Dina Aish


Creativity is considered to be an essential life skill that should be fostered throughout the educational system. However, public elementary school classrooms in the USA generally do not appear to be creativity-fostering places. A better understanding of teachers' beliefs about creativity would provide valuable insights into their practices in the classroom and facilitate the planning and evaluation efforts to foster creativity in all classrooms. Using a validated survey instrument, adapted from the Teachers' Conceptions of Creativity Questionnaire (TCCQ), the researcher collected beliefs from 120 public elementary school teachers from six schools within one mid-sized public unified school district in the Los Angeles area. The survey included 25 forced choice and seven open ended items. Participating teachers taught in kindergarten through fifth grade and possessed teaching experience from 3 to 40 years. Major conclusions include that the teachers believe creativity is primarily expressed in the form of originality of product, behavior or thought. However, these teachers were not aware that creativity should also be appropriate for the situation, an aspect critical to scholars. The teachers believe creativity to be connected mainly with the arts and school subjects in the arts. These teachers support that creativity can be developed in all students but that only a small percentage of students are highly creative. When describing creative students, teachers reported only the positive traits of creative students. The teachers believe that creativity is essential in academic learning, however, teachers expressed an ambivalence regarding their training and capability to effectively promote student creativity within the classroom. The teachers feel impeded to promote student creativity in the classroom by the emphasis on testing, standards, and expectations of the school system. Some implications for practice are that pre-service teacher education and in-service staff development should provide courses, workshops, and activities that assist teachers with knowledge and skills to foster creativity in all students within the classroom. Policy makers and educational authorities must establish creative thinking as an essential learning goal in the educational system so that all children can develop their full personal and work creative potential.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Creative thinking -- Study and teaching (Elementary); Education, Elementary -- California -- Evaluation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Hiatt-Michael, Diana B.;