The Relationship of Adaptive Teaching to Student Critical and Creative Thinking

Year: 2019

Author: Loughland, Tony

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Adaptability is a key trait or disposition in the complex working environment of schools. Until recently, adaptability remained an ill-defined teacher trait that resided in the larger set of innate skills that teachers either possessed or not. Recent research, employing a validated scale, has identified links between the disposition of teacher adaptability and outcomes of interest to schools, including teachers’ job satisfaction and students’ academic engagement and achievement (Collie & Martin, 2016). The gap in this research literature is evidence relating to what adaptive teachers actually do in the classroom.

This paper reports on a study based on data generated from 278 classroom observations using the teacher adaptive practice scale. The evidence from this data suggests that teacher adaptability is based on the following foundation skills and dispositions:

1. Teachers in the school have a sense of collective efficacy
2. Teachers have a sense of their own adaptability
3. Teachers have a sense of support from their supervisor
4. Teachers have a repertoire of classroom practices and routine that they can use adaptively in response to student creative and critical thinking

This study has demonstrated that there is a relationship between teacher adaptability and classroom opportunities for student critical and creative thinking. This is an important area for further research as student critical and creative thinking is a valued outcome of schooling systems throughout the world.