Evidence from a transnational survey of teachers, and classroom fieldwork, was compared to analyses of national policy. The project found commonalities between views of science and mathematics education expressed by teachers and within policy. There was a common emphasis in the early years on the importance of play, exploration, investigation and the promotion of curiosity or thinking skills. Teachers attached greater importance to social and affective factors in learning, such as increasing interest, than did policy.
Although policy in many of the partner countries advocated inquiry-based approaches, there were few explicit references to creativity in learning, or specific curriculum or assessment requirements. This provided arguably conflicting and incoherent support for teachers and schools. Where creativity was mentioned the emphasis was generally on the generation of ideas, rather than creativity in their evaluation and development.
This resulted in the project calling for:
The content of effective teacher development was proposed in the fourth theme, ‘developing practice in classroom and teacher education’. Practical work to develop materials is being taken forward by the follow-on project Creativity in Early Years Science Education (CEYS).