Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Carter, Vinson

Reader

Beasley, Jennifer

Second Reader

Imbeau, Marcia B.

Abstract

Divergent thinking is a 21st century skill that allows individuals to create innovative ways to alleviate some of the burdens on society by finding new solutions to old problems. However, creativity is often overlooked or ignored in the classroom environment because the rigid atmosphere of authority does not allow for the simultaneous use of multiple cognitive abilities. What can teachers do, or are they doing, to ensure that divergent thinking is fostered in their classrooms? Three surveys were administered to 32 elementary school teachers to determine if there is a disconnect between what teachers believe fosters creativity in relation to actual practices within the classroom. The first survey was paper based and the last two surveys were sent electronically to the respondents email address. The responses from the surveys indicate that teachers’ personal beliefs, their knowledge of creativity, and their practices do not necessarily indicate that teachers are fostering creativity in their classes. While teacher’s would like to do more lessons that promote divergent thinking and fostering creativity, standardized testing seems to limit their ability to implement this type of learning.

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