TEACHER CREATIVITY AND TEACHER PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCY

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SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

                   The unending effort to make their lives comfortable and their unquenchable thirst to probe into truth made the people to put forth strenuous trials to bring such an explosion in knowledge in various aspects.  As a result, today man has secured power to create energy, to cultivate land, to conserve water, to control diseases and to tap every source and make its effective use.  This is possible because of requisite interest on knowledge, which can be imparted though education.

          Though education was considered as paediocentric, it is a bigger process in which the personality of one person influences on others with a view to modify his behavior in order to bring about his all-round development in thought, feeling and action.  A continuous inter-play or exchange of ideas between the Teacher and the taught, central this, interaction process is the teacher.  While education is essence, the teacher still occupies a prior in essence, the teacher still occupies a priori central role in the learning of a child.

          It is evident that the effective and efficient functioning of any institute primarily depends on the quality and commitment of its human resources.  The right attitude towards the profession, involvement in teaching, concern over the profession, aptitude towards teaching zeal and enthusiasm in his profession, mental health of the teacher are essential requisite conditions to prevail in a teacher who could definitely bring success in his school programme.

          Many schemes were launched to attain total literacy before the dawn of the millennium.  Vast gulf prevails between the existing rate of literacy of our country and the rate of total literacy. It will be a mirage even after a period of ten years to attain this wish and it may not be cherished.  Education is an apprenticeship of human life and a vital need to result at natural, harmonious and progressive development of child’s latent powers and innate talents.  Thus the basic aim of education is the overall growth of an individual which in its turn enhances the growth of the society.  Hence, the classrooms have assumed a predominant position in achieving the aims and objectives of education.  In this connection this is right time to explore the need to consider the relationship between Creativity and Behaviour Problems among the Teacher community.

          Teaching is research out the pupils to make them enrich.  But do the existing teachers is competent teach all the category pupils in the class i.e., dullards, average and gifted individuals.  Teachers’ responsibility does not seize when he has satisfied the average individual in the class, though they are more in numbers.  To quench the thirst of the gifted individual the teacher should keep himself abreast with new techniques and novel strategy which is not an easy job and it is a hard task to successfully achieve.  Still baffling problem for every ideal teacher is to go down to the level of the dullard and the cater the needs of hard-to-reach individual in the class without neglecting them and enabling them to be a drop out from the class and deviant from school, which thrusters the ulterior motive of ‘national literacy mission’.  To successfully shoulder all these responsibilities the Teacher should be creative and competent.  Modern teacher is expected to shoulder the multi-dimensions responsibility to initiate desired learning and outcomes.  To suit the needs of people in this rapid scientific and technological era, the teaching learning transaction should be sensitive and sophisticated. Keeping all these trivial issues in mind the investigator decided to make a probe into the relationship between Creativity and Professional Competency.  The conceptual foundations are presented in the following pages.

CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATIONS

          Educational is a natural harmonious development of child’s talent powers and innate talents.  Teacher’s role is pivotal in providing education and making the nation literature.  To make the nation totally literate and to attain ‘educational for all’, to improve educational standards and to increase the level of achievement teacher should not be not only a committed and devoted but also competent and creative.

Creativity:

          Creativity is defined as the ability to bring something new into existence, creativity is distinguished by novelty, originality and is unusually inventive.  Creativity was believed to be a heaven’s gift, a rare quality of distinguished individuals with inborn talent.  In the present study an individual who is flexible in thought and action, which can produce novel ideas, express his ideas fluently and long with certain personality traits is said to be creative.

          The need for more and better creative thinking and production were felt before mid century, but it was not until after that point in time that scientific research and technological development really got off grant.  Education is not at all an exception to the above fact.  It comprises of a positive science of learning and creative art of teaching.  But in most of the formal teaching is neglected.  As pointed out by Guilford (1985) ‘Teachers always want a correct answer but not clever answer’.

          In the past three decades there has been an enormous amount of research which could answer the queries – what is creativity?  What are its dimensions? How to measure and predict them?  What are the ways to foster creativity and what are the characteristics of creative persons?  What are the various creative dimensions find in various professional like poets, artists, musicians, architects etc.  Many efforts are being made by number of researches to identify and to classify the various dimensions of creativity.

Creativity Definitions:

          Generally psychologists have tried to define creativity in terms of (a) Mental ability consisting of many component abilities; (b) A capacity to do a thing or produce something of a particular nature and (c) A subjective experience or process having special characteristics.

          According to Torrence (1962) ‘Creativity thinking’ is the process of sensing gaps distributing, missing elements, forming ideas or hypotheses concerning them and testing.  These hypotheses subsequently redefined by Torrence (1966) that Creativity as….’ A process of becoming sensitive to problem, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonious and so on; identifying the difficulty, searching for solutions, making guesses or formulating hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them and finally communicating the results.

          Wallach and Kogan (1965) viewed creativity as individual’s capacity or ability to generate cognitive associates in quality and with uniquiness.

          Whereas Peli (1988) defined ‘Creativity is a process of interacting with the organism to bring out desired learning outcome, ability to generate novel ideas spontaneously, adapting to situations, using the immediate environment for effective communication.  Provoking thought in interacting agency.

          From the above definitions creativity can be understood as art of Teaching and act of research.  The definitions of creativity given byTorrence is nothing but an act of research and the definition of Peli implies teaching.

What is Creativity?

          Creativity is a complex term and embraces many aspects.  No single definition would be able to cover all the aspects.  Following are some of the views and definitions given by pioneers in the field.

(a)         Creativity is a mental process whereby an individual produces something uniquely new to himself.

(b)         It is a capacity, which leads to innovations in various fields of knowledge.  It is an aptitude tract and a way of life.

(c)         According to Dr.E.P.Torrence (1960) defined creativity is the process of sensing gaps and discovering missing elements, forming hypotheses or ideas concerning them, testing these hypotheses and communicating their results, probably modifying and resting these hypotheses.

(d)         According to Gagne viewed it as problem-solving.

(e)         Drevdhal (1956) defined creativity is a capacity of persons to produce composition.

(f)          Whereas Peers, Damular and Quackirbush (1960) stated that Creativity is the capacity of the individual to avoid the usual routine conventional way of thinking and doing things and producing a quantity of ideas, which are original, novel and which are workable.

Creativity its Dimensions:

          To measure the Creativity three dimensions like Fluency, Originality, Flexibility are taken into account as shown in the following diagram.

CREATIVITY

                                      Flexibility                  Originality

Fluency

                                              

          Every psychological concept can be analyzed or understood basing on its dimensions.  The concept of creativity can best be explained clearly with the help of its dimensions.  The status of our information regarding the primary dimensions of creativity can perhaps be meaning fully presented by considering its major dimensions.  Psychologists addressed more than two dozen of such dimensions viz., Fluency, Originality, Flexibility, Elaboration, Divergent Thinking, Convergent Thinking, Novelty, Ability to produce greater and total number of ideas, uniqueness, usefulness, independent in judgment, resourceful, independent in thought and action etc.

          In addition Javedekar (1963) in his philosophical work mentioned ‘freedom’ openness sportily and progressiveness as dimensions of creativity.  But out of the dimensions mentioned four dimensions – fluency, originality, flexibility and personality traits are very important dimensions for which understanding and measurement of creativity is plausible.

          It is hypothesized that ‘fluency’ of thinking would be an important aspect of creativity.  This is a quantitative aspect that has to do with fertility of ideas.  There is a factor of word fluency an ability to produce words each containing a specified letter or combination of letters.  A factor of ‘associational fluency’ is indicated best in a test that requires to examine to produce as many synonyms as he can for a given word in a limited time.  A factor ‘expressional fluency’ is ability to produce phrases and sentences.  The need for rapid juxtaposition of words to meet the requirements of sentence structure seems to be the unique characteristic.  The other factor of fluency is ‘ideational fluency’.  This is the ability to produce ideas to fulfill certain requirements in a limited time.

In the area of creativity one should certainly expect to find a dimension of originality.  It is indicated by the scores of some tests in which the responses are weighed in proportion to their infrequency of occurrence in the population of examinees.  Unusualness of responses is one of the principles of measurement of originality.

          In 1950 it is hypothesized that creative thinkers are flexible thinkers.  They readily desert old ways of thinking and strike out in new directions.  There are two factors, which seems to fit into this dimension.  One of these factors has been called ‘spontaneous flexibility’.  It is defined as the ability or disposition to produce a great variety of ideas, with freedom from inertia or from preservation.  The other type of flexibility of thinking is a ‘adaptive flexibility’ for the reason that it facilitates the solution of the problems.  This is shown best in a type of problem that requires a most unusual type of solution.

Measurement of Creativity:

          Since creativity is a psychological construct, measurement of it involves psychometric principles.  The measurement is based on the principles of quantifying the quality.  In no way, it differs from the measurement of certain dimensions.  It is mentioned earlier that of creativity dimensions fluency, originality, flexibility and personality traits are major.  Hence any psychometrican would pay his labour in measuring these four major dimensions.

          Fluency can be measured by a composite measure of its four components namely word fluency, associational fluency, expressional fluency, and ideational fluency.  Because of the word fluency is ability to produce words each containing a specific letter or combination of letters, subjects may be asked to produced words with specific letters or combination of letter.

          Originality can be measured by tests in which items call for remote associations or relationships, remote either in time or in a logical sense. 

          In contrast the word ‘fluency’, where only letter requirements are to be observed, measurement of associational fluency involves a requirement of meaning for the words given.  Expressional fluency is best measure by a test calling for the production of phrases and sentences.  A test of ideational fluency may ask examinees to name objects that are hard, white a edible or to give various uses of a common brick, or to give appropriate titles for given story plot.  Flexibility can be measure by a composite measure of its two factors namely spontaneous flexibility and adaptive flexibility.  In tests of spontaneous flexibility, the subject shows his freedom to roam about in his thinking even when it is not necessary for him to do so.  In naming uses of brick is the jump readily from one category of response to another.  Rigid thinkers, on the other hand, tend to stay within one or two categories of responses.  Adaptive flexibility can be measured best in type of problem that requires a most unusual type of solution.  The problem may appear to be soluble by means of more familiar or conventional methods, but these methods will not work.

          As Guilford (1950) noted ‘the development of scoring procedure for tests of creativity presents some unusual problems especially between subjective and objective scoring methods.  Further he suggested that creativity can be measured with the help of rating scales.

Professional Competency:

          Though Teacher Professional Competency has been recognized as an important component of Teaching-learning process related, little efforts are are made to define the term.  A peep into the literature of teacher professional competency as one finds many related terms such as ‘teaching success’, ‘successful teacher’, ‘teaching efficiency’, ‘teacher performance’ and ‘teacher competency’ etc.

          As one looks through heap of investigators in this field Barr, A.S. (1961) define ‘one finds various terms used to designate or describe the successful teacher’.  Frequently the word ‘competency’ is used.  One will note to that the terms are sometimes applied to teacher as Teacher Professional Competency and sometimes in the teacher behavior as in the teaching competency.

          Donald M.Medly (1982) disclosed that the teacher professional competency as ‘those of knowledge, abilities and beliefs a teacher possesses and bring to – the teaching situation.  Teacher Professional Competency differs from Teacher Performance and Teacher in that it is a stable characteristic of the teacher that does not change appreciably when the teacher moves from the one situation to another.

          By this it is evident that the knowledge of subject matter, teaching skills, beliefs and feelings of teachers may be considered as the components of teacher professional competency that an effective teacher is supposed to possess.

          Biddle (1964) advocates that ‘disagreement and ambiguity with respect to the description of teacher professional competency are to be expected and cannot entirely be avoided because effective teaching is undoubtedly a relative matter.  The term has been used by some investigators to refer to training process properties of teachers behavior exhibited by teachers and effects produced by teacher.  The same variables have been termed by other investigators as criteria of competency ability to teacher and a host of their terms – ‘teacher success’, teacher professional competency; ‘teacher efficiency’, ‘teacher performance’, ‘teacher effectiveness’ etc., are used synonymously by investigators.

          Ryan (1960) states ‘what constitutes effective teaching?  What are the distinguishing characteristics of concept teachers?  Are provocative and recurring questions?  Unfortunately no universal acceptable definite answers can be given to those complex queries….  Embarrassing as it may be for professional educators to recognize, relatively little progress has been made.

          Similarly Biddle and Ellena (1964) accepted that nobody know what an effective teacher was.  They said ‘probably no aspect of education has been discussed with greater frequency with as much deep concern or by more educators and citizens, than has that of teacher professional competency…..how to define it, how to identify it, how to measure it, and how to detect and remove obstacles to its achievement….  Findings about the professional competency of teachers are inconclusive and piecemeal and little is presently known for certain about teacher excellence.

          Researchers studied Teacher Professional Competency is consists of three components viz., Presage, Process and Product.  Here the presage component refers to throughout processes, training, training aspect and personality factors of the teachers.  The process component refers to the teacher actions or classroom practices and the product component refers to the quality of the products i.e., students produced.

          Jangira (1979) stated ‘Teacher Professional Competency has been considered into its three separate components for convenience of profession.  It should not be taken that these components are watertight compartments.  It also flows that there are no clear cut lines to distinguish one component from the other.

Teacher Professional Competency:

  1. Already mentioned earlier on the most commonly employed criteria, to evaluate teacher professional competency are presage, process and product.

          Donald M.Medley (1982) identified four types of research designs to guide the researchers, each involving one of the four independent variables – pupils learning outcomes, pupils learning experiences, teacher performance and teacher professional competency.  The four different types of research are: Type ‘L’ research, Type of ‘P’ research, Type ‘C’ research, the dependent variable is measure of teacher performance in implementation of a particular teaching strategy and the independent variables are measures of competencies in the teachers reprehensive and external context variable.  The unit of analysis is teacher.  The purpose of type ‘C” research is to discover what competencies – what knowledge, skills and values – a teacher must process in order to implement a particular teaching model (or) strategy in a particular situation.

          It may be noted that the above said four types of researches proposed by Medley (1982) are further refinement of the passage process and product variables of teacher professional competency.  According to Kyriacon and Newson (1982) there are four variables – presage, process, contextual and product.  Context variables related to a whole of other variables which may have an influence on teacher and pupil behavior during lessons.  While the other they are same as those, which are given by Barr (1961).

          Mc.Neil and Pophan (1973) tested the criteria of assessing Teacher Professional Competency as student rating, self-ratings, administrators or peer ratings, classroom environment analysis, systematic observations, personal attitude studies, student’s gains and performance tests.  In the present study the research employs composite criteria of presage and process variables of teacher professional competency, the study of these variables done by teacher-evaluation.

Dimensions of Teacher Professional Competency:

          Out of many dimensions of Teacher Professional Competency, five dimensions are considered in this study.  They are – (1) Activity based teaching, (2) Child Centered practices, (3) Teaching Learning material and display, (4) Evaluation strategies and remedial teaching and (5) Novel strategies.

         Activity based teaching includes concept teaching abilities, illustrations, practical approach etc.  Child centered practices refer to pupil needs, individual differences, interpretations, child participation etc., are included.  Teaching Learning material refers to selection and presentation of teaching learning material preparation, display etc., are included.  Evaluation strategies include remedial measures, construction of test items different types of evaluation etc.  Novel strategies refer to interpretations, teaching strategies creative ideas etc.  The above dimensions and areas of Teacher Professional Competency differently influence the Teacher Professional Competency is the conclusion drawn by most of the researchers in the field of teacher professional competency as shown in the following diagram.

Pictorial presentation of dimensions of

Teacher Professional Competency

                                                                   Activity based teaching

                           Novel Strategies                 And hurdles in teaching

                            

TEACHER

PROFESSIONAL

COMPETENCY

                  Evaluation Strategies           

                 And Remedial Teaching                   Child centered Practices

          Measurement of Teacher Professional Competency:

          According to Barr (1961), there are four approaches to teachers evaluation contributing different ways by different versions; instructions and data gathering devices viz., (1) Evaluation make in terms of the qualities of the person as in personality ratings, (2) Evaluation, which proceed from strategies of teacher behavior; as in the rating of performance in terms of interpersonal qualities of desirable professional characteristics; (3) Evaluation develop from data collected relative to presumed from qualities to teacher professional competency and (4) Evaluation developed from studies of the product.  In the present study the investigator confined to third approach to teacher evaluation i.e., evaluate to develop from the data collected.

Relation between Teacher Creativity

And Teacher Professional Competency:

          Realization of educational goals and expectations of ancient and modern educationists and needs of the society are to be accomplished only with teachers with good value behavior and competency in their profession is undoubetedly most important.  B.R.Rao (1989) rightly pointed out that the quality of a teacher is considered to be associated with his values.  Similarly, Dr.D.S.Kothari (1964-66) advocates that ‘of all the different factors, which influence the quality of its contribution to national development, the quality, competency, and character of teachers are undoubtedly the most significant.  Delors Commission (1996) ascertained that it is the teacher whose role can help immensely in the inculcation of values.  The Mudaliar Commission (1952-53) observed that it would not be wrong to say that its teachers make a nation’s great.  This happens when besides being masters in their own disciplines and competent in communicating skills, teachers are also men and women of character. Theoretically this concept may be sound but in practice how the Teacher Creativity in related to Teacher Professional Competency.  To what extent they are related are the questions awaiting answers.

          Hence, the present researcher has taken up a piece of research work tool to find out the relationship between Teacher Creativity and Teacher Professional Competency and confined to school education.  The conceptual framework has been presented diagrammatically in the following diagram.

Relationship between Teacher Creativity

and Teacher Professional Competency

                                                                Teacher Professional

                      Teacher Creativity                       Competency

                           Flexibility                           Activity based Learning

                                                                   and hurdles in Teaching

                          Originality                           Child Centered Practices

                           Fluency                             Teaching Learning

                                                                         Material display

                                                                    Evaluation Strategies and

                                                                        Remedial teaching

                                                                    Novel Strategies     

         

The above diagram shows the relationship between Teacher Creativity and Teacher Professional Competency.  The related available literature is presented in the following chapter.

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

          Man is only the creature that does not have to begin new in every generation, but can take the advantage of the knowledge, which has been accumulated through the centuries.  This fact is of particular interest in research which operates as a continuous function of every closer approximation to the truth.  The investigator can be sure that this problem does not exist in a vacuum and that considerable work has been done already on problems which are directly related to his proposed investigation.  The success of his efforts will depend in no small measure on the extent to which he capitalizes on the advance made by previous researcher.

          Kerlinger (1973) gives two main reasons for discussing the general and research literature related to the research problem.  The first of these is to clarify the theoretical rationale of the problem.  A second reason is to tell the reader what researches have not been done on the problem.  The underlying purpose is to locate the present research in the existing body of research on the subject and to point out what it contributes to the subject.

          The major purpose of this review of the available literature is to determine the significant facts which are essentially related to the problem under investigation.  For the knowledge emerging from the investigations would enable the investigator to avoid unintentional duplication, as well as it would also provide the understanding and insight for development of a logical frame work for the present problem under investigation.  Moreover, studies that have been done would provide for formulating research hypotheses an indicating what needs to be done will form the basis for the justification of the study under investigation.

          In this a glance at the previous investigations in the related areas will evidently through a light and make the path of the investigator illuminated with abundant information.  Previous studies regarding the two components creativity and professional competency are herewith incorporated.  These previous investigations will deliberately help the investigator to pursue his research.

Creativity – Studies Abroad:

          Taylor C.W. (1964) has described personality characteristics of creative persons.  They are autonomous, self-sufficient, independent in judgments, more open to the irrational, more stable, more feminine, dominant, self-assertive, complex, more self-accepting, more resourceful, adventurous, more radical, self-controlled, emotionally sensitive, introverted and bold.

          Mac.Kinnon D.W., (1963) has given following personality characteristics to creative people.  They are intelligent, original, independent in thought and action, open to experience both of the inner self and the outer world, infusive, aesthetically sensitive and free from crippling restraints.  They have high energy level, a persistent commitment to creative endeavour and a strong sense of destiny, which includes a degree of resoluteness and a measure of egotism.

          Mc.Guire, S. (1963) suggests three personality dimensions significant to mental health.  They are (1) relaxed outgoing optimism, (2) Creativity Intelligent autonomy and (3) Self-discipline stability. 

          Torrence E.P. (1964) found that creative children were often seen by peers as ‘naughty’ and having ‘wild and silly ideas’.

          Gatzels J.W., and Jackson P.W. (1962) corroborates that creative characterized by wide ranging interests, sense of homour and emotional stability.

          Torrence E.P.(1965) replicated this work eight times and on seven occasions shows similar results.

          Guilford, J.P. (1950) in his presidential address to the American Psychological Association emphasized the ‘appalling neglect of the study of creativity’ by indicating that of some 1,21,000 titles indexed in psychological abstracts from its beginning until 1950, only 186 were definitely related to the subject of creativity.

          One of the earliest investigations in the modern style into the personality and background of scientists was carried out by Rock 1952.  Twenty biologists, 22 physiologists and 22 social scientists were chosen by panel of experts in their respective fields.  Rock subjected them to long interviews covering their life history, family background, professional and recreational interests, way of thinking etc., as well as to intelligence tests and clinical personality tests which probed their inner preoccupations and attitudes to themselves and world around them, in short their personality structure.

          Graham Wallas (1956) gives 4 stages of creative process.  They are preparation, incubation, illuminatin and verification. 

          One of the striking traits by Getzels and Jackson (1959) among high school students who stand high in divergent thinking tests is a strong sense of humour. 

          Gouth (1961) Theoretical orientation, as well as original potential and general sophistication.

          Judith, L; Mc.Elvain, L.N; Grelwell and R.B.Lewing studied relationship between Creativity and Teacher Variability.  The objective of the study was to find a relation between creativity and teaching competency as well as to find other common characteristics of teachers in comparison to levels of creativity.

          Williams (1972) has proposed a model which emphasizes the following kinds of creative pupil behavior; fluent thinking, flexible thinking, original thinking, elaborate thinking, curiosity, risk taking, complexity and imagination. 

          Mac Kay (1970) used the science research temperament scale in an attempt to isolate those students who would perform better in a ‘discovery’ approach to a science course than an ‘authoritarian’ approach.

          Taft, Dewing and Gilchrist (1971) used experiences questionnaire to study people who were both highly creative and highly productive.  These people appeared to have the traits of rapidly changing states of consciousness; intense emotional responses and interests in novelty.

          Caspi (1972) devoted much effort to a process of fostering creativity in university students and initiated an alternative teacher training programmes at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.  In his programme emphasis is placed on promoting a creative teacher personality as well as providing a wide range of experiences aimed at helping the teacher towards a creative approach to his teaching in school.

          To facilitate a meaningful link between university and school, Butter (1974) developed a model merging pre-service and in-service of teacher.  The model aims to provide a learning situation conducive to openers to new experiences and ideas, including learning situation in requiring a creative approach from all participants.

           Jan Dean, Robert Brown Sarah Young (2009) studied ‘The Possum Story: Reflections of an early childhood drama Teacher’. This paper stems from the commitment of one drama teacher who was prepared to act as a researcher through her efforts to document, and communicate her beliefs and practices to others. It highlights the value of the reflective process as a way of articulating, informing and improving practice, a view supported by Taylor, who states that ‘if teachers can empower themselves to believe in their own capacity to act as researchers, if they can generate faith in their own ability to observe and reflect critically on their work, then they are capable of effecting change in their own educational setting’ (1998, p. 129).

An analysis of these reflections provides insight into the challenges faced by the drama practitioner working with a large group of young children. These include how to determine engaging and relevant child-centred content, how to stimulate the interests of all children in the developing story and cater for their needs, and how to promote creative problem-solving through open and responsive questioning.

In conclusion, this paper provides an illustrative and instructive example of practice that may stimulate others to engage in process drama experiences that respond to children’s interests and provide rich opportunities for children to create, act-out and reflect on significant emergent stories. (Jan Deans, Robert Brown, Sarah Young, University of Melborne, ‘The Possum Stody: Reflections of an early Childhood Drama Teacher’, Australian Journal of Early Child, 2009 (Online Publication).

John P.Myers (2007) Studied ‘Democratizing School Authority: Brazilian Teachers’ Perceptions of the election of principals’.  The objective of the study is the idea of collective decision making in schools has been a popular democratic educational reform model. One of its claims is that participation in school decision making empowers teachers and improves teaching. This research investigates this claim by exploring seven teachers’ experiences with a unique democratic school reform in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the election of principals by teachers, students, parents, and staff. Results showed that the elections reshaped the school authority relations, resulting in greater freedom for teachers to introduce democratic teaching methods, while articulating the school as a democratic institution and teachers as citizens. (John P.Myers, University of Pittsburgh, USA, ‘Democratizing School Authority: Brazilian Teachers’ Perceptions of the election of Principals’, Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education, USA, Volume 24, Issue 4, Pp.952 – 966, May, 2008).

Julie White (2008) studied ‘Sustainable Pedagogy: A Research Narrative about performativity, Teachers and possibility’.  This study disclosed that mostly theoretical paper explores an emerging conceptualization of ‘sustainable pedagogy’.  The development of this concept has drawn upon sustainability education, three interpretations of performativity as well as key concepts of professionalism and creativity.  Sustainable pedagogy involves not only acknowledgement of self and subjectivity, but professional philosophy and classroom practice that keeps fidelity with philosophy and identity.  Importantly, sustainable pedagogy also involves building and sustaining professional community.  Through its inception, an attempt is made to demonstrated that thearers’ work required nourishment and strength and that sustainable pedagogy affords a richer and more complex understanding of teacher identity and professionalism, and that creativity might provide a suitable antidote to the performtivity that unfortunately currently forms much of the broader educational landscape within Australia (Julie White, La Trobe University, Australia, ‘Sustainable Pedagogy: A Research Narrative about Performativity, Teachers and Possibility’, Journal of the International Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 2008 – TCI-On Line Publication)

Panagiotis Kampylis and others (2009) studied ‘In-service and Prospective Teachers’ Conceptions of Creativity’.  In this study the authors disclosed that Teachers play a crucial role in the development of primary school students’ creative potential in either a positive or a negative way. This paper aims to draw attention to in-service and prospective teachers’ conceptions of creativity and answer three main research questions: “What are the teachers’ conceptions and implicit theories of creativity in general?”, “What are the teachers’ conceptions and implicit theories of creativity in the context of primary education?”, and “How well-trained and equipped do teachers feel to play their key role in the development of students’ creative potential?” A self-report questionnaire was used as an instrument to gather qualitative and quantitative data from 132 Greek in-service and prospective teachers. According to the selected quantitative data we present in this study, the majority of the participants reported that the facilitation of students’ creativity is included in the teachers’ role, but they (teachers themselves) do not feel well-trained and confident enough to realise this particular expectation. The authors conclude that further research is needed in order to: (i) reveal more on teachers’ conceptions on creativity and (ii) understand and classify teachers’ particular needs to facilitate the creative potential of primary school students. (Panagiotis Kampylis, Eleni Berki and Pertti Saariluoma of University of Tampere, ‘In-Service and Prospective Teachers’ Conceptions of Creativity’, Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity, Finland, Vol.4, Issue 1, Pp.15 – 29, April, 2009 – On-Line Journal).

Kaoru Yamamoto (2005) studied ‘Creativity and Higher Education : A Review’.  The author studied that Abstract  Some recent literature is reviewed to argue that institutions of higher education have made little adjustments to either their admission practices or their curricula to help nurture varied talents among their students. Diversity seems to be lacking throughout the academic community from the undergraduate level to the professional circles. The need for renewed spirit of experimentation and of tolerance of pluralism is pointed out. (Kaoru Yamamoto, Arizona State University, USA, ‘Creativity and Higher Education: A Review’, Journal of Higher Education, ISSN: 1573-174X (Online), Pp.213-225, 2005).

Linda Reichwein Zientek and others (2008) studied ‘Reporting Practices in Quantitative Teacher Education Research: One Look at the Evidence Cited in the AERA Panel Report.  The authors of this article examine the analytic and reporting features of research articles cited in Studying Teacher Education: The Report of the AERA Panel on Research and Teacher Education (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005) that used quantitative reporting practices. Their purpose was to help to identify reporting practices that can be improved to further the creation of the best possible evidence base for teacher education. Their findings indicate that many study reports lack (a) effect sizes, (b) confidence intervals, and (c) reliability and validity coefficients. One possible solution is for journal editors to emphasize clearly the expectations established in Standards for Reporting on Empirical Social Science Research in AERA Publications -AERA, 2006. (Linda Reichwein Zientek, Mary Margaret Capraro and Robert M.Capraro, Houston State University, Texas, Journal of Educational Research, Texas, Vol.37, No.4, Pp.208-216, 2008).

Creativity Studies in India:

          Baquer Mehdi (1970) devised a battery of tests to identify creative talent in the primary and middle school stages.  The battery consists of verbal as well as non-verbal tests of creative thinking.

          Passi (1972) developed a battery of creativity tests for higher secondary school children.  The battery consists of verbal and non-verbal tests.

          Kaul (1974) developed a test of creativity for children of 14 – 16 years age group.  Ramachandra Chari (1975) developed a test to identify creative children at the school leaving age.  The sub-tests included in (1) Fluency, (2) Flexibility (3) Originality and (4) Elaboration.  Khine (1971) found that the aspect of creativity such as fluency, flexibility, originality of thinking and elaboration remain closer to one another.

          Sharma (1971) used the factorial design to study the effect of intelligence selected interests and the socio-culture variables on creativity.  His findings revealed that for both rural and urban boys creative thinking showed progressive trends with intelligence.

          Goyal (1974) focused his study on the personality correlates of creativity in secondary school teachers under training.  Findings suggest that highly creative persons do not enter teachers training colleges and highly flexible teacher trainees appear to be more guilt prone and less imaginative. 

Joshi (1974) in his study of the intellectually gifted students found that giftedness was an effective contribution to all types of creativity scores.

Gakhar (1975) observed that 1. Creativity and Intelligences are two distinguishable modes of the same intellectual functioning; (2) Personality traits of self-acceptance and self-sufficiency were distinguishing characteristics of girls high on non-verbal creativity.

Jha (1975) probed into the personality profiles of thirty five creative persons, using the centric method, he discovered four factors.  The main factor reflected national optimism, high ego strength, realistic and healthy attitude towards life, and openness to experience, assertive, self-confidence and tendency for self-actualization.

Aaron P.G., Marihal, V.G. and Maltesha A.N. (1969) in their study aimed at finding the significant differences between rural and urban high school pupils of the same socio-economic status do not differ from each other in their educational level, attitudes, creativity and other personality characteristics.  The results indicated that there is no significant difference between creativity scores of rural and urban boys.

Deshmukh (1979) in his study the major findings were generally girls performed better than boys on creativity measures indicating significant sex differences in creativity.  There was moderate positive relationship between creativity and intelligence for various creativity factors.

Singh O.P. (1982), the main findings of his study were (1) the mean creativity score of the urban students was high than that of the rural students; (2) the mean score of science students was higher than that of arts students.

Saxena’s (1972) attempt has been to discover the differences between the over and under achievers with respect to their interests, need patterns, adjustment problems, study habits and personal and other background factors.  Another group of studies has explored the relationship of intelligence, creativity, interest, neuroticism and extraversion with scholastic achievement.

Choudhry (Abstract:1085, III Survey Report, 1983) studied ‘A Study of the Relationship between the Creative Thinking Abilities of Student-Teachers and their Classroom Verbal Behaviour’.  The objectives of the study were: (1) to study the current classroom practices of teacher-trainees and to compare them with established norms; (2) to study the relationship between verbal creative thinking abilities and figural creative thinking abilities; (3) to study the relationship between verbal creative thinking abilities of teacher-trainees and their verbal classroom behavior; (4) to study the relationship between figural creative thinking abilities of teacher-trainees and their verbal classroom behavior, and (5) to predict classroom behavior on the basis of creative thinking abilities, both verbal and figural together.

Some of the important findings drawn that (1) the verbal creative thinking abilities of the teacher-trainees were positively correlated with their figural creative thinking abilities; (2) there was significant relationship between the creative thinking abilities and some of the indices of the classroom verbal behavior; the pattern of relationship between figural creative thinking abilities and the classroom behavior was the same as that between the verbal creative thinking abilities and the classroom behavior; (3) high creative teachers increased pupil’s freedom to participate by praising, accepting and developing their ideas; (4) high creative teachers processed the content and talked more at convergent, divergent and evaluative levels and less at the factual level; (5) in the classes of high creative teachers, pupils also talked less at factual and more at convergent and divergent levels.

Nirpharake, A. (Abstract:1189, III Survey Report, 1983) investigated into ‘Training in Creative Appreciation’.  The major purpose of the investigation was to develop and try out a training programme in creative appreciation.  Creative appreciation was defined as recreating the artist’s vision, involving evaluation against the criteria of relevance, effectiveness and originality.  The investigator developed a special training programme and tried out efficacy in developing creative appreciation.  The major findings of the investigation were: (i) The experimental group showed marked improvement in all aspects of creativity after receiving training over the control group as well as over its own pretest scores.  The control group did not show any significant improvement over its pretest scores.  (ii) Training in creative appreciation was especially effective educationally because it could be adapted to various classroom situations by teachers of languages and fine arts, without having to marshall any extra techniques of creative teaching.

 Research (V – Survey of Educational Research, Vol.I, 1988-92) made on relationship between figural creative thinking of the classroom (Choudhary, S.1989); role enactment of home science teachers in teaching, research and extensions for improving the quality of teachers’ performance in these areas (Pande, M. and Chandra, A. 1992); attitude of teachers towards creative learning and teaching in relation to variables like teaching experience, academic discipline, etc. (Mathur, S. 1988);

Professional Competency – Studies Abroad:

Greg Hearn and others (1996) studied ‘Defining Generic Professional Competencies in Australia: Towards a Framework for Professional Development’.  This study examines the extent to which there are competencies which are generic to professions in Australia. The seven professions of accountancy, architecture, human resource management, marketing, social work, and teaching from around Australia were surveyed using an 80-item questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed by reviewing the literature on professional competencies; work-shopping with representatives of the professional groups with nominal group technique and small group discussion; and using a preliminary study of individuals in four professional groups. A factor analysis, accounting for 51.9 percent of the total variance, extracted nine factors: Problem-solving, Others Orientation, Professional Involvement, Internal Frame of Reference, Emotional Competence, Influencing, Organizational Knowledge, Productivity, and Client Orientation. This study discusses the implications of these results for the education of professionals, for human resource managers involved in the selection, training and development of professionals, and for the transition of professionals to managers. These issues are of increasing importance to human resource managers in their role as developers of organizational capability. (Greg Hearn, Anna Close, Barry Smith and Greg Southey, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, Vol.34, No.1, Pp.44 – 62, 1996).

Robin Jones (1996) studied ‘The Professional Competencies movement and special Education’.  The author disclosed that the teacher competencies movement in Australia is part of the larger national movement which is concerned about competencies statements for all trades and professions. Special educators are not exempt so that professional competencies statements or lists either are, or will be, developed for this profession. In the formulation process several issues and challenges will need to be addressed: the definition of the term “competencies”; the question of generic versus lists re specific disabilities; the purpose(s) of these lists; their dangers and benefits. We would do well to consider these issues now. We should also consider whether such lists or statements can encapsulate the essence of what good special education teaching is about. (Robin, Jone, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Published by Australian Journal of Special Education, Australia, Vol.20, Issue 1, Pp.40 – 48, 1996).

Malm, Birgitte, Lofgren and Horst (2006) In this study, data show that students perceive teacher competence as an integrated whole. Positive evaluations in various areas are highly correlated. However, seven specific teacher competences could be identified. This study has also identified that there are often big differences between classes with regard to teaching and students’ achievement. This study also shows differences between classes in respect of attitudes, self-confidence, conflict handling strategies and teacher competence. Of these, the biggest differences were found to be those related to the seven components of teacher competence.  In testing a causal model we have been able to show that there are high correlations between teacher competence, school attitudes and self-confidence, and that these three factors are significantly related to students’ ways of handling conflict situations (Malm, Birgitte, Lofgren and Horst, ‘Teacher Competency and Students’ Conflict handling strategies’, Research in Education, Australia, November, 2006)

Burriss, Kathleen and Burriss, Larry (2004) studied ‘Competency and Comfort: Teacher Candidates’ Attitudes toward Diversity’. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe teacher candidates’ perceived levels of competency and comfort in teaching diverse student populations. For three semesters, teacher candidates (n = 221) volunteered to complete questionnaires at the beginning of their professional education courses. A second group (n = 242) completed questionnaires as they exited student teaching. Although the majority of teacher candidates have limited professional and life experiences, findings indicate both groups feel both competent and comfortable interacting with diverse populations. (Burriss, Kathleen and Burriss, Larry, ‘Competency and Comfort: Teacher Candidates’ Attitudes toward Diversity’, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, Washington, USA, April 1, 2004).

Moberly, Deborah A.; Conway, Kathleen D.; Girardeau, Cape; Ransdell, Mary (2002) studied ‘Helping Teacher candidates become reflective about their practice (Teacher Educator/Professional Standards)’.  The study disclosed that while teacher education traditionally has focused on curriculum and instruction, assessment and accountability have become just as important. Teacher candidates must be able to document their knowledge and skills, in order to meet state and national teaching standards. Through this documentation process, teacher candidates reflect upon the products of their teaching and learning. Artifacts may range from teaching portfolios, videotapes, creative projects, and conferences, to exams and papers. Reflecting and writing about these artifacts is now a critical developmental process for teacher candidates. (Moberly, Deborah A.; Conway, Kathleen D.; Girardeau, Cape; Ransdell, Mary ,’Helping Teacher candidates become reflective about their practice (Teacher Educator/Professional Standards’, Childhood Education Magazine,New York, Kentakey, USA, March 22, 2002).

Gretchen Mc.Allister and Jacqueline Jordan Irvine (2000) studied ‘Cross Cultural Competency Multicultural Teacher Education’.  The text of the article disclosed that Teachers require support as they face the challenge of effectively teaching diverse students in their classrooms. Teacher-educators have used various methods to foster change in teachers’ thinking, attitudes, and behaviors regarding cultural diversity, but these efforts have produced mixed results because they often focused on content rather the process of cross-cultural learning. The purpose of this review is to examine three process-oriented models that have been used to describe and measure the development of racial identity and cross-cultural competence. These models include Helm’s model of racial identity development, Banks’s Typology of Ethnicity, and Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. Research using the models revealed insights for multicultural teacher education in assessing readiness to learn, designing effective learning opportunities, and providing appropriate support and challenge for teachers. (Gretchen McAllister and Jacqueline Jordan Irvine, ‘Cross Cultural Competency and Multicultural Teacher Education’, Review of Educational Research, USA, Vol.70, No.1, Pp.3-24, 2000)

Denise Trento De Souza (2008) studied ‘Teacher Professional Development and the Argument of Incompetence’.  According to Author that this work proposes that since the early eighties a specific strategy has gained increasing importance within official Education Programmes in São Paulo (Brazil) addressed to deal with the high rates of pupil repetition and dropout: the concentration on teachers professional development. We argue that this strategy is based on the idea of teacher’s incompetence as the main explanation for educational problems. This idea pervades both the conceptions of the programmes and their proposed actions and practices. The idea of teacher’s incompetence is present in the mainstream literature, and in the formulation and implementation of official Education Programmes, namely Basic Cycle (CB), Basic Cycle in a Single Shift (CB-JU) and Quality School (EP) undertaken by the São Paulo State Secretariat for Education (SSE). This paper presents some details of the fieldwork carried out in the research project on the theme of Teacher Professional Development (TPD), presented as my PhD thesis. It also presents the main conclusions of that work. The fieldwork was based on a qualitative research method in which the perceptions, expectations, and interrelations of the involved teachers, course monitors and policy makers were extracted from a number of interviews and observations. Our analysis demonstrates the presence of what we identify as the “argument of incompetence”. It takes on different forms according to the context and to the group of the individuals involved in the activities of TPD. The core of the “argument of incompetence” follows a linear logic: “we do not have a good quality school only because we lack teachers of professional competence”. The “argument of incompetence” not only undermines the relations among the main participating agents in teacher professional development, namely, policy makers, course monitors and teachers, but it also promotes a mistaken way of thinking about teacher professional development. Mistaken and simplistic as it promotes a conception of TPD that overestimates its possibilities of dealing with chronic and broader issues of low quality of Brazilian Basic Education without taking the necessary action regarding other vital elements such as suitable conditions of work in schools and teacher’s career development.(Denise Trento De Souza, Brazil – Online: www.wwwords.co.uk/EERJ/content/pdfs/6/issue6 3.asp).

David Carr (2006) studied ‘Is Understanding the Professional Knowledge of Teachers a Theory-Practice Problem?  In this study the currently fashionable professional ideal of reflective practice has focused on how good teaching might be informed by theoretical (invariably social scientific) enquiry and has been commonly construed as a matter of the effective application of theory. This paper rejects techniques assumptions underpinning the idea of applied theory, tracing them to confusion between two different sorts of practical deliberation, prognosis and techno. Understanding professional reflection primarily in term of prognosis calls into doubt both the precise role of genuine theoretical studies in professional reflection and the very status as theoretical of the sort of the principled understanding and deliberation required for the wise conduct of education.  (David Carr, Heriot-Watt University, Great Britain, Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol.29, Issue 3, Pp.311 – 331, 2006)

Darrell M.Hull & Terrill F.Saxon (2009) studied ‘Negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge: An experimental analysis of asynchronous online instruction’.  According to the authors that Variations in group co-construction of knowledge and the extent to which participants engaged in negotiating meaning were directly related to instruction. The authors examined social interaction resulting from controlled variation in instruction using a counter-balanced design in two professional development courses for teachers. Both courses were held at the same time, included the same content with the same instructor, and were held in an asynchronous online format. Twenty-four subjects were randomly assigned to the two courses. Using socio-historical constructivist theory to guide instruction interventions, instruction frequency and questioning were intentionally manipulated during one-half of each course. The variations in instruction were hypothesized to promote negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge within both groups. Transcript analysis using a dependent measure of social interaction was applied to the 782 utterances of the participants. Multiple comparisons revealed significant differences in the dependent measure in portions of the course where modified instructional strategies were implemented. The results show that relatively simple alterations in instructional practice (e.g., increasing instructional statements from once to twice per week and engaging participants in dialogue through open-ended questioning) yields a substantially enhanced learning outcome within this environment. Strong evidence suggests that online learning groups depend heavily on instruction to facilitate negotiation of meaning and co-construction of knowledge. This research raises concerns about whether or not instructors employ instructional strategies that influence social knowledge construction and subsequent learning outcomes from asynchronous online courses. In addition, the study demonstrates the utility of a previously published measure for social interaction in CMC. (Darrell M.Hull, University of North Texas & Terrill F.Saxon, Baylor University, USA, Source: Computers & Education, Vol.52, Issue 3, Pp.624 – 639, ISSN: 0360-1315, Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd., UK, 2009).

Compton, Lily, K.L. (2009) studied ‘Preparing Language Teachers to Teach Language Online: A look at Skills, Roles, and Responsibilities’.  This paper reviews and critiques an existing skills framework for online language teaching. This critique is followed by an alternative framework for online language teaching skills. This paper also uses a systems view to look at the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in an online learning system. Four major recommendations are provided to help language teacher training programs prepare future language teachers for online language teaching. (Compton, Lily, K.L., ‘Preparing Language Teachers to Teach Language Online: A look at Skills, Roles, and Responsibilities’, Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning, Vol.22, No.1, Pp.73 – 99, -2009, Online Publication by Educational Journal – 824747).

Professional Competency – Studies in India:

          Professional Competency, though quite receipt in origin with astonishing rapidity has become almost a catch word.  As the previous investigations are meager the present investigation cannot place many researches here at this juncture.

          Kaul, S. (1977) studied ‘Personality factors, Values and Interests among the most accepted and least accepted Secondary School Female Teaches of Mathura District’. The main objectives of the study were – (a) to construct a Teacher Acceptance Scale; (b) to identify Personality factors that differentiated between most accepted and low accepted teachers at Secondary School level; (c) to identify the Values that differentiated most accepted teachers from less accepted teachers; (d) to study the interests that differentiated most accepted teachers from least accepted teachers; (e) to interpret and analyze personality factors, value and interests, which were not common in the most accepted and less accepted teachers.  The findings of the study were: (1) more outgoingness denoted group acceptance. Reservedness promoted group acceptance.  Intelligence promoted group acceptance.  Assertiveness denoted acceptance.  The more conscious, more tender minded and more related were better accepted by their class students; (2) Craft pursuit denoted acceptance.  Interest in the fine arts, science, medicine, agriculture, the outdoors, sports, literatu


Source by n.v.s.suryanarayana
n.v.s.suryanarayana

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