Towards an understanding of creativity in Music Education : A qualitative exploration of data from English Secondary schools
Adopting a qualitative approach, videotaped extracts of lessons on composition and improvisation with pupils aged 11-14 were used as a basis for discussion during in-depth interviews with six teachers. The investigation was divided into four stages: (1) examination of the meanings attached to the word “creativity” and review of previous studies, after which a four-fold framework for researching teachers’ perception of creativity in music education was put forward (Pupil-Environment-Process-Product); (2) discussion of the methodological assumptions underpinning the research, including issues relating to data collection and analysis; (3) examination of findings, and (4) implications. Two of the three original research questions are considered in this paper focusing on (a) how participants characterized creativity in their discourse, and (b) the differences of their perceptions compared with the literature. Twenty-eight categories and subcategories that complemented the four-fold framework emerged from the analysis of the interviews. Some of the categories and their educational implications are discussed with reference to the framework and the above research questions. The findings show that these teachers’ comments on practical issues, such as the pupils’ different learning styles and the problems related to under-resourced music departments, are to be rarely found in the music education literature.