Do Physical Educators Promote Students’ Creativity? An Observational Analysis Study


  • Elisavet P. Konstantinidou University of Nicosia
  • Vasiliki Z. Zisi University of Thessaly



creativity, teachers, physical education, behaviors, observation


The ordinary nature of creativity and the global acceptance of its significance have made it a key characteristic of citizens in knowledge-based societies. Although research interest in recording teachers’ perceptions on creativity and its promotion have been notice-ably increasing, a remarkable gap has been observed in teachers’ behaviors and actions to promote creativity. The purpose of this study was to delineate teaching behaviors and actions when educators try to promote students’ creativity in class. The Creativity Fostering Teacher Behaviors (CFTB) checklist is based on the well-established theory of Cropley (1997), who suggested what behaviors teachers should demon-strate to foster their students’ creativity. The CFTB checklist has been developed through a content validity method and has been tested for interrater reliability, which has been found to be very satisfactory. We observed 30 physical educators (PEds) twice during PE lessons in which they aimed to foster students’ creative expression. PEds expressed only a minority of their creativity-fostering behaviors and actions, especially those associated with encouraging the responsibility of learning, such as the enhancement of autonomy, independence, and social integra-tion, during learning processes. On the contrary, the enhancement of flexibility, a top indicator of creative achievements denoting a person’s divergent thinking, and the positive management of failure and frustration, which is thought to eliminate students’ emotional barriers and inhibitors of creativity, were almost absent during observations. The same happened for indicators such as opportunities for deviation, lack of rush and criticism delay on students’ ideas and suggestions, and all of the other indicators on the CFTB checklist. We discuss a misalignment of theory into practice concerning teachers’ creativity-fostering behaviors and actions. Possible factors related to this inadequacy such as lack of academic education, training and continuous professional development in related issues, and the curriculum itself may limit PEds from teaching for creativity. Subscribe to TPE

Author Biographies

Elisavet P. Konstantinidou, University of Nicosia

Dr. Elisavet Konstantinidou, LecturerUniversity of NIcosiaSchool of Sciences & EngineeringDepartment of Life & Health SciencesSports Science Program

Vasiliki Z. Zisi, University of Thessaly

Dr. Vasiliki Zisi, Associate professorUniversity of ThessalySchool of Physical Education & Sport Science