We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Engaging Children in Question Asking for Problem Finding to Encourage Creative Thinking in Primary School Science Teaching

ABRAHAM, PRATHIBHA,SUSAN (2023) Engaging Children in Question Asking for Problem Finding to Encourage Creative Thinking in Primary School Science Teaching. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

[img]PDF - Accepted Version


Encouraging creative thinking is considered as the general function of education (NACCCE, 1999) and one of the aims under the national curriculum of England (DfEE/QCA, 1999). Though creative thinking is a broad term, in science it is seen as finding solutions to problems(D. P. Newton, 2010).Scientific enquiry is a creative process, commonly beginning with a question or problem, then generating a tentative answer or solution, and testing it. Generally teachers provide ready-made questions or problems for children to solve. If children themselves can find scientific problems or questions to solve in the classroom, then learning would be more engaging as it generates interest and motivation.

A review of existing literature on creativity in education focusing on its least recognised aspect, problem finding, revealed the potential for children's questions, particularly wonderment questions in encouraging deep thinking. Some studies recognised the scarcity of children's questions especially explanatory questions and questions that leads to investigations in the primary school science classroom. Therefore, the study sets out to explore strategies to stimulate children to raise questions with the potential to become problems to solve in science.
The study employed mixed methods using a descriptive questionnaire survey, classroom observations, short interviews, content analysis and controlled interventions with children to collect data. The sample included teachers, student teachers and Key Stage Two primary school children. It used phenomenography to analyse the data and derive useful conclusions thereby following an interpretivist approach.

A theory explaining the complex process of question asking which involves the construction and articulation of descriptive and causal mental models of situations emerged from the study. Several factors are suggested which influence and order the process, especially the situation or stimulus, the teaching and learning environment, and the attributes of the child. It takes time to produce questions which could lead to scientific enquiry and it needs teaching skill to provide effective opportunities for children to ask questions, and help them put them into a suitable form.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:scientific creative thinking, problem solving, problem finding, question asking
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Jan 2023 16:38

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter