Examining Teachers’ Use of Creative Writing Teachers’ Use of Creative Writing Activities ... ABSTRACT The study aims to examine teachers’ use of creative writing activities in writing classes.
Kamla-Raj 2015 Anthropologist, 19(1): 111-121 (2015)Examining Teachers Use of Creative Writing ActivitiesGokhan CetinkayaNigde University, Faculty of Education, Department of Turkish Language Education,Nigde, 51100, TurkeyTelephone: (+90388) 225 4341, Fax: (+90388) 225 4316,E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgKEYWORDS Writing Method. Writing Education. Teachers AttitudesABSTRACT The study aims to examine teachers use of creative writing activities in writing classes. It wasconducted using a descriptive case study design within descriptive method. The data were obtained from fifty-twoTurkish language teachers through semi-structured interviews containing seven open- ended questions. The gathereddata were analysed using content analysis and the teachers responses to the open ended questions and further, werecategorized thematically based on similarities and differences. These codes formed in relation to the participatingteachers views were presented according to each theme with frequency/percentage information and a samplequotation from the teachers responses. As a result of the study, it was revealed that the teachers tried to usecreative writing activities although not very often, and they were aware of the contributions of creative writingactivities to student learning. However they had difficulties in using these activities because of reasons due toteachers, students, curriculum and lack of resources.INTRODUCTIONWriting is one of the skills areas in whichstudents have great difficulty. The process ofproducing a written text can be considered as aset of activities that requires the active partici-pation of the teacher and is also conducted with-in a certain time span. As generally accepted,the steps of this set of activities constituting thewriting process include pre-writing (producingideas, planning), drafting, revising, editing andpublishing (Richards 2005: 65). Producing a writ-ten text requires a certain process. The proce-dures needed to be followed by both the teach-ers and the students in this process are vitallyimportant to be able to produce more qualifiedtexts. However, it is known that, the process ofproducing a text by the students as the produc-ers of the text and the teachers as the observersand guiders is not very effective as it should be(Ulper 2009).Hayes and Flower (1980) identified four ma-jor writing processes:1. Planning takes the writing assignment andlong-term memory as input, which then pro-duces a conceptual plan for the documentas output. Planning includes sub-activitiesof generating (coming up with ideas), orga-nizing (arranging those ideas logically inones head), and goal setting (determiningwhat effects one wants to achieve and mod-ifying ones generating and organizing ac-tivities to achieve local or global goals).2. Translating takes the conceptual plan forthe document and produces text express-ing the planned content.3. In reviewing, the text produced so far is read,with modifications to improve it (revise) orcorrect errors (proof read).4. Monitoring includes metacognitive pro-cesses that link and coordinate planning,translating, and reviewing (cited in Deaneet al. 2008: 4).On the other hand, Olson (1999) provides 10essential characteristics of the process approach:1. Writing is an activity, an act composed of avariety of activities.2. The activities in writing are typically recur-sive rather than linear.3. Writing is, first and foremost, a social activity.4. The act of writing can be a means of learn-ing and discovery.5. Experienced writers are often aware of au-dience, purpose, and context.6. Experienced writers spend considerabletime on invention and revision.7. Effective writing instruction allows stu-dents to practice these activities.8. Such instruction includes ample opportu-nities for peer review.9. Effective instructors grade student work notonly on the finished product but also onthe efforts involved in the writing process.10. Successful composition instruction entailsfinding appropriate occasions to intervene112 GOKHAN CETINKAYAin each students writing process (as citedin Bloom 2003: 32-33).In contrast with process-oriented instruction(for example, writing workshop), traditional writ-ing instruction: (a) is more teacher-directed; (b)focuses more on discrete skills; (c) uses lessauthentic writing tasks; (d) devotes limited timeto composition of whole texts; and (e) valuesproduct over the process (Troia 2007: 149).Tompkins (2000) suggests 7 reasons whychildren should write:1. To entertain2. To foster artistic expression3. To explore the functions and values of writ-ing4. To stimulate the imagination5. To clarify thinking6. To search for identity7. To learn to read and writeThere are many books and articles on theconcept of creativity. Among these, it is possi-ble to find a number of conceptual thinking andacademic bases regarding creativity, creativepersons, methods for developing creativity andreasons constraining creativity. The primary aimof creative writing activities is to enable studentsto express their feelings and opinions in an orig-inal, fluent and interesting way instead of writ-ing boring, recurring and monotonous texts(Temizkan 2010: 630).As defined within some social context cre-ativity is the interplay between ability and pro-cess by which an individual or group producesan outcome or product that is both novel anduseful (Plucker and Beghetto 2004: 156).Wallas (1926) outlines four stages of the cre-ative process:1) Preparation2) Incubation3) Illumination4) VerificationIndeed, for creativity in education, this isimportant part of the learning about creative pro-cess stage. Although creative ideas and solu-tions can emerge splendidly, it is common to haveto work on and at them in order to produce some-thing worthwhile (Fautley and Savage 2011: 42).Creative Writing practice is an all-encom-passing term, and perhaps is the first that needsto be unpacked in order to reveal some elementsof Creative Writings nature. Practice, in this case,means the practice of writing creatively; but thiscan, of course, entail a great many practices, somesimple acts of inscription, some acts of record-ing, some acts of invention, interpretation or dis-tillation, some acts of revisiting, rewriting or ed-iting, and so on. And yet, in talking of practicethere is some indication that we are not talking,as the primary focal point, about the finishedartifacts that result from that practice (Harper andKroll 2008: 3).A skilled writer can confront a staggering hi-erarchy of problems, including how to generateand organize task-relevant ideas; phrase gram-matically correct sentences that flow; use cor-rect punctuation and spelling; and tailor ideas,tone, and wording to the desired audience, toname some of the more salient rhetorical and lin-guistic tasks (Deane et al. 2008: 3).Bells project (2008) on Creative Writing InRelation to Formal Essay-Writing Skills and Un-derstanding of Literature presented evidencethat creative writing has a positive impact onconfidence in writing, comfort with others view-ing own writing, grammar and punctuation skills,critical reading of literature, vocabulary and form,expressiveness of writing.Effective writing requires the activation ofprior knowledge on writing and the preparationfor the process of writing (Erdogan 2013: 53).Creative writing activities are also used to expe-rience and effectively use the language, developskills of organizing feelings and opinions in atext, explore information, expand imagination,gain a critical perspective, develop analysis andsynthesis skills, and use basic grammar and punc-tuation rules (Temizkan 2010: 630).An important aim of the education based oncreativity is to enable individuals gain a multidi-mensional habit of intuition, emotion andthought (Sever 1991: 371). According to Mc-Laughlin (2008: 89), creative writing is about;making suggestions for improvement is only partof the process. Teaching creative writing is aboutteaching the writer methodologies and practicesthat enable them to criticise and edit themselves.The writing activities presented by the teach-ers should be far from being boring. The litera-ture shows that students are not proficient inwriting as well as having high writing anxietyand negative attitudes towards writing (Kean etal. 1987; Karakaya and Ulper 2011; Kara 2013).When we encourage pupils in their thinking andwriting we are giving them the courage to beplayful in the face of increasing creative and in-tellectual demands (Bowkett 2008: 7). TeachersEXAMINING TEACHERS USE OF CREATIVE WRITING ACTIVITIES 113play the most important role in organizing freeanxiety-free, effective and functional education-al settings using the creative writing method inteaching writing. The reason is that it is the teach-ers who would plan and implement the teachingprocess.With regards to teacher capacity, manyteachers report that they are ill-prepared to teachwriting (Graham et al. 2013: 2). For example, in arecent survey conducted by Kiuhara et al. (2009cited in Graham et al. 2013: 2), one out of everytwo high school teachers indicated that they hadlittle to no preparation in how to teach writing. Inanother paper, Graham et al. (2014) a random sam-ple middle school teachers from the United Stateswere surveyed about their preparation to teachwriting, beliefs about responsibilities for teach-ing writing, use of evidence-based writing prac-tices, assessment of writing, use of technology,and adaptations for struggling writers. The find-ings from this survey raised concerns about thequality of middle school writing instruction. Manyteachers believed their pre-service and in-ser-vice preparation to teach was inadequate.Middleschool students spend little time writing or be-ing taught how to write. While most teachersused a variety of evidenced-based writing prac-tices and made adaptations for struggling writ-ers, such methods were applied infrequently.Palmquist and Youngs (1992) study also revealsthe importance of teachers role in shaping stu-dents attitude and motivation toward writing. Inthis regard, teachers use of creative writing ac-tivities in teaching writing has significance interms of organizing effective and functional ed-ucational settings. Based on this perspective,this study aimed to examine Turkish languageteachers use of creative writing activities inteaching writing. In parallel with this broad aim,the teachers use of creative writing activities,classes which are suitable for creative writingtechnique, practices and activities conductedwithin creative writing technique, problems en-countered in implementing creative writing ac-tivities, their proficiency perception with regardto creative writing technique, their backgroundknowledge in this sense, and finally their sug-gestions for implementing the creative writingtechnique more effectively were identified basedon their views.METHODOLOGYThis section presents information regardingthe research design, participants, data gatheringtool and data analysis.Research DesignThis study examining teachers use of cre-ative writing activities was conducted using semi-structured interview method based on qualita-tive research approach. Being a type of descrip-tive research, this study is a case study aimingto examine, in detail, Turkish language teachersviews and opinions regarding their use of cre-ative writing method in teaching writing. Casestudy design is suitable for studies conductedindividually since it allows researchers to exam-ine an aspect of the research problem deeply andin a short time period. Although making general-izations is not a concern of such studies, theirresults may ched some light in a more generalsense (Cepni 2007; Yildirim and Simsek 2008).ParticipantsThe study was conducted with Turkish lan-guage teachers working at schools within Nigdecity centre. 52 Turkish language teachers select-ed by convenient sampling that is one of thepurposive sampling methods participated in thestudy. In convenience sampling, researchers se-lect a case that is close and available to them.This sampling method makes the research pro-cess fast and practical (Yildirim and Simsek 2008).Data Gathering and AnalysisThe data were gathered through semi-struc-tured interviews conducted with the teachers par-ticipated in the study. In semi-structured inter-views, participants are asked questions formed inadvance. Besides, new questions can be askedwhen necessary, some questions may not be askedor opportunities can be provided to elaborate an-swers (Cepni 2007; Yildirim and Simsek 2008;Buyukozturk et al. 2012). In this study, an inter-view form consisting of 7 open ended questionswas used as the data gathering tool in line withthe research aim. At first, the interview questionswere formed by the researchers and presented tothree experts in the field. Then, pre-interviews weremade with two elementary teachers to see howmuch time it would take and what possible prob-lems would be encountered. Finally, the questionswere finalized. The questions in the interview formare as follows:1. How often do you use the creative writingmethod?114 GOKHAN CETINKAYA2. Which grades do you think the creativewriting method is suitable for?3. Which practices/activities do you use with-in the creative writing method?4. What problems do you encounter in im-plementing the creative writing method?5. How proficient do you feel in implement-ing the creative writing method?6. Did you have any in-service training onthe use of the creative writing method?What type of training and when?7. What would you suggest for implement-ing the creative writing method more ef-fectively?The interviews were recorded using a voicerecorder. The recordings were firstly listed care-fully for a couple of times and then transcribed.The transcribed data were analysed holistically.For this analysis, content analysis was conduct-ed and coding of the data (Yildirim and Simsek2008) as one of the data analysis techniques wasused.The responses for the questions in the inter-view form were firstly coded by each researcherbased on their similarities and differences. Thesecodes identified separately by the researcherswere then examined together and the similarcodes were identified while those that were notsimilar were negotiated and an agreement wasreached for forming common codes and themes(Yildirim and Simsek 2008; Buyukozturk et al.2012). These codes and themes were finalizedbased on expert opinion. This process followedin the data analysis was necessary and impor-tant for revising and confirming the codes andthe themes as well as enhancing the reliability ofthe study. These codes and themes were tabu-lated and presented with frequency/percentageinformation and sample quotations from theteachers responses regarding each code. In thequotations, the teachers were coded as (T).RESULTSIn this section, the codes and themes revealedfrom the teachers views on their use of creativewriting activities in teaching writing are presented.The first question of the study was Howoften do you use the creative writing method?The teachers frequency of using creative writ-ing activities is given in Table 1. Table 1 presentsthat 6% of the teachers never use the creativewriting method, 36% sometimes and 58% fre-quently. The teachers stated that they do notuse the creative writing activities because thestudents are not ready. They asserted that theysometimes use the creative writing method whenappropriate because of the intense classroompopulation. Some teachers said that they fre-quently use the method since through this meth-od, the students imagine freely and without anyconstraints.The second research question of the studywas Which grades do you think the creativewriting method is suitable for? Table 2 pre-sents the grades which are suitable for using thecreative writing technique based on the teach-ers views.Based on Table 2, 19% of the teachers thinkthe creative writing method can be implementedin 5th and 6th grades, 16% think 7th and 8th grade,and 65% think all grades. Examining the teachersresponses as a whole, this case can be interpret-ed as that the teachers are in agreement aboutthe necessity of using creative writing activitiesin teaching writing.The third research question of the study wasWhich practices/activities do you use withinthe creative writing method? The practices andactivities implemented by the teachers within thecreative writing method are presented in Table 3.Table 3 shows that 40% of the teachers usedTable 1: The participating teachers use of creative writing activitiesCode Codes f %No.1 I never use them 3 62 I sometimes use them 19 363 I frequently use them 30 58Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 I dont use them because the students are not ready (T 26)2 I sometimes use them in the activities when appropriate (T 4)3 I think this method is the one that would enable students imagine freely and without any constraints, so I try to use it frequently. (T 1)EXAMINING TEACHERS USE OF CREATIVE WRITING ACTIVITIES 115mostly the story completion activity withinthe creative writing method. However, some prac-tices or activities provided by the teachers arenot actually within the creative writing method.Free writing and directed writing are meth-ods used independently from the creative writ-ing method. Writing stories, tales, plays, essays,poems and diaries is related to text genres to beworked on. This case can be interpreted as thatsome of the teachers participated in the studydid not have a sufficient amount of knowledgeregarding the creative writing method and otherwriting methods.The fourth research question of the studywas What problems do you encounter in im-plementing the creative writing method? Theproblems encountered by the teachers in imple-menting the creative writing activities are givenTable 2: Grades that are suitable for implementing the creative writing methodCode Codes f %No.1 5-6. Grade 10 192 7-8. Grade 8 1 63 5-6-7-8 Grade 34 65Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 It should start in the 5th grade because it is the period when childrens imaginationand thinking start to develop (T 38)2 It is more suitable for 7th-8th grade since children in earlier grades dont have abstract thinking resulting in having difficulties in applying the creative writing technique. However, 7th-8th graders grasp it easily (T 43)3 I think it should be implemented in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades because each age group has its own creativity (T 33)Table 3: The practices and activities implemented by the teachers within the creative writing methodCode Codes f %No.1 Story completion 21 402 Writing stories, tales, plays, essays, poems, diary 19 373 Free writing technique 12 244 Writing about a concept or a proverb 7 135 The activities in the teachers or students books 7 136 Composition 6 1 27 Picture interpretation 6 128 Concept pool activity 3 69 Directed writing method 2 410 Proverb and idiom box activity 1 211 Writing club 1 2Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 ....I read half of a story and make the students complete the rest of it (T 26)2 making them write a tale, story etc..(T 12)3 I want them to write about whatever they like (T 2)4 I try to use the creative writing technique by giving them a single concept ot proverb ( T 4 )5 I use the activities in the teachers or students books (T 6)6 I assign students with the topic of the week or topics related to the theme of the Turkish class and ask them to write a composition (T 31)7 .such as constructing a text by interpreting pictures..(T 18)8 Selecting words from the Concept Pool and asking questions such as What if it was youand ask them to continue to write.( T7)9 I assign them with a topic and ask them to write using directed writing method (T 2)10 I pick 5-6 paper randomly from the box and ask my students to create a story. (T 1)11 We opened a writing club to which we direct our talented students and guide them in their writing process (T 42)*The percantage values can be more than 100% since the statements of some teachers were placed under more thanone theme.116 GOKHAN CETINKAYAin Table 4. Table 4 shows that the teachers viewsregarding the problems they encounter whileimplementing the creative writing method aregathered under 14 different codes. The mostlyemphasized ones among these codes is notbeing able to use spelling rules and studentsnot being able to express themselves with 35%.The data analysis suggests that the main prob-lem in implementing the creative writing methodis students expression skills being insufficient.Furthermore; the students have negative atti-tudes toward writing, besides they do not likehandwriting. Also, lack of confidence constitutesthe other aspects of the problems.The fifth question of the study was Howproficient do you feel in implementing the cre-ative writing method? The teachers views ontheir perceived proficiency in implementing thecreative writing method are presented in Table 5.Table 5 shows that 61% of the teachers feel them-selves proficient in the creative writing methodwhile 33% feel not proficient and 6% feel moder-ately proficient. Most of the teachers not feelingproficient stated that they did not take enoughwriting courses at the university level. On theother hand, those feeling moderately proficientpoint to the students lack of knowledge as thesource of the problem.The sixth research question of the study wasDid you have any in-service training on theuse of the creative writing method? What typeof training did you take? And when did youtake it?The teachers experience of training oncreative writing activities is given in Table 6. Ta-ble 6 presents that 96% of the teachers did nottake any training on the creative writing methodat university, and 94% did not take any in-ser-vice training. On the other hand, 8% of the teach-ers took in-service and 4% pre-service (universi-ty level) training on the creative writing method.The seventh research question was Whatwould you suggest for implementing the cre-ative writing method more effectively? Theteachers suggestions for implementing the cre-Table 4: Problems encountered in implementing the creative writing methodCode Codes f %No.1 Not being able to use spelling rules 18 352 Students not being able to express themselves 18 353 Students not reading books 14 274 Student not being willing to write 14 275 Not wanting to force the burdens of imagination 11 216 Students not having sufficient vocabulary 11 217 Students lack and insufficiency of knowledge 9 178 Time constraints 3 69 Students lack of confidence 2 410 Lack of resources 1 211 Not having any problems 1 213 Not liking handwriting 1 214 Difficulties in reaching aims 1 2Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 .they cannot apply spelling rules appropriately (T 3).they cannot write in the way they are asked to (T 6)2 The students have trouble in expressing themselves (T 9)3 The most important problem is that the students dont read enough (T 8)4 The students dont want to write ( T 12 )5 .They dont want to force the burdens of their imagination (T 3)6 .they have difficulty in writing because they dont have sufficient vocabulary (T 5)7 My students dont have sufficient knowledge in this topic (T 14)8 The time for the lesson is not enough considering the syllabus. (T 2)9 ...they are afraid of writing. (T 7)10 Not having any resources about creative writing in our language is our main problem ( T 42 )11 I dont have any problems13 ...they dont like handwriting. (T 3)14 I have difficulty in reaching the aims since it is a free method. (T 1)*The percantage values can be more than 100% since the statements of some teachers were placed under more thanone theme.EXAMINING TEACHERS USE OF CREATIVE WRITING ACTIVITIES 117ative writing method more effectively are present-ed in Table 7. Table 7 shows that the teacherssuggestions for implementing the creative writ-ing method more effectively are gathered under16 different codes. Among these codes, the mostemphasised ones are endearing reading with33% and making students like writing with25%. The analysis of the data shows that withregard to implementing the creative writing moreeffectively, the teachers offered suggestions re-lated to student and teacher competencies. Theteachers think that the creative writing methodwould be more effective with practices such aschanging the prejudices of students against writ-ing, making them like writing, improving writingskills and preparing materials interesting to themand not grading students. In addition, the teach-ers pointed out that there should be an in-servicetraining and a course at undergraduate level re-garding the creative writing method.DISCUSSIONAccording to the results of the teachers useof creative writing activities, it is seen that morethan half of them used such activities frequent-ly, one thirds used them sometimes, and onlythree participants never used. Teaching writingis basically a skill development. Therefore, stu-dents active participation is needed in the teach-ing writing process. The teachers using the cre-ative writing method frequently in teaching writ-ing stated that they used this method to attractthe students attention, and make them use theirimagination freely and without any constraints.Regarding the findings for the second re-search question, the teachers thought that us-ing the creative writing method was suitable start-ing from the 7th grade. The teachers justified thisview saying that at 5th and 6th grade, studentsabstract thinking skills were not developed. Stud-ies revealed that creative writing activities hadpositive impacts on the students writing skills atall grade levels (see Smith and Elley 1998; Sharp-les 1999; ORourke 2005). Besides, the rest of theparticipants stated that since children at the 5thgrade had a higher level of imagination, the cre-ative writing activities could be more effective.As for the practices and activities the teach-ers use within the creative writing method, theyTable 5: Teachers views on their perceived proficiency in implementing the creative writing methodCode Codes f %No.1 Feeling proficient 32 612 Feeling not proficient 17 333 Feeling moderately proficient 3 6Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 There is no limit for writing and its concept, I feel proficient compared to middle school students (T 2)2 I dont feel very proficient since there werent enough writing courses at the university (T6 )3 I feel not proficient since the one who writes doesnt have the sufficient background knowledge (T 4)Table 6: The participating teachers experience of training on creative writing activitiesCode Codes f %No.1 No training (pre-service) 50 962 No training (in-service) 49 943 Had training (in-service) 4 84 Had training (pre-service) 2 4Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 No, I didnt, but I would take in-service (T 12)2 No, I didnt, but I would if there is any ( T 6 )3 I did and I also attended several seminars ( T 35 )4 I took a course on creative writing activities at university ( T 19 )*The percantage values can be more than 100% since the statements of some teachers were placed under more thanone theme.118 GOKHAN CETINKAYAincluded story completion, picture interpretation,concept pool, proverb, and idiom box. With re-spect to the text types, it was seen that theyconducted practices for very diverse types in-cluding stories, tales, plays, essays, poems anddiaries, so did not stick to only one text type.The prominent problems encountered by theteachers in the implementation of the creativewriting method were students lack of expres-sion skills and insufficient vocabulary. Yet, lackof sufficient vocabulary cannot be seen as a con-straint in the implementation of the creative writ-ing method. However, studies show creative writ-ing practices contribute to students vocabulary.For example, the results of Doughertys (2011)work titled as Creative writing and vocabu-lary acquisition reveal that creative writing wasbeneficial in terms of developing vocabulary.Studies also show that there is a positive corre-lation between students reading habits and com-prehension strategies (Chall and Jacobs 1983;Fitzgerald and Sahamahan 2000). Similarly, writ-ing skill and behaviour have also a positive ef-fect on students reading comprehension skills(Shanahan 1984; Ahmed et al. 2014).It is seenthat a result of clich methods and wrong ap-proaches, most students develop negative atti-tudes toward writing and lack of self-confidence.Table 7: The participating teachers suggestions for implementing the creative writing method moreeffectivelyCode Codes f %No.1 Reading should be endeared 17 332 We should make students like writing 13 253 There should be a separate class hour for this; there shouldnt be any grading 8 154 Class hours should be increased 7 135 Materials should be interesting to students 6 116 In-service training 6 1 17 The classroom should be turned into a free thinking platform 5 98 Awarding 5 99 The students should be guided so that they can express themselves 4 710 Creative writing method training at university 3 511 Overcoming prejudices against writing 1 212 Student-centred classes by making student participate 1 213 Bringing famous authors with young students 1 214 Preventing the students family problems 1 215 Samples regarding the creative writing technique 1 216 Creative thinking 1 2Sample Teacher Response Regarding Each Code1 students should meet books at earlier ages and they should be endeared to read (T 13)2 we should make children like reading, too ( T 5 )3 .there should be another class hour for this practice, a compulsory one, not elective (T 3)4 If the class hours are increased, we would have more and fruitful time ( T 11 )5 We should find materials interesting to students (T 1 )6 In-service trainings should be supported in this regard ( T 8 )7 We should turn the classroom into a free thinking platform. ( T 1 )8 I think we should award students to encourage them ( T 14 )9 We should guide students to express themselves, we shouldnt direct them with our opinions ( T 1 )10 Creative writing should be taught at university as an elective course ( T 15 )11 .the students prejudices against writing should be overcome ( T 6 )12 We should make the student participate and have a student-centred approach ( T 1 )13 We should bring famous authors with young students ( T 7 )14 Students coming to school not not having breakfast beforehand and family problems affect their readiness ( T 2 )15 Samples should be added to teachers books ( T 25 )16 Creative thinking is needed for creative writing, the text should not be compressed to introduction-development-conclusion sections ( T 26 )*The percantage values can be more than 100% since the statements of some teachers were placed under more thanone theme.EXAMINING TEACHERS USE OF CREATIVE WRITING ACTIVITIES 119This case can be interpreted as a constraint forteachers to implement the creative writing meth-od in class. When the findings of studies areevaluated, the activities conducted within thecreative writing method can be said to effectivein making students gain positive attitudes to-ward writing and self-confidence (Chandler 1999;Cunningham 2008; King 2014).Most of the teachers reported that they didnot have any training on the creative writingmethod during and after their undergraduateeducation. On the other hand, more than half ofthe teachers perceived themselves as proficientin creative writing. Two- fifths of the teachersstated that they did not find themselves profi-cient in this. In order for the teachers to conducteffective creative writing activities, they shouldbe informed in advance about creative writingboth in undergraduate education and teachingprofession. The teachers expectations are in thisway. They stated that they would participate insuch trainings. Similarly, Graham et al. (2014) con-cluded from their study that, many teachers be-lieved their pre-service and in-service prepara-tion to teach writing was inadequate. While mostteachers used a variety of evidenced-based writ-ing practices and made adaptations for strug-gling writers, such methods were applied infre-quently. According to McLaughlin (2008: 90),creative writing is such a growth area that weneed teachers to teach on our undergraduateprogrammes and we dont have time for them tolearn by experience, because we need it now. Weneed to invent courses and modules to fast- trackthe process.The teachers prominent suggestions forconducting the creative writing technique moreeffectively include occupying students in read-ing and writing activities. As mentioned earlier,reading and writing skills develop in parallel way.Students liking the act of reading are a prerequi-site for liking writing and expressing them-selvesfreely. In her study Eroglu (2013) observed thatthe students who are reading more frequentlyare at the same time more successful in their writ-ten explanations. The students who do not havea regular reading habit did not show an ideal anda conceptual progress.CONCLUSIONThe teachers use of creative writing activi-ties, classes which are suitable for creative writ-ing technique, practices and activities conduct-ed within creative writing technique, problemsencountered in implementing creative writingactivities, their proficiency perception with re-gard to creative writing technique, their back-ground knowledge in this sense, and finally theirsuggestions for implementing the creative writ-ing technique more effectively were identifiedbased on their views.The present study con-cludes that teachers sometimes use the creativewriting method when appropriate because of theintense classroom population. The teachers arein agreement about the necessity of using cre-ative writing activities in teaching writing. But,they did not have a sufficient amount of knowl-edge regarding the creative writing method andother writing methods.On the other hand, thestudents having negative attitudes toward writ-ing, not liking handwriting, and lack of confi-dence heavily contributes to constitute the oth-er aspect of the problems. Most of the teacherswho do not feel proficient generally admit statedthat they did not take enough writing courses atthe university level. In addition, the teacherspointed out that there should be an in-servicetraining and a course at undergraduate levels todevelop creative writing habits.RECOMMENDATIONSAs a result of the traditional methods of teach-ing writing, students develop negative attitudestoward writing, and consequently, they are notwilling to attend creative writing activities evenwhen they are implemented. 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