Music teachers' stories about fostering the development of creative attributes in elementary students
Blute, Christie Jo
MetadataShow full item record
In recent history, the desire for an internationally competitive economy has driven education policy and reform. Creativity has become a signifier for innovative growth in global economies. As a result, creators of recent international education policies expect teachers to develop creative attributes in students. Tensions can exist when writers of educational policy encourage teachers to develop creative attributes in students while enacting other policies that subject teachers to high stakes accountability. The purpose of this study was to explore how two of my colleagues and I engaged students in creative activities while we were implementing the National Core Arts Standards for the first time in elementary music classrooms. Using Burnard’s adaptation of Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model of creativity as a conceptual framework and narrative inquiry as the approach, I sought to determine (a) what choices we made to provide creative opportunities for students when implementing the National Core Arts Standards in the elementary music classroom, (b) what choices we made to allow students to engage in risk-taking and flexible thinking with agency and relevancy, and (c) how we provided students with opportunities to engage in collaboration and use technology while engaging in creative activities. My colleagues and I shared that we engaged all grade levels in agency and flexible thinking in nearly all the lessons we taught throughout the year, and provided many lessons relevant to students’ lives outside of school, other subjects, and other music lessons. We found that we provided many opportunities for students to collaborate with other students in the classroom. However, we realized that due to the many roles we were involved with at our sites, we did not have the resources necessary to provide opportunities for students to collaborate with people outside of the classroom either in person or through technology. We also felt that we did not have time to plan to provide creative opportunities for students while they were preparing for their grade-level performances. To provide these opportunities for students, teachers may need to emphasize the benefits of the creative process to parents, administrators, and students, and devote planning time to developing collaborative lessons.