In the last several years a good deal of public discourse was devoted to describing the effects that more than two decades of education reforms, the last iteration of which was known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), has had on teaching and learning. It is widely argued that coupling teacher evaluations with students' test scores, enforced standardization, and over-reliance on testing for measuring achievement results in a deadened curriculum hyper-focused on math and ELA achievement, divorced from lived experience, the arts, sciences, and history (Ravitch, 2013). The specific focus of this study was to examine the consequences of schooling under the reform mandates of the last two decades on the next generation of teachers. The authors investigate anecdotal evidence shared by teacher educators regarding teacher candidates' diminished ability to think and plan creatively, engage in intellectual risk-taking, independently solve problems, and foster creativity in their own students. The research was conducted using qualitative data collection strategies including interviews with veteran (those who began teaching prior to 2000 and the implementation of No Child Left Behind), early career (those who began teaching between 2010 – 2013, prior to the implementation of Race to the Top), and pre-service teachers (2013 to present) as well as observations and document analysis. This study explores the perceptions of educators on their dispositions in regard to creativity in lesson planning with focus on now early career teachers in the field that underwent training from 2013 to present.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.