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Teacher-as-bricoleur : implications for teacher education

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Reyna ZipfReyna Zipf, Roberta HarreveldRoberta Harreveld
This paper discusses how teacher education programs can provide pre-service teachers with the skills to capitalise on spontaneous opportunities that arise during classroom teaching to promote student creativity. Creativity is believed to be a key part of the nature of science and as such nurturing creative thinking is central to secondary science education. Yet studies repeatedly show the science education provided to secondary school students is more akin to the deficit model, typically utilising transmissionist pedagogies. This study found a teacher-as-bricoleur approach enabled secondary science teachers to respond to serendipitous and spontaneous events that occurred when teaching in a way that enhanced learning and promoted opportunities for creative thinking by the students. The research was essentially a case study that employed the analysis techniques of grounded theory and drew from phenomenology the focus on the phenomenon. Data were collected from ten secondary science teachers and the essence of how these teachers nurtured and promoted student creative thinking was distilled using the techniques of constant comparison and reflexivity. Pedagogies that capitalised on spontaneous and serendipitous opportunities to promote creative thinking involved not following a set way or step-by-step process. The study also highlighted that opportunities for students to think creatively depended on the teacher. Effective teacher education programs will need to focus on equipping pre-service teachers with the skills to recognise opportunities to engage students in creative thinking, and then adapt the intended lesson to capitalise on the opportunity.


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Knowledge makers and notice takers : teacher education research impacting policy and practice, the Australian Teacher Education (ATEA) 2013 conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, 30 June-3 July 2013.

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Brisbane, Qld.



Place of Publication

Brisbane, Qld

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC); School of Education and the Arts (2013- );

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australian Teacher Education Association. Conference