South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (Bulgaria)
Abstract. In the 21st century, reality, characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, together termed VUCA, change constantly occurs throughout social, technological, economic, environmental, educational, and political (STEEEP model) aspects of society. Therefore, education systems need to adopt innovative approaches to adapt to the frequently changing world. In this study, educational and pedagogical innovation is regarded as including whatever constitutes a change in all areas to which education relates. As teachers are one of the most crucial factors in influencing students’ academic success, and as they must rapidly adapt and constantly innovate to adequately prepare their students for ever-changing circumstances, it is essential to identify traits of innovative teachers. The main goal of this study is to characterize the personality traits of innovative teachers according to the Big Five Personality Traits model, referred to as the NEO-AC model, using qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings show that innovative teachers perceive themselves as first and foremost open to experiences. They are curious people with highly developed imaginations and a wide range of interests. Innovative teachers also may be unconventional, capable of putting together plans and projects from several different disciplines.
Keywords: innovative teacher; model of the Big Five