Strangely familiar: cross-curricular and creative thinking in teacher education

J. Barnes, I. Shirley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This article is a summary of a cross-Arts, action research project in primary teacher education. The Higher Education ARTS and Schools (HEARTS) project aimed at attitude and pedagogical change amongst teacher education students. The researchers chose to explore the effects and effectiveness of the Arts in making meaning and relevance for both children and university students. The project used challenging, outdoor experiences shared equally by students and pupils in an attempt to generate creative thinking. The article describes the project and highlights key research findings from a meta-analysis of student research assignments and logged student reflections. It suggests that there are major challenges for teacher education, in particular to support new teachers in discovering their own areas of creativity, enhancing those of the children they teach and in becoming more confident in making their own curricular contributions. The research also revealed neglected capacity in tutor/tutor, tutor/student and student/pupil collaboration. For the Arts in schools, the project strongly suggested that the meaning-making qualities of the Arts were currently under-used and should be maximized. For schools the researched and researching students recognized the great potential of shifting the locus of control towards children and also the power of the Arts as motivators for learning across all curriculum subjects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-179
JournalImproving Schools
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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