Grainger, Teresa; Craft, Anna and Burnard, Pamela
Examining possibility thinking in action in early years settings.
In: Imaginative Education Research Symposium, 12 - 15 July 2006, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Whilst the existence of 'possibility thinking' has been acknowledged in some of the educational research literature on creativity in the UK (e.g. Craft, 2001; Craft and Jeffrey, 2004), as yet its role, as manifest in the pedagogical strategies of teachers and learning engagement of young children, has not been fully illuminated. It has been conceptualised as being core to creative learning (Jeffrey, 2005) and could be seen as representing an articulation of the 'being imaginative' part of the current policy framework for creativity in England (QCA, 2005a). Drawing on existing work in this area, this research project sought to identify and analyse what characterises possibility thinking in young children's creative learning and in the pedagogies of practitioners in the early years. In addition, the project aimed to develop innovative methodological ways of identifying and recording the existence of possibility thinking in teacher pedagogies and the learning experience of young children. The research team, comprised staff in an early childhood centre, in an infant school and in a primary school, all of whom worked collaboratively as co-participant researchers with the three university-based researchers. The 12-month long study posed considerable challenges for the team who worked to capture the complex interplay between learning and pedagogy making use of video stimulated review, observation and micro event analysis in the process. This paper shares the conceptual frameworks created, the key insights developed thus far and reflects upon the complexity involved. The team aimed to provide an informative analysis in relation to possibility thinking that would resonate with the everyday experiential evidence of other early years practitioners and would extend both theoretical and practical understanding of possibility thinking in action.
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