Comparison of beginner and advanced chemistry student teachers’ perspective on creativity – does it play a role in the chemistry classroom?
Creativity has become an increasingly important competence in today's rapidly changing times. It is a central aspect of social development, but it is hardly discussed in schools and often neglected in the natural sciences. In order to promote creativity in science teaching in a targeted way, it is important to understand the perspectives and views of prospective teachers on this topic. For this purpose, a qualitative cross-sectional study was conducted with 83 German chemistry student teachers at the beginning and at the end of their study programme. We used concept maps and questionnaires to characterize changes in students’ perspective on creativity in the chemistry classroom during their course of study. The quantitative analysis of the concept maps and the content analysis of student's proposition revealed similarities and differences in students’ perspective on creativity between beginners and advanced student. All student teachers showed a diverse range of conceptions and views on creativity in general and in the context of chemistry education. Furthermore, almost all of the students had a positive attitude towards creativity and its integration in chemistry lessons. Although, there are no large differences in the perspective on creativity from beginner to advanced student teachers, subtle differences in students’ perspectives revealed that advanced students had a more sophisticated perspective on fostering creativity in students in their prospective classrooms.