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Creativity in the School Context

Levin, Cecilia LU (2008)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att lyfta fram barns kreativitet och barnens egna perspektiv på kreativitet, som en kontrast till studier som undersöker begreppet ur ett vuxenperspektiv och utifrån en akademisk definition. Avhandlingen består av två kvasi-experimentella studier och en intervju studie.

I Studie I undersöktes associationer mellan kreativitet och situationsspecifik stressreaktion (state anxiety) samt generell benägenhet till stressreaktion (trait anxiety), hos barn i åtta till tolvårsåldern, i fråga om hur dessa associationer påverkar barnens förmåga att utnyttja sin potential i fråga om kreativitet. Resultaten indikerar att ett prestationinriktat klimat... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att lyfta fram barns kreativitet och barnens egna perspektiv på kreativitet, som en kontrast till studier som undersöker begreppet ur ett vuxenperspektiv och utifrån en akademisk definition. Avhandlingen består av två kvasi-experimentella studier och en intervju studie.

I Studie I undersöktes associationer mellan kreativitet och situationsspecifik stressreaktion (state anxiety) samt generell benägenhet till stressreaktion (trait anxiety), hos barn i åtta till tolvårsåldern, i fråga om hur dessa associationer påverkar barnens förmåga att utnyttja sin potential i fråga om kreativitet. Resultaten indikerar att ett prestationinriktat klimat som inkluderar kreativ problemlösning inte nödvändigtvis missgynnar barn med väl etablerad kreativ förmåga, men man bör vara uppmärksam på att barn, som har svårt att uttrycka sin kreativitet, kan behöva hjälp att utveckla sin denna, annars förlorar de på två fronter – både genom att uppleva en förhöjd stressreaktion i uppgifter som kräver divergent tänkande, och genom att inte kunna uttrycka sig kreativt på grund av ökad stress och oro.

I Studie II undersöktes associationer mellan inre respektive yttre motivationskällor och kreativitet, hos barn i åtta till tolvårsåldern, samt effekter av en prestationsbaserad uppgift, på kreativitet hos barn i åtta till tolvårsåldern. Ett samband mellan inre motivationskällor och kreativitet befanns vara signifikant under tävlingsbetingelse men inte i kontrollgruppen, vilket kan ses som en möjlig indikation att tävlingsbetingelsen i sig uppmuntrade till att aktivt söka kreativa lösningar på den aktuella uppgiften.

Studie III är en kvalitativ undersökning av mellanåldersbarns förståelse av kreativitets-begreppet. Resultaten indikerar att kreativitetsbegreppet, till största delen, innebär bildkonst och bildskapande för barnen i studien, oavsett kulturell tillhörighet. Vissa barn ansåg även att kreativitet betydde att man måste göra någonting bra/duktigt. Att barnen hade en relativt smal definition av begreppet betyder naturligtvis inte att de inte använder sina kreativa tillgångar, men det är viktigt att minnas, att när man specifikt ber barnen att vara kreativa i sitt arbete, så finns det en risk att man, i stället för att expandera deras uttrycksförmåga, begränsar den till att innefatta bildskapande arbete, och/eller en känsla av att det man åstadkommit måste förbättras. (Less)
Abstract
The main aim of the present investigation was to highlight middle childhood creativity, and the children’s perspective on creativity, in contrast to many, if not most, studies that investigate creativity from an adult perspective and a scholarly definition. This dissertation consists of two quasi-experimental studies, and one interview study.

Study I investigated if, and how, state anxiety, brought on by school environment related stressors, might affect children’s ability to utilize their full potential in regards to creativity. Low creativity was found to be associated with increasing levels of anxiety under competition conditions. The results indicate that it is advisable to encourage the less creative to believe in, and... (More)
The main aim of the present investigation was to highlight middle childhood creativity, and the children’s perspective on creativity, in contrast to many, if not most, studies that investigate creativity from an adult perspective and a scholarly definition. This dissertation consists of two quasi-experimental studies, and one interview study.

Study I investigated if, and how, state anxiety, brought on by school environment related stressors, might affect children’s ability to utilize their full potential in regards to creativity. Low creativity was found to be associated with increasing levels of anxiety under competition conditions. The results indicate that it is advisable to encourage the less creative to believe in, and develop, their creative abilities or they might lose out on dual fronts – both by experiencing increased anxiety in tasks that require divergent thinking and by not being able to express themselves creatively due to increased anxiety.

The main focus of Study II, was to investigate associations between motivational orientation and creativity. Results indicate that intrinsically oriented motivation had a positive effect on creativity overall, but also that the intrinsically motivated under competition conditions, tended to reach higher levels of creativity, than their counterparts in a comparison group, suggesting that the experimental situation in itself may have “triggered” mechanisms, perhaps extrinsically oriented state motivation, to enhance creativity. It seems possible, even plausible, that the competition condition encouraged active exploration into creative solutions.

Study III investigated middle childhood children’s understanding of the creativity construct. The analysis indicate that creativity, to a great extent, means art and artistic expression to children. The children did not seem to consider themselves as being creative in the context of flexible thinking, adaptability and problem solving, unless it included a visual arts perspective. Naturally, children will use their creative functions regardless if they are aware of what the definition of the concept is or not, as was evidenced throughout the study, but it is worth considering that, when asking children to be creative, we might actually be limiting them, rather than expanding their range of creative expression. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Kupferberg, Feiwel, Malmö Högskola
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
school, child, motivation, anxiety, creativity
pages
161 pages
publisher
Department of Psychology, Lund University
defense location
Hörsal 128, Stora Algatan 4, Lund
defense date
2008-10-03 13:00
ISBN
978-91-628-7560-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d9a925f4-7102-44d9-ab34-4753e9319ca9 (old id 1223733)
date added to LUP
2008-09-12 13:12:37
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:02
@misc{d9a925f4-7102-44d9-ab34-4753e9319ca9,
  abstract     = {The main aim of the present investigation was to highlight middle childhood creativity, and the children’s perspective on creativity, in contrast to many, if not most, studies that investigate creativity from an adult perspective and a scholarly definition. This dissertation consists of two quasi-experimental studies, and one interview study.<br/><br>
 Study I investigated if, and how, state anxiety, brought on by school environment related stressors, might affect children’s ability to utilize their full potential in regards to creativity. Low creativity was found to be associated with increasing levels of anxiety under competition conditions. The results indicate that it is advisable to encourage the less creative to believe in, and develop, their creative abilities or they might lose out on dual fronts – both by experiencing increased anxiety in tasks that require divergent thinking and by not being able to express themselves creatively due to increased anxiety. <br/><br>
	The main focus of Study II, was to investigate associations between motivational orientation and creativity. Results indicate that intrinsically oriented motivation had a positive effect on creativity overall, but also that the intrinsically motivated under competition conditions, tended to reach higher levels of creativity, than their counterparts in a comparison group, suggesting that the experimental situation in itself may have “triggered” mechanisms, perhaps extrinsically oriented state motivation, to enhance creativity. It seems possible, even plausible, that the competition condition encouraged active exploration into creative solutions. <br/><br>
	Study III investigated middle childhood children’s understanding of the creativity construct. The analysis indicate that creativity, to a great extent, means art and artistic expression to children. The children did not seem to consider themselves as being creative in the context of flexible thinking, adaptability and problem solving, unless it included a visual arts perspective. Naturally, children will use their creative functions regardless if they are aware of what the definition of the concept is or not, as was evidenced throughout the study, but it is worth considering that, when asking children to be creative, we might actually be limiting them, rather than expanding their range of creative expression.},
  author       = {Levin, Cecilia},
  isbn         = {978-91-628-7560-2},
  keyword      = {school,child,motivation,anxiety,creativity},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {161},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x959ca08)},
  title        = {Creativity in the School Context},
  year         = {2008},
}