Nurturing the Imagination: Creativity Processes and Innovative Qualitative Research Projects

Thalia M. Mulvihill*, Dr. Raji Swaminathan**
* Professor, Social Foundations and Higher Education, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
** Associate Professor, Department of Educational Policy & Community Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Periodicity:February - April'2012


This article explores the creativity processes involved in designing and analyzing innovative qualitative research projects and evaluates examples of recent models and typologies that illustrate a variety of ways to approach qualitative inquiry. Using Gardner’s Five Minds (2006) typology, Boyer’s Model of Scholarship (1997) and Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956;1973) the authors will provide new ideas for ways to foster creative thinking within graduate programs designed to prepare educators.  Visual thinking/writing activities (Grady, 2001;Deaver and McAuliffe,2009;Sanders-Bustle,2008), arts-based qualitative research ( Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis,1997;Leavy, 2009; Eisner, 2008; Springgay, Irwin, Leggo, and Gouzouasis, 2008), as well as graduate-level pedagogies aimed at strengthening metacognition, all hold promise for evoking interdisciplinary understandings.  These interdisciplinary understandings will hopefully lead graduate students to the kinds of multi-modal displays of knowledge needed for exemplary 21st century teaching and learning. The authors contend that describing and defining Creative Inquiry Practices (CIPs), that can be used for pedagogy and research, receive little attention in the already relatively small amount of literature dedicated to pedagogical practices for graduate students.  Exploring the conditions and pedagogical prompts that help establish an environment for creativity and innovation will be discussed by two university faculty members engaged in preparing graduate student teacher-scholars at two different US institutions of higher education. The authors are interested in designing and describing innovative pedagogies aimed at helping graduate students build and use their Research Imagination(RI) as an essential part of the qualitative inquiry process.


Creativity; Imagination; Qualitative Research; Innovative Pedagogies; Graduate Education

How to Cite this Article?

Thalia M. Mulvihill and Raji Swaminathan (2012). Nurturing The Imagination: Creativity Processes And Innovative Qualitative Research Projects. i-manager’s Journal on Educational Psychology, 5(4), 1-8.


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