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Conceptions of Creativity in Elementary School Science.

Newton, L.D.; Newton, D.P.



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.


Newton, L., & Newton, D. (2009). Conceptions of Creativity in Elementary School Science.

Conference Name Excellence in Educatin 2008: Future Minds and Creativity.
Conference Location Paris
Publication Date 2009