Supervisors’ conceptualisations of creativity in education doctorates

Frick, B. L. (2011)

CITATION: Frick, B. L. 2011. Supervisors’ conceptualisations of creativity in education doctorates. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities, 19(2):495-507.

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Doctoral study is inherently a creative endeavour through which a student creates a scholarly contribution extending the knowledge boundaries of a discipline. However, creativity is not well-defined within the context of doctoral education. Supervisors play a key role in doctoral students’ understanding of the creative process that leads to an original contribution. This article therefore explores the conceptualisation of creativity in doctoral education. A qualitative descriptive approach was followed in the research, starting with a theoretical conceptualisation of creativity within doctoral education as a basis for further inquiry. Ten experienced supervisors in a South African Faculty of Education described how they conceptualised creativity in guiding students along the doctoral journey by means of recounting their supervisory experiences. The results reveal that as a multi-dimensional concept, creativity is not limited to the eventual contribution the doctorate is supposed to make. Respondents narrated their understanding of creativity as a student attribute, an epistemological understanding, and an interaction with methodological processes.

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