A creative cocktail: creative teaching in initial teacher education

Grainger, Teresa; Barnes, Jonathon and Scoffham, Stephen (2004). A creative cocktail: creative teaching in initial teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy, 30(3) pp. 243–253.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0260747042000309475


Despite government rhetoric, higher education lecturers and schoolteachers in the UK remain under pressure to focus on standards and measurement in the core curriculum at the relative expense of a wider and more creative education. This article argues that the balance needs redressing and explores the nature of creative teaching in the context of initial teacher education. It reports an investigation into creative teaching, undertaken through peer review and analysis of sessions in geography, music and English. Students' responses were collected and interviews conducted. The sessions were examined in relation to content, teaching style and student experience, from which common themes were then identified. These themes included: contextualisation; using metaphor; style and pace of delivery; tutor confidence and ability to inspire; valuing students; emotional engagement; and challenging students to reflect upon their own learning. It is suggested that creative teaching is a complex and invigorating cocktail. The ingredients of the cocktail can be identified and may be taught, but much depends upon the vigour of the mixing and the individual experiences of those who attend each 'cocktail party'.

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