Publication details for Prof Doug NewtonNewton, L.D. & Newton, D.P. (2009), Conceptions of Creativity in Elementary School Science, Excellence in Educatin 2008: Future Minds and Creativity. Paris, Descartes, Paris.
- Publication type: Conference papers
Author(s) from Durham
Creativity is generally seen as something good but it is commonly viewed as something which happens in the
arts rather than in the sciences. This study of trainee teachers identified their conceptions of creativity in the
context of elementary school science lessons. In a class of sixteen final year students completing an education
degree leading to qualified teacher status in the U.K., conceptions of creativity in science were narrow. They
focused mainly on practical investigations of facts and included misconceptions. Implications for teacher
trainers are considered. They are advised that trainee teachers’ conceptions of creativity can be flawed.
Significantly, they may omit opportunities for creativity such as the imaginative processing of scientific
information and the construction and testing of explanations. It is proposed that science educators might widen
conceptions of scientific creativity by introducing students to the broader concept of ‘productive thought’.
Productive thought combines creativity and critical thought, both of which tend to be valued goals of science education.