Exploring the Meaning and Significance of Creativity in Education: A Narrative Inquiry of Saudi Female Graduate Students’ Experiences in a Canadian University

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Almahmudi, Reem
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Mount Saint Vincent University
This qualitative study aims to explore the concept of creativity through the narratives of Saudi female graduate students in the Faulty of Education at a university in Eastern Canada. In-depth interviews reveal the participants’ perspectives on home life, culture and educational environments, and the impact these have had on their creative expression and development. Specifically, this study focuses the Saudi female graduate students’ perceptions regarding the definition of creativity, the factors that nurture and hinder creative development and expression, and the role of creativity in education. The participants offer reflections on how certain aspects of their lives—including their education, family, and cultural context—have facilitated or restricted the development of their own creativity and learning process. The data findings reveal that the experience of studying abroad, and observing different cultural contexts and various approaches to education, has offered the participants a unique opportunity to reflect on the interconnections of culture, pedagogy, creativity and learning. The participants describe the impact of culture on their home and school environments, and they describe having limited opportunities and encouragement for creative expression, which they explain has affected their creative development and by extension, their learning processes. Through reflecting on their past and present experiences in Saudi and Canadian education systems, they have gained greater awareness of the significance of creativity in education and why creativity needs to be encouraged within the Saudi home and school environments. The study aims to contribute to the scholarship in the field of education that is developing a better understanding of the importance of using pedagogy in the teaching and learning process that nurtures students’ creativity.
Creativity, education, Saudi Arabia, female students, motivation