Do teachers love or hate creative students?



It’s a lot closer to hate. Hat tip: PsyBlog:

Two studies were conducted to examine teachers’ perceptions of creative students. Study 1 was based on earlier works that identified personality characteristics associated with creativity. The prototypicality of these characteristics as they applied to creative children was rated by college students. Elementary school teachers were then asked to rate their favorite and least favorite students based on these characteristics, There was a significant difference between the teachers’ judgments of their favorite and least favorite students on these measures. Judgments for the favorite student were negatively correlated with creativity; judgments for the least favorite student were positively correlated with creativity. Students displaying creative characteristics appear to be unappealing to teachers. Study 2 explored the conflict between the results of Study 1 and teachers’ self-reports that they enjoy working with creative children. Teachers’ concepts of creativity were different from concepts that have guided previous research. In a reanalysis of data from Study 1 employing the teacher-generated creativity prototype, there was a tendency (though nonsignificant) for the favorite students to be more similar to the creative prototype than the least favorite students. Areas of divergence in concepts of creativity and the implications for the promotion of creativity in education are discussed.

Source: “Creativity: Asset or Burden in the Classroom?” from Creativity Research Journal, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1995

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