Agricultural Teacher Creativity: An examination of agricultural teachers' creative identity and creative behaviors
Identity development is not a subject formally covered in coursework or professional development, but it is still important. Identity is used to determine behavior and actions as well as to set goals. Our identities shape who we are and what we do. If I identify as creative then I am more likely to practice creative behavior as well as set goals that include creativity.
With the day to day problems we face as a society grow in number as well as in level of difficulty, creative solutions are needed. However, often we hear "you're not creative" or say "I'm not creative." These words are said because our creative identity is not active nor is it developmentally supported. Understanding the development of creative identity and the behaviors that demonstrate creativity level can help develop creative problem-solving skills and practices.
I found that generally, agricultural teachers find they are creative whether their creative score indicates a strong creative ability or not. I found that for teachers to feel their administrators and peers view them as creative they must hear words of affirmation; however, a teacher uses clues from student actions of engagement or questions to feel that their students view them as creative. I found that teachers credit mentors, peer teachers, books, and professional development with how they define and act creatively within their classrooms. I found that the predominant creative behaviors were storytelling, movement, colorfulness, and fantasy.
These findings indicate the need to develop a teacher's creative identity by purposefully designed professional development. We should also begin to recognize creativity and verbally acknowledge creativity when observed. Teacher preparation programs should include creative mentors and books that further develop instructional creative behaviors that were observed. The behaviors that appeared the least should also continue to be developed.