The extent to which teachers nurture creative thinking in the Grade 9 Social Sciences classroom through the choice of teaching methods
The nurturing of creative thinking skills is one of the cornerstones of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE). This study investigated to what extent teachers nurture the development of creative thinking through the choice of teaching methods, which include the application of teaching strategies and the utilization of resources, in the Grade 9 Social Sciences classroom. A literature study was undertaken to highlight the importance and nature of the development of creative thinking skills, and to establish which teaching methods, strategies and resources nurture the development of creative thinking in Social Sciences classrooms. The literature review provided the conceptual framework for the study, as well as the framework for designing a questionnaire that was utilized to obtain the perceptions of learners regarding the teaching methods, strategies and resources that their teachers use to nurture the development of creative thinking in the Grade 9 Social Sciences classroom. By means of a sequential explanatory mixed method research design, quantitative data were collected by means of a self-constructed questionnaire that was administrated to a convenient sample of a purposively selected group of Grade 9 Social Sciences learners (n=399) in the D7 district of the Gauteng Department of Education. Following this, a qualitative interview, which was constructed from the findings in the questionnaire, was conducted with purposively selected Grade 9 Social Sciences teachers (n=6) in order to ascertain the reasons behind the quantitative findings. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data revealed differences and similarities in opinion related to the teaching methods, strategies and resources that teachers use for nurturing creative thinking. In essence, the data revealed that teachers are, to some extent, nurturing creative thinking through their choice of teaching methods and strategies as well as the questioning techniques that they choose. However, the responses did not convincingly indicate to the researcher that the nurturing of creative thinking skills takes place on a regular and frequent basis. According to the learner responses, it appeared that teaching and learning methods and strategies that promote indirect, independent, interactive and experiential learning, are under-used by the Grade 9 Social Sciences teachers. In addition, resources that nurture creative elaboration such as political cartoons and photographs appear to be under-utilized. This study is concluded with recommendations to teachers concerning which teaching methods, strategies and resources could be implemented in order to promote the nurturing of creative thinking in the Grade 9 Social Sciences classroom.
- Education 
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