Optimizing the learning environment for creative work by student teachers in technology
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This study focuses on creativity in pre-service teachers and how it can be improved by using what Technology Education can offer. Chapter one focuses on the orientation and statement of the problem and it concludes that it would be worthwhile, in the light of the demands for creative work that is expected of teachers in the current educational paradigm, to investigate the status quo regarding creativity in students who opt for education as a career and to implement enriched teaching and learning programmes to address their needs in this regard. Chapter two gives an overview of the available literature about creativity and provides the theoretical framework of this study. It focuses on the concept of creativity, the creative person, the creative process, the context at enhances or inhibits creative work and the creative product. Chapter three delves into the theories about learning and stimulation of creativity in order to provide a theoretical framework for developing the enriched teaching and learning programme. Objectivist theories including Behaviourism, Connectionism and Neuroscience, cognitive theories like Constructivism, Gestalt and Experientialism, social cognitive theories that focus on the ideas of mediation, scaffolding, modelling and lastly integrative theories are explored in order to explain the importance and the requirements for learning creativity. Chapter four explains the empirical research design of this study. It describes the composition of the tests and questionnaires used and their reliability and validity. It further focuses on the statistical methods that were used to analyse the data. Chapter five describes the Technology Education programmes that were aimed at enhancing creativity. The differences and similarities between the basic and enriched teaching and learning programmes are discussed. The effects of these two programmes on the creativity of the participants were tested in this study. Chapter six concentrates on the results of the ex post facto study (to determine the status quo regarding creativity in pre-service teachers and possible reasons for differences) and the results of the quasi-experimental study (to determine the effects of the basic and enriched teaching and learning programmes on the creativity of the participants). The data handling prior to and during analysis and niatters like measures to ensure construct validity, handling data from nonequivalent groups and significance testing are discussed as applicable to the data matrix for this study. Selected data are given in tables, illustrated with graphs and path models. Decisions regarding, the rejection or acceptance of the null hypotheses and alternative hypotheses are given and discussed. Chapter seven concludes this study with a summary, as well as recommendations for future research.
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