Do Saudi EFL Teachers Promote Creativity in Their Classrooms?
- Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani
Despite the efforts made by the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, there is still much to be done in order to nourish creativity in schools. According to a number of studies, there is an urgent need to reconsider the role of creativity in the current educational programmes because there is an increasing gap between the reality of the classrooms and the expectations that students and others, such as parents, might have. Studies have shown that Saudi public school students lack the necessary creative thinking skills, especially in language classrooms. In fact, as claimed by some researchers, Saudi students’ low level of achievement in English is mainly a result of the approaches and methods practiced in schools that do not promote creativity. The current study explores whether or not EFL teachers promote creativity in their classrooms in Saudi Arabia, while also taking into consideration their own perceptions and attitudes towards this important concept.
The sample in this study included 45 Saudi EFL teachers and six EFL supervisors. After teachers responded to a creativity questionnaire that explored their attitudes and the extent to which they promote creativity in language classrooms, eight of the teachers and the six EFL supervisors were interviewed. The results revealed that most Saudi EFL teachers put little effort into fostering creativity in their teaching practices. Also, their attitudes towards creativity seem to be divided. The study identified a number of factors as being responsible for these results. They highlight the need to familiarize textbook designers, EFL supervisors, and teachers with the importance of creativity and its various applications. The study concludes with important practical recommendations and suggestions for future research.
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