, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 51-71
Date: 06 Jun 2012

Incorporating creativity into teachers practice and self-concept of professional identity

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Abstract

The study explores what happens to teachers practice and professional identity when they adopt a collaborative action research approach to teaching and involve external creative partners and a university mentor. The teachers aim to nurture and develop the creative potential of their learners through empowering them to make decisions for themselves about their own progress and learning directions. The teachers worked creatively and collaboratively designing creative teaching and learning methods in support of pupils with language and communication difficulties. The respondents are from an English special school, primary school and girls secondary school. A mixed methods methodology is adopted. Gains in teacher confidence and capability were identified in addition to shifts in values that impacted directly on their self-concept of what it is to be an effective teacher promoting effective learning. The development of their professional identities within a team ethos included them being able to make decisions about learning that are based on the educational potential of learners that they proved resulted in elevated standards achieved by this group of learners. They were able to justify their actions on established educational principles. Tensions however were revealed between what they perceived as their normal required professionalism imposed by external agencies and the enhanced professionalism experienced working through the project where they were able to integrate theory and practice.