respect to the role of disciplinary knowledge(s) in creativity and their interaction in interdisciplinary teaching and learning, is recommended.
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
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