Paper Title
Fostering Creative Thinking Skills (CTS) through Religious Education (RE) Curriculum: A Case Study in India

The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) secondary curriculum emphasises a STEP teacher’s role as “both reflective practitioner and as creative thinkers in understanding their work” and employing the “best pedagogical practice” in their religious context (IIS, 2014, p:13). In line with this vision, this study is an exploration of the nature of creative thinking skill (CTS) particularly in the Indian context. Using data collection tools such as questionnaire, interview, classroom observations and document analysis, the study examined teachers’ perception about creative thinking as a skill, the strategies used to foster this skill and the challenges teachers face that hinder the development of this skill. The findings of this study reveal that STEP teachers in India have diverse perceptions of CTS. In addition one could regard their perceptions of CTS as fluid wherein personalization aspects remain common to all four teachers. Furthermore majority of the teachers perceive that this skill can both spontaneous and teacher driven. While the teacher’s guide demonstrates aspects that encourage creative thinking there seems to be a lack in what is considered creative. Keywords - Shi’I (a sect in Islam), Ismaili (a sub-group within Shi’I Muslims), Muslim Societies and Civilization (MSC) curriculum, Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), Creative Thinking Skill (CTS), Quran