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My Dissertation: CREATIVE STYLES AND PERSONALITY TRAITS OF MALAY LANGUAGE TEACHERS

Chapter 5 - Discussion and Conclusion

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Acknowledgements and Tables of Contents
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Literature Review
Chapter 3 - Research Methodology
Chapter 4 - Results
Chapter 5 - Discussion and Conclusion
References
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Chapter 5

 

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

 

5.1       Introduction

As indicated earlier, the main aim of this study is to investigate personality traits correlates of adaptor-teachers and innovator-teachers in our sample of Malay Language teachers. In particular, it sought to determine the relationship between creative styles (adaption vs. innovation) and personality dimensions – Extraversion, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. In this chapter, the findings of the study will be discussed. The respondents’ concerns on the matters relating to the issues of creativity will also be discussed. The implications of study and the limitation of study will also be highlighted. Finally, suggestions for future research are presented.

 

5.2       Discussion of Findings

The statistical results and findings we have reviewed in Chapter 4 shows that creative style preferences can be meaningfully viewed in a bigger dispositional context. Innovators are distinguished by their Extraversion while the adaptors are characterized by their Conscientiousness. Neither adaptors nor innovators are particularly high on Agreeableness. As predicted in Chapter 3, it is also found that a creative style preference of Sufficiency of Originality was negatively correlated to Extraversion. These findings mirror Daphne (2001). Tendency towards Rule/group governance was positively associated with Conscientiousness. Conscientiousness is also positively associated with Efficiency. Individual differences in creative style are hence found to be substantially related or linked to the three personality traits investigated in this study.

As conscientiousness is a much-desired trait given its apparent association to reliability, discipline and competence and productivity and loyalty, it is a trait that organizations/schools/branches would like to have or see more of. The findings show a strong positive correlation between Conscientiousness and Rule/group governance and with Efficiency. This suggests that persons who are high in conscientiousness tend to be more efficiency-oriented and also tend to conform more to the culture and practices of the group and organization. They would be good team players. However, while these conscientious adaptor-teachers may do very well in implementing, executing and even, improving upon established procedures, they do not deal well with the vicissitudes of change. The adaptor-teacher is slow in accepting change. In unfamiliar or ill-structured situations, they may be at a loss. At best, they may implement solutions that fail to consider important shifts in the situation and at worse they may stick their heads in the sand, like the proverbial ostrich, and resist change altogether (Daphne, 2001).

Given the many changes initiated by MOE in our current education system, what is needed are the agility and flexibility and perhaps a break from the past that the innovators can provide. Innovators do not conform to existing rules and this provides ample opportunity for looking at issues or problems confronting teachers from different angles and perspectives. Hence, a fresh and new look at problems and issues provides better understanding and new solutions. Extraversion that we have found to be associated to innovator-teachers would definitely provide them with the psychological resources to devise and push for radical solutions that may be needed. The push for “Teach Less Learn More” (TLLM) postulated by PM Lee Hsien Loong (2004) during the 2004 National Day Rally would most likely be achieved by teachers with innovators’ characteristics as described in KAI. Hence as educators, the extraverted natures of innovator teachers is vibrant role model of resourcefulness and ingenuity. Unique positive correlation between conscientiousness and Sufficiency or Originality, Efficiency and Rule/group governance suggest the unique characteristics of Malay language teachers in the Singapore context. Perhaps further study on this aspect will highlight clear types of innovators in the Singapore context, may be particularly unique to Malay Language teachers in Singapore.

I illustrate with a personal anecdote. As a member of the secretariat of the Malay Language Curriculum and Pedagogy Review Committee formed in November 2004, I had the opportunity to listen to the discussions and views by educators such as principals, Heads and Subject Heads of Mother Tongue Department in Singapore. One consistent opinion shared by them about Malay language teachers is that Malay Language teachers are not able to translate the intended outcomes or objectives of the current syllabus in the teaching and learning of Malay Language. The Malay language teachers were not able to customise their teaching to meet the different interests, needs and abilities of their students.  The common reasons cited was that Malay language teachers are not creative and innovative and are over reliant on textbooks and workbooks developed by MOE. Although this is merely a discussion and no study was done to confirm the issue, there is a reason for concern. Teachers’ ability to translate the outcomes and objectives of the syllabus will enable teachers to customise their teaching to suit the needs of students of various ability and interests. Teachers’ creativity and innovativeness is the preferred creative styles that the teachers use or adopt when confronted with problems or issues. This is precisely why there is a need to have the information with regards to teachers’ preferred creative styles so as to make them more aware of their creative preferences. By knowing their creative preferences, teachers would be able to engage suitable strategies to confront problems that they face in the teaching and learning of Malay language in particular. Teachers would also be able to work in a team of teachers with different creative preferences and appreciate the difference as this will complement each other in accomplishing and achieving the desired goals of education.

 

5.4       Teacher’s Recruitment and Training

Knowing the creative preferences and personality traits of teachers are essential information in the recruitment and training of teachers. MOE or schools would be able to recruit the right mix of teacher-innovators and teacher-adaptors in her recruitment exercises depending on the kind of teachers the organization want to have. Ng’s (2001) in his unpublished paper indicates that the innovators among trainee-teachers would tend to encourage creative but undesirable behavior whilst the adaptors would tend to encourage desirable but uncreative behavior. For example, while the adaptor-trainee teachers would encourage students to be attentive and hardworking and do set tasks without dissent, innovator-trainee teachers would tend to encourage students to be vocal individualistic and to challenge themselves (and the teachers). In such circumstances, enabling the trainee-teachers to know of their creative preferences are, will make them better individuals as they are more aware of why they do things according to certain preferred creative styles and this in turn will make them better prepared to face the consequences of their actions or behaviors.

Can creativity be trained? This hold much hope for creativity training as it suggests that with the necessary training in idea generation, most people may become highly innovative. From the work of Torrance (1973) it was indicated that it is possible to teach children to think creatively. Weisberg (1996) found out that student who received instructions in the inventing process developed significantly greater number of inventions than students who received only one introductory lesson on invention. Rossman (1964) concluded that inventing is a learned behaviour and there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that it is instinctive. This is especially if one agrees with the assertion of Ford & Harris (1992) that creativity is a modifiable, deliberate process that exists to some degree in all of us. Alternatively, the person with idea-generating propensities, although less conforming, may not be any less efficient or competent than the one who prefers to focus on useful solutions relevant to the problem. If he can be convinced that his ideas are valued, he could be just as effective as the adaptor.

Most of the respondents asked in the survey questionnaire felt that there was an insufficient course on creativity provided by MOE for Malay language teachers.  The feedback given by respondents on the lack of training in the area of creativity should serve as a wake up call to the related branch such as staff training branch or Malay Language Unit in the Curriculum Planning and Development Division.  The lack of training in the areas of creativity for Malay language teachers meant that the teachers lack the skills and knowledge to carry out creative activities for their students. As a result, the development of creative learning among students may be hindered as teachers’ capacity to introduce creativity effectively is not developed. Such observation is in line with what was stated by Torrance and Safter (1986), that teachers are ill-equipped to meet the needs of students in terms of creativity. Due to the lack of proper training, teachers do not know how to initiate, conduct or evaluate creativity. Teachers also felt uncomfortable with creative students as Anderson, De Vito, Dyrli, Keong, Kochendorfer and Weigand (1970) pointed that teachers have not been trained to cope with creativity. To ensure that creativity flourish in schools, building the capacity of teachers in the aspect of creativity is then pertinent. (For details of the respondents’ comment on the lack of courses on creativity in Malay language, please refer to Appendix B (i) for the First Stage Study and Appendix B (ii) for the Second Stage Study.

 

5.4       Factors Hindering Teachers’ Creativity

 

The respondents cited several factors that hinder their creativity. It is interesting to note some of the factors cited by respondents as hindrance to their creativity. The respondents were of the opinion that red tapes or too many regulations restrict them from being creative. Indeed, too many red tapes will stifle teachers’ creativity. According to Kirton Adaption-Innovation Theory, the innovators will tend to break the rule and will not conform to rules and regulation. The adaptors may on the other hand become jaded due to inability to break from rules and could not come up with new ideas. When confronted with new challenges, adaptor-teachers may not be ready to handle such situation.

Upon careful examination of the reasons cited by respondents as factors that hindered their creativity, few reflections could be highlighted. Some teachers felt that too much emphasis on academic results as factor that impedes creativity. When the school culture focuses on academic excellence, there is pressure to conform. Nagy (1988) cited data suggesting that peer pressure to conform as well as parental pressures to be ‘intelligent’ sabotage creativity in children. The influence of schools in hindering creativity is compounded by social and environmental forces. Most schools place a greater emphasis on academic skills than creative skills, ignoring the established relationship between intelligence and creativity. Moreover, schools’ academic performances in national examination are under closed scrutiny by parents. Many schools focus on examination as parents expect schools to prepare their children to do well in examination. Such rigid strategy to do well in national examination may hinder the teachers’ and students’ creativity. However, many do not realize the importance of creativity in determining the success of the schools. Zigler and Anderson (1979) found, for instance, that intelligence explains only 50 percent of school success, while the data indicate that one needs at least normal or above-average intelligence to be creative.

            The respondents also cited too many works and time factor as hindrance to their creativity. From my personal experience as a teacher, teachers in Singapore are doing more and more work. A part from teaching about 35 to 40 students in every class, teachers also need to be in-charged of co-curriculum activities after formal curriculum time. Teachers always find that they do not have enough time to complete the marking of their students’ works. The respondents also cited students’ attitude towards Malay language as a hindering factor. With the changing profile of students learning Malay language, teachers need to adopt multi-approaches to meet the needs of students with different home backgrounds, competency and interests in the Malay language. The called for student-centered approach is paramount in the teaching of Malay language. However, with teachers citing lack of time as a hindrance to their creativity, perhaps MOE and schools can look into the problem and allow more time and space for teachers to be creative and thus enable teachers to do more reflections on the effectiveness of their teaching. Teachers thus can do more reflections and then carefully plan their lessons to suit the learning needs and interests of their students. This is in line with the call for “Teach Less Learn More”, allowing space for teachers to re-look at their ways of teaching. For details of the teachers’ feedback on factors that hinder their creativity in Malay Language, please refer to Appendix B (i) and (ii).

 

5.5       Desired Quality to be Nurtured in Pupils

It has always been the twin goals of schools to inculcate values of what constitutes a good member of the community in our students, as well as to equip them with the necessary problem-solving skills to thrive in the New Knowledge Based economy. Hence it is important to develop in our students both a sense of responsibility and consideration for others as well as resourcefulness. The exposure to both the innovator-teachers and adaptor-teachers to students could help students develop these two important qualities as teachers are the best role models to students.

 

5.6       Better Understanding and Appreciation of One Another

Both adaptor-teachers and innovator-teachers are needed in our schools. Nevertheless, due to their contrasting styles, conflicts and differences are inevitable. School administrators as well as teachers themselves need to understand and accept the different approach or styles of problem-solving behavior of the respective groups or individuals. Innovator-teachers could be persuaded to perceive the adaptor-teachers as supplying discipline, order and attention to details rather than view them as stuffy or jaded. Alternatively, the innovator-teachers would not be perceived as disruptive and self-centered or even boastful but as more vocal counterparts as a source of ideas, some of which could be implemented. Innovators and adaptors may well be operating at different stages of the creative process. However, if both of them could work together in a team, complementing one another’s strengths and weaknesses, they could give rise to solutions which are innovative and revolutionary yet doable.

This acceptance of the others’ perspective is not as remote as it looks.  Observation of KAI facets shows that there was a significant correlation between Sufficiency of Originality and Efficiency, and between Efficiency and Rule/group governance. Relationship between Sufficiency of Originality and Rule/group governance is non significant (see Table 4.4). Teachers who conform to the rules of the group or organization, would have a high orientation towards efficiency as indicated in the findings. However there would be less of a tendency to proliferate ideas as such a person tends to focus in on solutions that are implementable and acceptable to the organization. The significant correlations between Sufficiency of Originality and Efficiency suggest that a preference for efficiency does automatically preclude a desire for inventiveness. A person who perceives himself as having the ability to come up with original ideas could tend towards a proliferation of ideas. In fact, it might even be perceived as being efficient as the generation of a multitude of ideas would obviously increase the likelihood that a solution may be found. The more ideas being generated means the more options could be selected and implemented.

 

 

5.7       Teachers’ Definition of Creativity

 

The respondent gave different interpretation or definition of creativity. Some respondents gave their personal interpretation of what creativity is. Some equate creativity with innovation. It is quite natural for someone to interpret creativity on personal basis or preferences as this reflect the lack of training on the area of creativity.  It is interesting to note that many of the definition of creativity given by the respondents define creativity as what was stipulated by Ford & Harris (1992). According to Ford & Harris, creativity is a modifiable, deliberate process that exists to some degree in each of us. It proceeds through an identifiable process and is verified through the uniqueness and utility of the product created. For details of the Malay language teachers’ definition of creativity in Malay language, please refer to Appendix B (i) & (ii).

However, there is still a need to ensure teachers to have a common understanding of what creativity is. Fryer (1996) stated that if one attempts to promote the issue of creativity development among teacher educators, and among teachers themselves, then, he suggested, teacher perceptions (prejudices) must be recognized and utilized appropriately. Moreover, given the somewhat different perceptions of creativity among different types of teacher, it may well be that the content of creativity development training programmes and workshops should be tailored to meet the particular needs and orientations of the specific-groups.

 

5.8       Implications of the Study

There are many implications of the present study. Firstly, there is an implication on staffing. The findings of this study could help Ministry of Education balance and evaluate the types of personalities which it hopes to attract into the service to meet the stated or desired outcomes of education. This is not only concerning the need to balance the types of teachers that MOE requires in the schools but also the types of officers that they require in the other departments or branches in the Headquarter. For example, MOE could balance the type of officers in the Curriculum Planning and Development Branch as usually the officers are teachers who were appointed to be curriculum planners. As these curriculum planners involve in the development of textbooks and workbooks for schools, it is pertinent for MOE to have the right balance of officers in the branch so as to ensure fresh and better ideas and quality of work could be produced in view of the many changes and challenges ahead.  Preparing suitable instructional materials and syllabus that cater to the needs of students in the 21st Century is crucial. Therefore, to help achieve the desired outcomes of education, the selection and recruitment of the types of officers to develop the instructional materials and syllabus need to be done carefully.

In addition, this study also provides some insights into how MOE can develop innovator-teachers. For example, if innovation is to be developed in our schools, teachers should be supported and encouraged when thinking of solutions to engage in divergent thinking and to go off tangent.  Schools should be aware of the factors that inhibit or restrict teachers from being creative or innovative. Such encouragement from the organization might not be required by innovator-teachers who already have an innate tendency for generating a multitude of ideas, but could go a long way to helping adaptor-teachers to develop their creative resources. This could also propel the idea of professional sharing among teachers to share their best practices.

Better understanding of the different characteristics of both innovator-teachers and adaptor-teachers in problem solving could encourage the creation of a better climate and environment for creativity to flourish in schools. If our education system hopes to attract and retain the more innovative teachers and subsequently produce more innovative young minds, it must be prepared to be challenged. Barring the illegal and ethically offensive, there might have to be a greater tolerance for non-conformity (Daphne 2001).

School principals should be more aware of the factors that hinder teachers from being creative. By knowing the type of teachers in their schools, principals could do more to encourage creativity in schools. It is not sufficient to rely on the tried and tested methods all the times as this will lead to inability to confront new challenges in the future and the force of globalization. Some of the respondents commented that some principals and heads of mother tongue departments are not prepared to allow teachers to be creative or differ in opinions or in doing things even though they share the ultimate objectives i.e. to provide the best possible learning experiences to students. Therefore, it would provide principals and heads of mother tongue department useful skills if they know the preferred creative styles of their teachers. Principals and heads of mother tongue department could offer effective leadership by allowing teachers to work in their preferred style most of the time, thereby reducing stress and increasing efficiency. If they achieve this goal, it will help them to retain good teachers and get the best out of staff with the minimum of psychological effort and conflict.

Team collaboration and the reduction of conflict figure largely in any person’s life. For schools to have an efficient team they need the people within them to expend the greatest effort on the problems in hand - rather than spending a great amount of time and effort on problems which might arise in collaborating. KAI will be able to help schools to achieve this, by exposing, and allowing a non-pejorative understanding of differences in cognitive style (‘cognitive gap’). 

It is particularly good to have knowledge of people who would be assigned to work in a school as the Adaption-Innovation Theory and its associated psychometric instrument (KAI) will provide schools with insight into how people solve problems and interact whilst making decision. Using this insight, schools can improve the dynamics and cohesion of their teachers in the schools. School administrators can show that individuals within a team look at problems differently and that these differences can be used to strengthen the team spirit of the school. This understanding should lead to the differences not only being tolerated, but welcomed. In addition, it will help individual teachers to reduce stress within the team in the schools, by reducing individuals’ stress.

Schools can use KAI theory to help individuals plan their personal development. Knowledge of KAI allows realistic and appropriate personal learning programmes and targets to be set. Individuals can then acquire apt techniques and skills and so enlarge their problem solving ‘comfort zone’. 

In addition, team building and development are also within the scope of KAI. Schools should encourage teams’ spirit. Teams within schools must keep adjusting to meet the changing requirements of the school, as the school itself has to keep transforming to stay relevant. For any school to survive, it needs to keep up with the changing nature of its problems and consequent changes in ‘Cognitive Climate’; and yet remain within ‘Organizational Fit’. A-I Theory provides school with a useful tool to nurture their own niche in the field of education.

From the qualitative analysis, Malay language teachers have cited many factors that could hinder them from being creative. If the school leaders or MOE are aware of the creative styles and personality traits of their teachers, it would be easier to manage and motivate teachers to work on their preferred styles as they tend to work best when adopting their preferred creative style. The implication of this study is for school leaders to re-look at some of their strategies so as not to stifle the innovativeness of their teachers and subsequently enhance the quality of education of their students.

 

5.9       Limitations of Study

After discussing the findings of the study, perhaps it is appropriate to highlight the limitations of the study. The major limitation to this study is the small number of samples used. There were only thirty-one secondary Malay Language teachers who took part in this study. This number is considered small when considered there are 159 secondary schools in Singapore who offered Malay language with approximately about two or three Malay Language teachers in each school. To address the concern of a small number of samples, similar questionnaires were administered to a different group of Malay language teachers. A similar study was conducted to another group of twenty-three Malay language teachers to reaffirm the findings. Both findings support the hypotheses postulated in the study.

Most of the respondents came from government schools. Although there were teachers who responded to the survey questionnaire who came from Government-aided, autonomous and independent schools, the numbers were small and might not be representative. More samples are needed to show whether there are any significant differences between the different types of schools. Schools’ environment has always been one of the important factors that drove and determined the success of schools. Schools’ history also attracts the kind of teachers that believe in the schools system and culture. Although the main purpose of the study is not to make any comparison between Malay language teachers in different types of secondary schools in Singapore, it will be useful to have more samples from the various types of schools as it would provide better picture of the type of teachers that we have in these schools and in the system. Hence, we could learn from the achievement of these schools in order to benefit others.

As the descriptive statistics indicate, the sample shows a relatively higher mean value for Conscientiousness and relatively similar means value for Agreeableness and Extraversion in the first sample. The sample also shows relatively smaller standard deviation for most subscales for personality traits. Given that our subjects were those who had voluntarily filled in and submitted the surveys on their own accord, this finding is not unexpected and may be a reflection of the research design. Agreeableness and Conscientiousness would tend to promote a willingness to fill out surveys in one’s spare time. However, in the second samples, descriptive statistics shows a relatively higher mean value for Agreeableness and Extraversion and shows relatively low mean for Conscientiousness. This under representation of people who are low in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness may have led to the reduced variability in our KAI scores, as suggested by the narrower range in standard deviation of these score when compared to Kirton’s samples. How this affects what was discovered about the relationship between creative style and the three personality traits require further investigation.

There might be a possibility of sample bias. The subjects took part in the study willingly. No rewards were given to participants except that they were promised of access to the results of the study once completed. Respondents’ willingness in taking part in the study to some degree might reflect the adaptive nature of the teachers, though it is not necessarily so. Although the first samples shows relatively low mean value for Agreeableness, the second sample shows a relatively high mean value. As Kirton pointed out, the adaptors were high on agreeableness. As such, it is predictive that findings in instrument will show that more subjects could be high on agreeableness because the teachers who responded were those who are willing to cooperate. Perhaps a neutral situation is where subjects are randomly selected with regards whether they are willing or not.

This study did not include the other two personality traits, the Openness to Experience and Neuroticism of the Big Five personality of traits theory due to the time constraints as explain earlier on in chapter 3. It will be useful to investigate these factors further in later research.

Another limitation is the low reliability coefficients reported for Extraversion in our first samples. The second samples also show low reliability coefficients for Extraversion. There has been the issue of cultural bias for the study of personality traits and creative styles. Agreeableness for example has always been associated with the Malays as this concept of respect and working together as a team in community is one of the values highly regarded by the Malays. Perhaps more samples would provide better reliability reports on Extraversion. There have been few studies on this matter. More rigorous confirmatory factor analyses of these scales in local context would be needed to detect any cultural biases or distinctness with regards to the Malay Language teachers.

 Another limitation of this study involves the use of self-report measures for creative styles and personality traits. The obvious limitation to such study is that it taps only the perceptions of the respondents; it does not however gauge actual behavior. Therefore, there is this factor of what we called subjectivity. A respondent answer to the questionnaire may not really reflect the actual behavior expected of them in real situation when observed. John and Robins (1993) have pointed out that ego involvement may trigger affective and defensive processes that cloud or block our view of ourselves. This is especially so for extremely evaluative and judgemental traits such as laziness or selfishness. While Kirton (1994) has provided evidence that social desirability influence on the KAI is low, the same cannot be said for personality traits elicits self-enhancement biases for some individuals but not for others. Some individual may experience a threat to their self-worth and bolster their self-image by perceiving themselves more positively than others see them. The opposite may be true for relatively modest individuals. Moreover, depending on how an individual would like to view themselves, people tend to amplify or downplay different traits. This may lead individuals to consistently exaggerate, for example, their assertiveness or dutifulness or underestimate their impulsiveness.

Moreover, most of the respondents have tertiary education and have many years of teaching experience. Teachers in Singapore attended many training sessions and workshops and have participated in many surveys or questionnaires. With such experience, it is possible that teachers are familiar in responding to surveys or questionnaires and are able to portray themselves positively according to the needs of the survey.

One possible way to enhance the validity of self-report survey is by tapping informant ratings by individuals who know the target-participants well. Such approach would be valuable because they combine an external perspective with information aggregated over many occasions. Aggregating the source of data such as combining a self-report with two observer ratings would definitely increase accuracy and reduce the element of biases.

 

5.10    Suggestion for Future Research

This study has highlighted the significant correlation between creative styles and the three personality traits investigated. Nevertheless, this study is not conclusive. The following suggestions may be useful for further research in the study of creative styles and personality traits.

i.                    Replicate study to teachers teaching Chinese and Tamil languages to observe the similarities and differences in the findings.

ii.                  Replicate study to Curriculum Planning Officers (Malay Language Unit and perhaps to all curriculum planning officers in the Curriculum Planning and Development Division) as this division plans and develops the syllabus and instructional materials for schools. Such study would provide the answers as to why the syllabus or the instructional materials are well received by pupils. The types of officers who work in the division will determine the kind of syllabus and instructional materials the division will produce.

iii.                Replicate study to pupils so that teachers would be able to use suitable methods to teach and interact with the different personality and creative styles of pupils.  When teachers are aware of their students’ personality traits or creative styles preferences, it is easier for teachers to manage them as well to maximize their strengths when instructing group or team work activities.

iv.                 Replicate study to include the other two personality traits of the Big Five Model i.e. Neuroticism and Openness to experience, to provide more complete findings of the correlations between creative styles and personality traits.

v.                   Replicate study to Malay language teachers in the primary levels which predominantly hold A-level certificates. It is interesting to find out whether differences in the educational achievement of teachers do have an impact on the personality traits and creative style preferences of Malay language teachers in the primary school.

 

5.11    Conclusion

This study extends past research which examined the personality characteristics that typify the creative personality. In examining the relationship between creative style preferences and personality traits of sample Malay language teachers in Singapore, this study investigates the relationship between personality and how creativity is expressed. The findings demonstrate that individual differences in creative style are substantially linked to the three personality traits investigated in this study that is Adaption is the preferred style of individuals who are conscientious while individuals who have a tendency for innovation tends to be extraverted.

Although the findings of the study are far from conclusive, it hopefully provides some insights into the way schools can develop and tap different creative styles of our Malay language teachers and consequently, help nurture them in our young. At the very least, the appreciation of and exposure to different models of creativity may help our students appreciate and develop their own creative strengths. It could also help MOE to attract the types of personalities which MOE hopes to attract into the education service and subsequently retain and develop them to serve and accomplish the desired outcomes of education.

In addition, this study also highlighted some of the concerns on the factors that may hinder teachers’ creativity in performing their responsibility of nurturing the young. At the same time, it is hoped that the relevant branches in the MOE and the schools will be more willing to invest in building the capacity of our teachers by providing comprehensive training programme and enhance teachers’ creativity by providing more support and freedom. Teachers are the perfect models for nurturing the spirit of creativity in minds of our children. By building the capacity of teachers in the area of creativity, our children would be exposed to creative culture earlier in their life. This would definitely benefit our most precious resource – our children of the future generation.

It is also hoped that this research will encourage further research into ways of enhancing creativity by considering the individual’s personality and preferred cognitive styles.

CREATIVE STYLES AND PERSONALITY TRAITS OF MALAY LANGUAGE TEACHERS