Title

Teaching theory as truth and its effects upon student creativity

Date of Completion

January 1996

Keywords

Education, Mathematics|Education, Sociology of|Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Philosophy of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study focused upon two distinct fields of study: (1) cognitive blocks to creativity and (2) teaching theory as truth. Inspired by similar language and terms employed within the literature of both fields, the primary question addressed within this study was: Is teaching theory as truth a cognitive block to creativity? In order to determine the answer to this question, the literature of these fields were independently analyzed through philosophical/hermeneutic methods and foundational constructs were discovered.^ Analysis resulted in determining that each of the 28 cognitive blocks to creativity, which the literature segregated into five types, fell into two mostly disjoint sets: internally/individually and externally/culturally originated cognitive blocks to creativity. These two sets each had distinct and dissimilar foundational constructs.^ Analysis of the literature of teaching theory as truth led to considerations of socialization and indoctrination. Here the literature determined that indoctrination is a type of socialization, albeit a type which historically, as in ordinary language, carries negative connotations. Non-evidential instruction, or the teaching of "truths" without evidence, was recognized within the literature to be both analogous to indoctrination and a common practice within classroom instruction.^ After analysis identified foundational constructs within cognitive blocks to creativity and teaching theory as truth respectively, a diagrammatic comparative methodology was used to ascertain the similarity or dissimilarity between these two fields of study. It was determined that there was little commonality between the constructs from teaching theory as truth and those from individually originated cognitive blocks to creativity. However, great similarity was discovered between foundational constructs from teaching theory as truth and culturally originated cognitive blocks to creativity. This indicated that teaching theory as truth closely correlated with culturally originated cognitive blocks to creativity. Since culturally originated blocks were a subset of non-specific blocks to creativity, then teaching theory as truth was also found to be a subset, and therefore a type, of non-specific cognitive block to creativity. ^