The participants expressed
genuine interest in new ideas and information. They displayed an open mindset
towards new knowledge and expressed openness towards others. I express some caution towards this disposition of openness. It is likely to assume that Twitter attracts people who already have an open mindset rather than that Twitter itself activates the open mindset.
As Els puts it:
“I love the feedback I get on articles, on educational news on Twitter. It is the ideal context to learn form others that are likeminded.” (Els - see videolog 11th Aug. '15)
The data were grouped in Nvivo under the notion “openness to experience”. According to Hart (2000, p. 7) inspiration “is experienced as an opening, as an availability and receptivity which occurred quite unexpectedly and spontaneously.” This is in line with the unexpected, serendipitous nature of Twitter (Kop, 2012).
“Often I have the feeling of finding a needle in an educational haystack. I like this.” (Kris)
Hart continues (2000, p. 12) by suggesting that the insight comes out of a shift in “analytic thinking to a more intuitive mode”. Thrash and Elliot (2003, p. 886) suggest that this openness not only “covaries with inspiration, but in fact facilitates it.” According to them openness to experience emerges as an antecedent of inspiration. "Inspiration is facilitated by receptiveness.” (p. 884)
The openness to experience expressed itself most prominent by the word ‘curiosity’ in the data. Other relevant data were tagged with ‘exploration, loves feedback, openness’.
I argue that ‘openness
to experience’ is worthwile investigating in the light of CPD. Paying attention
to how (starting) teachers handle new information can point into the direction
of a receptive mindset. Developing curiosity must be considered an
important condition for effective CPD. Palmgren (2008) even considers it a primary condition for every creative interchange between people. According to Palmgren (2008, p. 8) curiosity is the “act of exploring and appreciating new ideas,
even if they contradict our own.”
“Rather than being suspicious, cautious, and judgmental of others who think differently and make different choices than we do, we must be open to learn from them.” (Palmgren, 2008, p. 23)
During this research the high level of curiosity with participating teachers was very noticeable.