Barriers to thinking creatively

Stumbled across a page this week through Education Portal. The lesson was titled How to Advance Creativity in a Learning Environment and aimed to identify ways to facilitate creativity in addition to identifying potential barriers.

The barriers to thinking creatively were what most excited me about this article, “response sets” and “functional fixedness” are two terms I haven’t come across before.

Response sets – “A response set is the tendency for people to approach problems in a rigid, habitual manner or persistent pattern.”

Functional fixedness – “Is the tendency for people to use objects or tools in only a certain, specific way.”

With these two terms in mind I aim to now look to see if I can find any further work which relates to my area of research.


Inter-library loans

Really finding the inter-library loans to be such a help with my research at the moment. Educational Technology is a constantly evolving field with its finger on the present and so being able to access resources which are topical and current is really helping me with my research. I’ve got two interlibrary items at the moment which I’m looking forward to reading:

  • Hargreaves, A., Earl, L., Moore, S. and Manning, S., 2001. Learning to change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Rienties, B., 2014. Why some teachers easily learn to use a new virtual learning environment: a technology acceptance perspective. Interactive Learning Environments.

Shaping my area of research

Have decided the next lot of articles I need to look at should be the following:

  • Bringing academics on board : Encouraging institution- wide diffusion of e-learning environments Institutional context for the research
  • The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance and the Real-life Problems of Innovation
  • On the cusp of change: examining pre-service teachers’ beliefs about ICT and envisioning the digital classroom of the future
  • Learning to Change: Teaching Beyond Subjects and Standards (Google eBook)
  • Determinants of Perceived Ease of Use:Integrating Control, Intrinsic Motivation, and Emotion into the Technology Acceptance Model

I’ve already looked at some of these texts in the past but would help to look at this stage to clarify the route I’m going to take for my MA.

Mendeley Folders

I’ve only been using Mendeley for what feels like a short time, maybe a year at most, but already it’s been a really valuable tool. Sometimes when I stumble across articles I get exciting thinking they’re just what I’m after and need for my work, then when I read them I find that actually they only just touch my area of interest.


Mendeley has proved invaluable at helping me sort out what feels like piles of potential articles. I’ve put a folder system in place within Mendeley which has helped me whittle down what articles I should be looking at, the fact you can highlight and annotate texts has also been really useful. Hopefully the next job for me to help steer the direction of my research is to choose which articles to look into further which I feel will be of use.

Start of the MA Year

photoLast week we had our first session for the final year of MA Creative Education. It was really nice to see some familiar faces around the room as we start off on this journey to complete our research projects.

I don’t think I’m the only one when I say I’m a bit daunted about what the next 12 months will bring. As we sat listening to deadlines and assessment requirements I couldn’t help but feel a bit nervous, is my question too broad? Can I do this? Is there enough time? Is my area valid? I could sense that some others in the room were feeling this too! What ended the session in the most reassuring way was having a student from last years MA come in and put our minds at ease and in a way has reinvigorated me for the next stage in the course. Do I still doubt my project, yes, but I guess that’s only natural!

Right time to get cracking on! The picture that accompanies this post is one where I’m working now, not sure if you can see but I have a blank page on my laptop, I really feel at the beginning! Here goes!