This study provides a broad overview of perceptions elementary school teachers hold regarding creativity, the strategies those teachers use to foster creative thinking and behaviour in their students, and the environmental challenges and opportunities they navigate when striving to develop 21st century skills in students. Earlier research examining teachers’ perceptions and creativity-fostering behaviours have typically asked teachers to describe their classroom practices, or self-report their perceptions regarding creative children or children’s creative actions. Using a mixed-methods approach, in this study 22 Grade 5-7 teachers working in Ontario completed an online questionnaire which measured their creativity-fostering behaviours. Following the survey, 12 teachers were interviewed and allowed the researcher to observe their classroom and collect field data. Analysis of data reveals major themes that illuminate the dynamic and interconnected nature of the classroom and school environment, and demonstrate the multifarious ways in which teacher perceptions, creativity-fostering strategies, and uncontrollable environmental factors, such as administrators, colleagues, and EQAO testing influence teachers’ attempts to sustain a creative classroom environment.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/dishkehondzel/1/