Creative thinking in prospective teachers: the 'status quo' and the impact of contextual factors
To create unique and appropriate learning opportunities and environments and to nurture the development of creative thinking abilities among learners are some of the demands for creative thinking currently expected of teachers globally and also in South Africa. Creative thinking in academic context assumes, among other things, the ability to generate a variety of original ideas, to see different viewpoints and elaborate on ideas. We report on the findings of a quantitative pilot investigation by means of experimental research utilizing an ex post facto design to determine the status quo regarding the creative thinking abilities of a hetrogeneous group of 207 pre-service teachers studying at a South African university, using the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults (ATTA) and a Partial Least Squares (PLS) exploration into the relationship between contextual factors and the students’ creative thinking abilities. Strong correlations were found among a variety of contextual factors such as the type of school model and culture and creative thinking abilities and also between specific contextual factors such as the choice of role model and socio economic and acculturation factors and certain creative thinking abilities. This research explores a largely unknown field, namely, the creative thinking abilities of a group of South African pre-service teachers of different cultural groups and creates an awareness of the need for the development of creative thinking abilities among these prospective teachers.
Keywords: contextual factors; creativity and culture, creativity; creative thinking; creative thinking abilities; teacher training