Out of the shadows: interacting and responding to the creative experience in pre-service teacher education

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    This paper explores how the creative experience and related dispositional outcomes can be fostered in undergraduate primary generalist pre-service teachers through the development of innovative learning approaches to visual and creative arts education. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss the results and show how creative thinking and action can be fostered in pre-service teachers. I argue that the creative arts courses offered in teacher education programs need to design for levels of creativity by developing an understanding how the creative experience generates different dispositional outcomes during experiential studio-based workshops. Building on Eisner (1998) developmental work on creative dispositional outcomes, the paper explores how pre-service teachers develop their ‘creativity’ through flexibility and risk-taking attitudes; mindfulness and avoidance of premature closure and a willingness to visualise new possibilities through inquiry learning approaches. This paper reports on the findings of 350 pre-service teachers as part of the Creative Arts program offered at a Sydney-based university. The focus of the mixed-method approach was on how the creative experience affects participants’ opinions and experiences of creativity. Pre-service teachers’ creative expressions were queried before and after the studio-based workshops. Firstly, a questionnaire was given to the total cohort, followed by participant observations made during the creative activities using video footage. Twelve participants then contributed in qualitative semi-structured interviews; this follow-up part of the research was aimed at evaluating the impact of the creative experience specifically, the participants’ changing opinions of creative experiences and how new approaches can be developed with children. The significance of this study is that it connects to a socio-cultural framework that works with a community of practice model. In this model, the core role of the teacher is to facilitate the development of primary school children’s creativity learning in informal classroom settings. Consequences of this study suggest that pre-service teachers need to become more aware of the different levels of creativity and how to develop creative dispositional outcomes. The outcomes suggest that studio-based workshops encourage participants to become more mindful of the artistic creative experience and how to visualise new approaches to use with children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-16
    Number of pages16
    JournalJoint AARE-NZARE 2014 Conference, Brisbane 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventThe Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference - Brisbane
    Duration: 30 Nov 20144 Dec 2014


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