The Open UniversitySkip to content

Documenting ‘possibility thinking': a journey of collaborative enquiry

Burnard, Pamela; Craft, Anna; Cremin, Teresa; Duffy, Bernadette; Hanson, Ruth; Keene, Jean; Haynes, Lindsay and Burns, Dawn (2006). Documenting ‘possibility thinking': a journey of collaborative enquiry. International Journal of Early Years Education, 14(3) pp. 243–262.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (149kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Drawing on existing work in the area of creativity and early year’s education, this paper maps the process of an exploratory study which sought to identify what characterizes ‘possibility thinking’ as an aspect of creativity in young children’s learning. With the aim of developing a framework for identifying ‘possibility thinking’ in the contexts of three early years settings, the authors explore key tenets of a model for conceptualizing (and rethinking) ‘possibility thinking’ and attempt to reconcile some of the methodological challenges inherent in documenting this aspect of creativity in early years contexts. With the co-participation of five early years teachers as researchers, three university based researchers worked collaboratively over the three phase development of the project. With the emphasis on mapping the developing conceptualizations of ‘possibility thinking’ and the appropriateness of multimodal methods in naturalistic inquiry, the research team, explicate, and argue the need for sharing methodological approaches in researching young children’s thinking. The data arising from this research provides powerful insights into the characteristics of ‘possibility thinking’ which most successfully promote creativity and the authors conclude with a consideration of the implications for future research, practice and practitioner research in early years contexts.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2006 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0966-9760
Keywords: 'possibility thinking’; creative learning; methodology; collaborative enquiry
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport > Education
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
Item ID: 6546
Depositing User: Anna Craft
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 21:48
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU