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For teachers, creativity and innovation is a high risk activity and the incentives are few (Hannon, 2009). In a system where the centre has been the innovator, practitioners' compliance understandably becomes the habit. The dynamic of change in education in Europe has been described in terms of a set of shifts, first, from "uninformed prescription" (in the 1980s); to "informed prescription"; then towards practitioner led change (Barber, 2002). This last was seen as the key to self sustaining, rapid improvement. It is within this context, that the EU Comenius project, "Implementing Creative Strategies into Science Teaching (CREAT-IT) aims to take forward the agenda of practitioner led change at a European level by introducing creativity in science education. At the level of individual teachers this implies getting three things to happen:

  • Individual teachers need to become aware of specific weaknesses in their own practice. In most cases, this not only involves building an awareness of what they do but the mindset underlying it.
  • Individual teachers need to be motivated to make necessary improvements. In general this requires a deeper change in motivation that cannot be achieved through changing material incentives. Such changes come about when teachers have high expectations, a shared sense of purpose, and above all, a collective belief in their common ability to make a difference to the education of the children they serve.
  • Individual teachers need to gain understanding of specific best practices. In general, this can only be achieved through training and demonstration of such practices in authentic settings.