Nurturing Creativity: Louisiana Second Grade Teachers’ Perspectives and Practices

Stacie Dear Austin


The researcher constructed this descriptive case study with the intention of determining second grade educators’ perceptions of creativity, and to provide insight into how creativity is nurtured in general education classrooms while identifying barriers to nurturing creativity. Using Eisner’s (2017) framework of educational connoisseurship and criticism, the researcher provided a rich description, interpretation, and evaluation of experiences among eight teacher participants from two school sites in the same Louisiana district. Data collection included interviews, observations, and teacher-created artifacts.

      Evidence from the observations showed varied levels of nurturing creativity among teacher participants. Although all of the teachers in the study claimed to value creativity, they did not all practice pedagogy that specifically nurtured creativity. The findings were similar to other studies where teachers believed creativity to be highly valuable (Andiliou & Murphy, 2010, Kampylis, 2010), but discrepancies were reported between teachers’ assertions and actual classroom practices (Cho, Pemberton, & Ray, 2010). Barriers to nurturing creativity within the classroom were similar to the findings of the literature review: high-stakes testing, time-constraints, compartmentalization, and primarily associating creativity with the arts (Beghetto, 2015; Cho et al., 2017; Craft, 2005; Eisner, 2002; Muirhead, 2011).

Evidence seemed to support the statement that curriculum did not dictate whether creativity was nurtured in the classrooms and that the teacher plays a significant role in determining whether creativity is fostered in the classroom; therefore, the researcher suggests an intentional focus on developing teacher understanding of creativity, the creative process, and creative pedagogy. The researcher suggests that building teacher knowledge about the creative process, with methodology for action, would support creative pedagogy in all subjects and be beneficial in 21st century education.




Kecreativity, elementary education, science, social studies, educational connoisseurship, educational criticism, school ecology

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