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Title: 'I disagree with myself!' :creative thinking in a Key Stage 1 community of enquiry
Authors: Jones-Teuben, Hanneke Maria
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: In this study I have combined elements from the fields of creativity (Craft, 2002) and dialogic pedagogy (Wegerif, 2010) to explore to what extent creative thinking was developed in a series of Community of Enquiry sessions (Higgins et al., 2001; Lipman, 2003) held with a class of 19 children, aged five to seven. The procedures of this Community of Enquiry were based on Lipman’s (2003) Philosophy for Children programme, although the aim of the sessions was to encourage dialogue and thinking skills in a wider sense rather than engagement with ‘recognisably philosophical’ (Gregory, 2007: 60) issues. The data, which mainly consist of the transcripts from 17 Enquiry sessions and field notes, were gathered while I was working with this class as both the class teacher and Community of Enquiry facilitator. Using a case-study approach and an interpretivist framework (Thomas, 2009), I carried out two complementary types of discourse analysis. In the first analysis, based on a Grounded Theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008) approach, I categorised all 541 pupil contributions according to degrees of perceived creative thinking and other relevant elements, such as responsiveness to previous comments. In the second analysis, based on Conversation Analysis methods (ten Have, 2007), I investigated within eight of the enquiries how interactive processes, including those involving myself, related to elements of pupils’ creative thinking. Among the findings were a general rise in the quality of creative thinking as well as in the quantity and sophistication of pupil interaction. Evidence was found that the ability to disagree was a new form of expression for the pupils, whereas both collaboration and the opportunity to express disagreement were found to correlate with creative thinking categories. Processes were also identified in which ideas which had initially appeared to have been generated by individual children were, in fact, socially constructed. However, using a sociocultural perspective (Wells, 1999), relatively large power differences within this Community of Enquiry were also identified, and in six mini-case studies the Community of Enquiry was found to be an easier forum for the expression of creative thinking for some pupils than for others (Lefstein, 2006). I also explored some of the complexities related to facilitating this Community of Enquiry. My conclusions include implications for theory, practice, policy and research.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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