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Developing technical creativity in 8th and 9th grade elementary school pupils using inquiry-based learning

Tamara Jensterle (2017) Developing technical creativity in 8th and 9th grade elementary school pupils using inquiry-based learning. MSc thesis.

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    In this master thesis we discuss the adequacy and successfulness of the inquiry-based learning method for developing technical creativity in the design and technology classes in primary school. In the theoretical part of the thesis we researched the concepts like creativity, technical creativity, inquiry-based learning and pupils’ attitude towards technology. We connected the concepts of creativity and attitude towards technology. The aim of our work was to discover whether the inquiry-based learning on the topics of optimizing water and wind turbines which were lectured on different levels of inquiry-based learning and with different teacher participation had an effect on the technical creativity and how. We used the quantitative approach of empirical experimental pedagogical research method; 154 pupils in 8th and 9th grade from five primary schools in the academic year 2015/16 participated in the research. The pupils actively participated in two different levels/genres of inquiry-based learning which are the most suitable for primary schools, that is structured and oriented learning with inquiry. To assess the pupils’ attitude and experience in design and technology we used a non-standard questionnaire “Design and me” while we tested creative thinking with a standard test with drawing TCT-DP. The standard test of creative thinking with drawing was carried out as a pre- and post-test; while the “Design and me” was a one-time test. Based on the findings we judged that the design days at school with different levels/genres of inquiry-based learning help increasing technical creativity. The bigger contribution to creativity was from the workshop Optimizing wind turbines where the pupils were only oriented towards the problems while the pupils in the workshop Optimizing water turbines were given more structure and more teacher participation. The pupils scored in the pre-test on average 24.18 points from 78, while they improved on the post-test to 27.87 points. These values are comparable with the so-far measured achievements of the Slovene pupils from 8th and 9th grades. The effect of the workshops of the directed inquiry-based learning is statistically meaningful (α <0.05) and valued as moderate (Cohen d = 0.54). In general, the pupils’ attitude towards design and technology is average on the scale with the medium value 2.5. We also established that the positive attitude towards design and technology contributes to developing technical creativity. The interest in design and technology is especially important since it has a strong predictive value on increase of technical creativity (α = 0.01, β = 0.33) and shows that it is necessary to maintain motivation during inquiry-based learning and the second important factor of the relationship, being aware of the consequences of design and technology, also statistically meaningfully predict the increase of technical creativity (α = 0.02, β = 0.21). The research showed that a creative teacher and his/her participation is not enough for an effective development of technical creativity with pupils; while the appropriately designed active forms of learning can be an appropriate lever for pupils’ creativity, especially with modern and up-to-date contents of the wide area of technologies and a stimulative learning environment.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: design and technology, inquiry-based learning, technical creativity, pupils attitudes towards technology, testing creative thinking with drawing
    Number of Pages: 99
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Stanislav AvsecMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11545929)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4464
    Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 11:28
    Last Modified: 22 May 2017 11:28
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4464

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