Factors impacting English teachers’ creativity in teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia

Didin Nuruddin Hidayat, Fitriah Fitriah, Mahlil Mahlil, Jon Mason


Teachers bring various experiences to the classroom, and their beliefs about ‘creative teaching’ or ‘good teaching’ practices are frequently influenced by various factors, including their own teaching experiences, individual motivation, and organizational constraints. This context frames their early efforts to develop creative practices, and recognition of influences further affects the level of creativity displayed by teachers. This study aims to ascertain the factors that affected teachers’ creativity in English language teaching (ELT) in contemporary Indonesian higher education. We interviewed twenty Indonesian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers about the factors influencing their creativity and their motivations for teaching creatively. We identified three factors which influenced teachers’ creativity: their knowledge and teaching experiences, their motivation, and the role of technology. These three factors served as a guide for teachers regarding how they might integrate creativity into their teaching practice. Additionally, Indonesian EFL teachers believed that their creativity was necessary to assist students in learning, create an enjoyable learning experience, and encourage students to be creative. This belief appears to be partially due to the affordance of the rapidly changing digital environment which enables student-centred and self-directed learning. Finally, this study indicates that creativity is not instinctive to teachers; however, they can nurture their creativity by accepting their innovative ideas through developing their abilities to teach creatively.


EFL classrooms; higher education; motivation; teacher creativity

Full Text:



Aikhenvald, A. Y., & Storch, A. (2019). Creativity in language. International Journal of Language and Culture, 6(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijolc.00012.sto

Al Faris, F. (2016). Kurikulum 2013 dalam perspektif filsafat pendidikan progressivisme [The 2013 curriculum in the perspective of progressivism educational philosophy]. Jurnal Filsafat, 25(2), 316-338. https://doi.org/10.22146/jf.12687

Alobaid, A. (2020). Smart multimedia learning of ICT: Role and impact on language learners’ writing fluency—YouTube online English learning resources as an example. Smart Learning Environments, 7(1), 1-30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40561-020-00134-7

Alves, N. D. C., Wangenheim, C. G. V., & Martins-Pacheco, L. H. (2021). Assessing product creativity in Computing Education: A systematic mapping study. Informatics in Education, 20(1), 19-45. https://doi.org/10.15388/infedu.2021.02

Amabile, T. M. (1983). The social psychology of creativity: A componential conceptualization. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(2), 357-376. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.45.2.357

Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context. Westview Press.

Amabile, T. M. (1998). How to kill creativity. Harvard Business Review, September/October, 77-87. https://hbr.org/1998/09/how-to-kill-creativity

Anderson, J. R. (1983). The architecture of cognition. Harvard University Press.

Anderson, J. R. (2014). Rules of the mind. Psychology Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315806938

Arroyo, R., & Hunt, C. I. (2011). Written communication intercultural model: The social and cognitive model. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 6(1), 19-38.

Artini, L. P., & Padmadewi, N. N. (2020). English teachers’ creativity in conducting teaching and learning process in public Senior High Schools in Bali. Proceedings of the 5th Asian Education Symposium 2020 (AES 2020) (pp. 281-285). Atlantis Press. https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.210715.059

Auger, P., & Woodman, R. W. (2016). Creativity and intrinsic motivation: Exploring a complex relationship. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 52(3), 342-366. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886316656973

Bae, S. H., Song, J. H., Park, S., & Kim, H. K. (2013). Influential factors for teachers’ creativity: Mutual impacts of leadership, work engagement, and knowledge creation practices. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(3), 33-58. https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21153

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.

Bruno, C. (2022). Digital creativity dimension: A new domain for creativity. In C. Bruno (Ed.), Creativity in the design process: Exploring the influences of the digital evolution (pp. 29-42). Springer Cham.

Chan, T. W., Looi, C. K., Chang, B., Chen, W., Wong, L. H., Wong, S. L., & Chou, C. Y. (2019). IDC theory: Creation and the creation loop. Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, 14(1), 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41039-019-0120-5

Chua, B. L., Tan, O. S., & Liu, W. C. (2014). Journey into the problem solving process: Cognitive functions in a PBL environment. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(2), 191-202. https://doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2014.961502

Chun, D., Smith, B., & Kern, R. (2016). Technology in language use, language teaching, and language learning. Modern Language Journal, 100, 64-80. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12302

Craft, A. (2003). The limits to creativity in education: Dilemas for the educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 113-127. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8527.t01-1-00229

Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in schools: Tension and dilemmas. Routledge.

Cropley, A. J. (1999). Creativity and cognition: Producing effective novelty. Roeper Review, 21(4), 253-260. https://doi.org/10.1080/02783199909553972

Crowell, S., & Reid-Marr, D. (2013). Emergent teaching: A path of creativity, significance, and transformation. Rowman and Littlefield Education.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1988). Motivation and creativity: Toward a synthesis of structural and energistic approaches to cognition. New Ideas in Psychology, 6(2), 159-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/0732-118X(88)90001-3

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2018). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. SAGE Publications.

Devine, D., Fahie, D., & McGillicuddy, D. (2013). What is good teaching? teacher beliefs and practices about their teaching. Irish Educational Studies, 32(1), 83-108. https://doi.org/10.1080/03323315.2013.773228

Dörnyei, Z., & Ryan, S. (2015). The psychology of the language learner revisited. Routledge.

Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2010). Teaching and researching motivation. Pearson Education.

Fautley, M., & Savage, J. (2007). Creativity in secondary education. Learning Matters.

Feldman, D. H. (1999). The development of creativity. In R. J. Stenberg (Ed.), Handbook for creativity (pp. 169-188). Cambridge University Press.

Fitriah, F. (2018). The role of technology in teachers’ creativity development in English teaching practices. TEFLIN Journal, 29(2), 171-187.

Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction (8th ed.). Pearson.

Gardner, H. (1993). Creating minds: An anatomy of creativity seen through the lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham and Gandhi. Basic Books.

Harmer, J. (2010). How to teach English (6th ed.). Pearson Longman.

Hediansah, D., & Surjono, H. (2020). Hybrid learning development to improve teacher learning management. JKTP: Jurnal Kajian Teknologi Pendidikan, 3(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.17977/um038v3i12019p001

Hennessey, B. A., & Amabile, T. M. (2010). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 61(1), 569-598. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416

Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., & Fisser, P. (2016). Infusing creativity and technology in 21st century education: A systematic view for change. Journal of Educational Technology and Scociety, 19(3), 27-37.

Hiebert, J., & Lefevre, P. (1986). Conceptual and procedural knowledge in mathematics: an introductory analysis. In J. Hiebert (Ed.), Conceptual and procedural knowledge: the case of mathematics (pp. 29-57). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Huang, X., Lee, J. C.-K., & Dong, X. (2019). Mapping the factors influencing creative teaching in mainland China: An exploratory study. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 31, 79-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2018.11.002

Hughes, J. (2005). The role of teacher knowledge and learning experiences in forming technology-integrated pedagogy. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 15(2), 277-302.

Jordan, A., & Carlile, O. (2012). Approaches to creativity: A guide for teachers. Open University Press.

Kampylis, P., Berki, E., & Saariluoma, P. (2009). In-service and prospective teachers’ conceptions of creativity. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 4, 15-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2008.10.001

Karekatti, T. K., & Shinde, M. B. (2012). Pre-service teachers’ beliefs about teaching English to primary school children. International Journal of Instruction, 5(1), 69-86.

Kettler, T., Lamb, K. N., Willerson, A., & Mullet, D. R. (2018). Tearchers’ perceptions of creativity in the classroom. Creativity Research Journal, 32(2), 164-171. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2018.1446503

Kreitler, S., & Casakin, H. (2009). Motivation for creativity in design students. Creativity Research Journal, 21(2), 282-293. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400410902861471

Larraz-Rábanos, N. (2021). Development of creative thinking skills in the teaching-learning process. In U. Kayapinar (Ed.), Teacher Education. IntechOpen Book Series.

Lawson, A. E., Alkhoury, S., Benford, R., Clark, B. R., & Falconer, K. A. (2000). What kinds of scientific concepts exist? Concept construction and intellectual development in college biology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(9), 996-1018. https://doi.org/10.1002/1098-2736(200011)37:9<996::AID-TEA8>3.0.CO;2-J

LeFevre, J.-A., Smith-Chant, B. L., Fast, L., Skwarchuk, S.-L., Sargla, E., Arnup, J. S., Penner-Wilger, M., Bisanz, J., & Kamawar, D. (2006). What counts as knowing? The development of conceptual and procedural knowledge of counting from kindergarten through Grade 2. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 93(4), 285-303. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2005.11.002

Lin, Y.-S. (2011). Fostering creativity through education - A conceptual framework of creative pedagogy. Creative Education, 02(03), 149-155. https://doi.org/10.4236/ce.2011.23021

MacPhail, A., Ulvik, M., Guberman, A., Czerniawski, G., Oolbekkink-Marchand, H., & Bain, Y. (2019). The professional development of higher education-based teacher educators: Needs and realities. Professional Development in Education, 45(5), 848-861. https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2018.1529610

Maley, A. (2015). Creativity: The what, the why and the how. In A. Maley & N. Peachey (Eds.), Creativity in the English language classroom (pp. 6-13). British Council.

Masadeh, T. S. (2021). Teaching practices of EFL teachers and the enhancement of creative thinking skills among learners. International Journal of Asian Education, 2(2), 153-166. https://doi.org/10.46966/ijae.v2i2.173

McVaugh, N. K., & Robinson, D. H. (2022). Just how much multitasking can students handle during lecture? Effects of question frequency and relevancy, and note taking on retention. Educational Technology Research and Development, 70(3), 807-821. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-022-10113-z

Mejia, C., D’Ippolito, B., & Kajikawa, Y. (2021). Major and recent trends in creativity research: An overview of the field with the aid of computational methods. Creativity and Innovation Management, 30(3), 475-497. https://doi.org/10.1111/caim.12453

Murphy, E. (2009). A framework for identifying and promoting metacognitive knowledge and control in online discussants. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/La Revue Canadienne de l’apprentissage et de La Technologie, 34(2). https://doi.org/10.21432/T2SW2V

NACCCE. (1999). All our futures: Creativity, culture and education. DFEE Publication.

Pretz, J. E., & Nelson, D. (2017). Creativity is influenced by domain, creative self-efficacy, mindset, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. In Explorations in Creativity Research, The Creative Self (pp. 155-170). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809790-8.00009-1

Rahmat, N. H., Rahman, S. A. S. A., Mohd, D. R., Yunos, S. S. S. A. R., & Rahman, A. H. A. (2022). Exploring the use of knowledge in language learning. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 12(2), 16-31. https://doi.org/10.6007/IJARBSS/v12-i2/12268

Renzulli, J. S., & De Wet, C. F. (2010). Developing creative productivity in young people through the pursuit of ideal acts of learning. In R. A. Kaufman & J. C. Beghetto (Eds.), Nurturing creativity in the classroom (pp. 24-72). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511781629.004

Runco, M. A. (2003). Education for creative potential. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 47(3), 317-324. https://doi.org/10.1080/00313830308598

Schön, D. A. (1991). The reflective turn: Case studies in and on educational practice. Teachers Press.

Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. L. (1991). An investment theory of creativity and its development. Human Development, 34(1), 1-31.

Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. L. (1992). Buy low and sell high: An investment approach to creativity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1(1), 1-5.

Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. L. (1995). Defying the crowd: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. Free Press.

Szymkowiak, A., Melović, B., Dabić, M., Jeganathan, K., & Kundi, G. S. (2021). Information technology and Gen Z: The role of teachers, the internet, and technology in the education of young people. Technology in Society, 65(March), 101565. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101565

Trunnell, E. P., Evans, C., Richards, B., & Grosshans, O. (1997). Factors associated with creativity in health educators who have won university teaching awards. Journal of Health Education, 28(1), 35-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/10556699.1997.10608586

Wang, L., & Kokotsaki, D. (2018). Primary school teachers’ conceptions of creativity in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in China. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 29, 115-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2018.06.002

Wang, S., & Noe, R. A. (2010). Knowledge sharing: A review and directions for future research. Human Resource Management Review, 20(2), 115-131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2009.10.001

Weisberg, R. W. (1999). Creativity and knowledge: A challenge to theories. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 226-250). Cambridge University Press.

World Economic Forum. (2016). New vision for education: Fostering social and emotional learning through technology. World Economic Forum. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_New_Vision_for_Education.pdf

Yilmaz, I., & Yalcin, N. (2012). The relationship of procedural and declarative knowledge of science teacher candidates in Newton’s Laws of Motion on understanding. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 2(3), 50-56.

Zhang, L. F. (2013). Conceptions of creativity among Hong Kong university students. Educational Psychology, 33(5), 521-539. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2013.812615

Zhang, L. F., & Sternberg, R. J. (2011). Revisiting the investment theory of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 23(3), 229-238. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2011.595974

Zhang, Y., & Kitalong, K. S. (2015). Influences on creativity in technical communication: Invention, motivation and constraints. Technical Communication Quarterly, 24(4), 199-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2015.1043028

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v10i1.26145

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats