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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Struggle for Creativity: The Effect of Systems on Principal Creativity a Systems Theory Perspective
by Griese, Vivian Elane, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2016, 264; 10063555
Abstract (Summary)

Creativity is generating more interest as we move into the 21 st century. Businesses are pressuring schools to graduate individuals who are critical thinkers and who can become future innovators. Principal creativity as a component of school success is virtually ignored. Numerous creativity studies examine the traits of personality, intelligence, motivation, or environment as predictors of creative job performance. Less attention is devoted to understanding the interactive role these components have on an individual’s creativity. The research examining principal creativity is even more restrictive in scope to nonexistent. Using Csikszentmihalyi’s (1996) three-pronged systems theory of creativity, this basic interpretive qualitative study employs open-ended interview questions and two Runco Creativity Assessment Battery (rCAB@, 2011) assessments to explore how principals perceive the influence of systems on their ability to be creative. Framed within a constructionist viewpoint, narrative analysis investigates the gap that current literature has not addressed by attempting to answer the overarching question: How does the principal perceive the impact of systems on his or her ability to be creative?

Through the data analysis several major themes emerged. As children, the principals were exposed to varied experiences and diverse ways of thinking. Engaging in activities that encouraged curiosity and perseverance appears to have laid the foundation for a lifestyle that continues into adulthood. As adults, they are able to identify and evaluate the worth of creative ideas. The principals not only excelled in their degreed fields of study, but also showed interest in exploring diverse subjects. They are ambitious, confident, competent, and eager to develop their own potential and that of their followers. The principals believe good communication builds honest and collegial relationships. They show a sensitivity and obligation to create the supportive environment needed to make their schools centers of creative thought and action.

The interactive nature of systems theory becomes clear after analyzing the data. Their individual traits impact the relationships they have with the field, which impacts the domain of educational leadership. Using systems theory, this research adds to the literature and our understanding of principal creativity.

Keywords: creativity, educational leadership, principal creativity, systems theory.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sherrill Linkous, Kelly
Commitee: Sumners, Sarah E., Warthan, Donna W.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 77/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Psychology
Keywords: Creativity, Educational administration, Educational leadership, Principal creativity, Systems theory
Publication Number: 10063555
ISBN: 978-1-339-57810-1
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