Creativity in the classroom: An examination of student teacher personality and perceptions of the classroom setting

Ilene Weinerman, Fordham University


Separate bodies of research exist concerning the personality of creative individuals, characteristics of effective teachers and student teachers, and the significance of the classroom environment. However, relatively little attention has been directed toward specifying the nature of the relationships between these sets of variables. The present study attempts to broaden the work already done in these areas by examining how creativity and other aspects of personality influence perceptions of the classroom setting. The purpose of this study was to identify the positive and negative relationships between creativity and personality, as well as the direction and degree of association among creativity, personality, and the student teacher's classroom emphasis and orientation. An additional purpose was the development and testing of a path model to determine whether causal linkages can be established among these same sets of variables. Specifically examined were the direct effects of personality and creativity, as well as the significance of creativity as an intervening variable with indirect effect on perceptions of the classroom setting. Seventy-eight student teachers enrolled in the teacher certification program at Fordham University completed three measures of personality, creativity, and classroom perceptions. Pearson correlations and path analyses were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that student teachers who maintained a student-centered classroom focus tended to have high needs for affiliation and endurance, with low needs for cognitive structure, aggression, and harm avoidance. These same individuals also evidenced high scores on measures of creativity. More creative student teachers tended to have low needs for social recognition and cognitive structure. Five path models were generated based upon the pattern of intercorrelations obtained. Although personality and creativity were found to have some significant direct effects on classroom focus, personality was not found to have an indirect effect mediated by any of the creativity variables. The independent variables accounted for between 10% and 22% of the variance in classroom focus, indicating the need to consider additional variables for inclusion in future studies in order to improve the predictive power of the model.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Personality|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Weinerman, Ilene, "Creativity in the classroom: An examination of student teacher personality and perceptions of the classroom setting" (1997). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9809024.