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Techniques for teaching Divergent Thinking
Techniques for teaching Divergent Thinking
This page will be used by our team to brainstorm teaching techniques that have been shown to promote divergent thinking. Each technique will be backed by a referenced research study and the title and abstract will be pasted below.
1. Include drama in the classroom (Karakelle, 2009)
2. Encourage second language aquisition. ( Kharkhurin, 2008)
3. Let students design their own lab procedures to answer questions in Science (Eyster, 2010)
4. BT6 - While formative assessment can promote creative thinking, summative assessment reduces creativity. (Dineen, Samuel, & Livesey 2005)
5. Use storytelling, free verse poetry, fractured fairy tales, and autobiographical research to explain formal writing formats (Smutny 2001)
6. Promote reflection, open ended questions (Krulik, 1994)
7. There is an integral relationship between teaching for creativity and teaching creatively. (Jeffrey & Craft, 2004)
8. When teaching math, write stories about word problems, act out math problems in real life, create artistic representations of the result, and research the history of mathematical subjects (Ediger, 2000)
9. Encourage creativity by creating a positive environment, emphasizing art and spontaneity. (Kingsbury 2009)
10. Solitary-play in early childhood
11. Use music to teach math, dance to teach action vocabulary, and art to teach writing letters and words. (Armistead 2007)
12. Engage students in movement exercises like dance to demonstrate scientific processes such as photosynthesis (Robelen 2010)
13. Use role-play and script-writing to explain scientific concepts (Nicholas and Ng 2008)
Solitary Play and Convergent and Divergent Thinking Skills in Preschool Children.
Lloyd, Bronwen. Howe, Nina
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, v18 n1 p22-41 2003
Abstract: Examined the relationship between multiple forms of solitary play (solitary-active, solitary-passive, reticence) and convergent and divergent thinking in preschool children. Found that reticent behavior was more strongly negatively associated with convergent and divergent thinking than either solitary-active or solitary-passive play, whereas solitary-active play was more strongly positively relat
ed to divergent thinking. Also investigated associations between types of materials and types of solitary players and thinking skills.
Enhancing Fluent and Flexible Thinking through the Creative Drama Process
Authors: Karakelle, Sema
Source: Thinking Skills and Creativity, v4 n2 p124-129 Aug 2009
The purpose of this study is to examine whether flexible and fluent thinking skills, two important elements in divergent thinking, can be enhanced through creative drama process. The research was conducted on 30 subjects, 15 in an experimental group and 15 in a control group. Each group consisted of 9 females and 6 males. All subjects were postgraduate students, and the average age was 25. Flexibility and fluency were assessed through "circle drawing" and "alternate uses of objects" sub-tests. Both groups were given an initial pre-test. Then the experimental group attended a 10-week creative drama course, 3 h a week. A week after drama process was completed, a post-test was applied to both groups. Determining the pre-test and post-test score differences of the two groups, the one-way MANOVA analysis with a 2 x 2 design was applied. The results show that creative drama process can help enhance the two important aspects of divergent thinking, fluency and flexibility, in adult groups. (Contains 1 table.)
The Effect of Linguistic Proficiency, Age of Second Language Acquisition, and Length of Exposure to a New Cultural Environment on Bilinguals' Divergent Thinking
Authors: Kharkhurin, Anatoliy V.
Source: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, v11 n2 p225-243 Jul 2008
The study argues that, in addition to advantages in conscious attention-demanding processing, bilinguals may also exhibit enhanced unconscious divergent thinking. To investigate this issue, the performance of Russian-English bilingual immigrants and English monolingual native speakers was compared on the Abbreviated Torrance Test for Adults, which is a traditional assessment tool of divergent thinking. The study reveals bilinguals' superiority on divergent thinking tasks that require the ability to simultaneously activate and process multiple unrelated concepts from distant categories. Divergent thinking was facilitated by bilinguals' proficiency in two languages, the age of acquisition of these languages and the length of exposure to the new cultural settings that accompanies the acquisition of a new language. A specific architecture of bilingual memory in which two lexicons are mutually linked to the shared conceptual system is theorized to facilitate the functioning of the language mediated concept activation, thereby encouraging bilinguals' divergent thinking performance.
Encouraging Creativity in the Science Lab
Author: Eyster, Linda
Source: Science Teacher, v77 n6 p32-35 Sep 2010
Although science is a creative endeavor (NRC 1996, p. 46), many students think they are not encouraged--or even allowed--to be creative in the laboratory. When students think there is only one correct way to do a lab, their creativity is inhibited. Park and Seung (2008) argue for the importance of creativity in science classrooms and for the teacher's role in enhancing students' creativity. This article describes several quick, inexpensive ways to encourage creativity and problem-solving skills in the lab. (Contains 4 figures.)
Lucas, B. (2001), ‘Creative Teaching, Teaching Creativity’, in A. Craft, B. Jeffrey & M.
Leibling (eds.) Creativity in Education, London: Continuum.
Dineen, R., Samuel, E., & Livesey, K. (2005). The promotion of creativity in learners: Theory and practice. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education,
Abstract:This study investigates the promotion of learner creativity in the United Kingdom's post-compulsory art and design education sector. The impetus for the research came in part from Teresa Amabile's suggestion that a bridge was needed between conceptual and operational definitions of creativity (Amabile, 1996). Traditionally, art and design educators gain their understanding of teaching creativity from reflective experience rather than empirical research. Conversely, the majority of research studies into learner creativity are laboratory-based, producing results which are reliable and valid in their own terms but which are seldom tested within the complex richness of a ‘real-world’ learning environment. The intention, therefore, was to cross-reference psychological and sociological theories of learner creativity against the evidence from pedagogic practice, and vice versa. The findings suggest that there is substantial agreement between theoreticians and practitioners regarding the factors that promote, or inhibit, learner creativity. These findings are further supported by evidence from learners and from material outcomes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
A Snapshot of Creativity: Evaluating a Quick and Simple Method for Assessing
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Silvia, Paul J.
Nusbaum, Emily C.
Skills and Creativity, v4 n2 p79-85 Aug 2009
Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
commonly uses open-ended
tasks. The typical methods for scoring these tasks (uniqueness scoring and subjective ratings) are time-intensive, however, so it is impractical for researchers to include
as an ancillary construct. The present research evaluated snapshot scoring of
tasks, in which the set of responses receives a single holistic rating. We compared snapshot scoring to top-two scoring, a time-intensive, detailed scoring method. A sample of college students (n = 226) completed
tasks and measures of personality and art expertise. Top-two scoring had larger effect sizes, but snapshot scoring performed well overall. Snapshot scoring thus appears promising as a quick and simple approach to assessing creativity. (Contains 2 tables.)
The following two links are not-applicable for text-based browsers or screen-reading software.
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Smutny, Joan. (2001). Creative Strategies for Teaching Language Arts to Gifted Students (K-8). ERIC Digest E612.
Teaching strategies that stimulate higher level and imaginative thinking are important
curriculum extensions for gifted students who have already mastered much of the
written and oral language skills required at their grade level. This digest presents
strategies and activities that, while appropriate for all students, encourage gifted
students especially to work at their own pace and level of complexity and extend their
talents in a variety of ways. (first paragraph of article)
This article goes on to explore these methods by having student create free verse poetry to explore poetic language. It also suggests students create their own fractured fairytale by storytelling to understand the structure in a piece of fictional literature. Perspective in writing is also explored through doing research to create a biography, then personal family research to create an autobiography.
Reflect ... for Better Problem Solving and Reasoning.
Rudnick, Jesse A.
Elaborates the final step of Polya's heuristic model, reflecting, to improve students' problem-solving performance. After checking answers for accuracy, the following steps are suggested: (1) test reasonableness and practicality; (2) write a summary paragraph; (3) find other solutions; (4) change the conditions; and (5) extend the problem. (MKR)
A Review of EEG, ERP, and Neuroimaging Studies of Creativity and Insight
1; Sep2010, Vol. 136 Issue 5, p822-848, 27p
Abstract:Creativity is a cornerstone of what makes us human, yet the neural mechanisms underlying creative thinking are poorly understood. A recent surge of interest into the neural underpinnings of creative behavior has produced a banquet of data that is tantalizing but, considered as a whole, deeply self-contradictory. We review the emerging literature and take stock of several long-standing theories and widely held beliefs about creativity. A total of 72 experiments, reported in 63 articles, make up the core of the review. They broadly fall into 3 categories: divergent thinking, artistic creativity, and insight. Electroencephalographic studies of divergent thinking yield highly variegated results. Neuroimaging studies of this paradigm also indicate no reliable changes above and beyond diffuse prefront.al activation. These findings call into question the usefulness of the divergent thinking construct in the search for the neural basis of creativity. A similarly inconclusive picture emerges for studies of artistic performance, except that this paradigm also often yields activation of motor and temporoparietal regions. Neuroelectric and imaging studies of insight are more consistent, reflecting changes in anterior cingulate cortex and prefrontal areas. Taken together, creative thinking does not appear to critically depend on any single mental process or brain region, and it is not especially associated with right brains, defocused attention, low arousal, or alpha synchronization, as sometimes hypothesized. To make creativity tractable in the brain, it must be further subdivided into different types that can be meaningfully associated with specific neurocognitive processes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Jeffrey, Bob and Craft, Anna(2004) 'Teaching creatively and teaching for creativity: distinctions and
relationships', Educational Studies, 30: 1, 77 — 87
Abstract: The distinction and relationship between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity identified
in the report from the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education
(NACCCE, 1999), is examined by focusing on empirical research from an early years school,
known for its creative approach. The examination uses four characteristics of creativity and
pedagogy identified by Peter Woods (1990): relevance, ownership, control and innovation, to
show the interdependence of the NACCCE distinctions. We conclude that although the NACCCE
distinction between teaching creatively and teaching for creativity has been useful as an
analytical tool, it may, at the same time, have dichotomised an integrated practice and we suggest
that a more useful distinction for the study of creative pedagogies would be the relationship
between teaching creatively and creative learning.
Ediger, Marlow. The Creative Mathematics Teacher (2000)
The creative mathematics teacher who has love and enthusiasm for mathematics as a curriculum area should be in great demand in all schools. This paper discusses the characteristics of creative mathematics teachers, including those who guide students to engage in
; have learners do much creative writing; and in
tegrate creative dramatics,
, and the history of mathematics into their mathematics instruction. It is concluded that the creative teacher encourages students to be authentic individuals who are interested in the originality, novelty, and uniqueness of ideas.
*this one can also be used to support BT1 because it places a lot of emphasis on the environment of the classroom, too.
Maybe this article can also be applied to BT1 for our topic on how a classroom environment can have an impact on creative thinking?
Edwards, Carlyn Pope; Springate, Kay Wright. Encouraging Creativity in early childhood classrooms (1995)
This digest considers teacher- and child-initiated strategies for enhancing young children's self-expression and creativity. When teachers think about art and creative activities for children, it is important for them to consider that young children: (1) are developmentally capable of classroom experiences which call for (and practice) higher level thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis,
and evaluation; (2) need to express ideas through different expressive avenues and symbolic media; (3) learn through meaningful activities in which different subject areas are integrated; and (4) benefit from in-depth exploration and long-term projects. Given what is known about young children's learning and their competence to express their visions of themselves, classrooms and classroom activities can be modified in several ways to support children's emerging creativity. First, class schedules should provide children with unhurried time to explore. Children should not be artificially rotated from one activity to another. Second, children's work spaces should inspire them. Children's work is fostered by a space that has natural light, harmonious colors, and comfortable work areas. Third, teachers can provide children with wonderful collections of resource materials that might be bought, found, or recycled. Fourth, the classroom atmosphere should reflect the adults' encouragement and acceptance of mistakes, risk-taking, innovation, and uniqueness, along with a certain amount of mess, noise, and freedom. In order to create such a climate, teachers must give themselves permission to try artistic activity. Finally, teachers can provide occasions for intense encounters between children and their inner or outer world. Children's best work involves such encounters.
This goes against the idea of the environment having a strong impact on divergent thinking, but it is mainly related to testing environment, not "learning" environment" (BT1). Also, Runco seems to have written lots of literature on divergent thinking and creativity, but not many are accessible on ERIC that I think might be more relevant.
Environmental Cues in Children's Creative Thinking.
Divergent thinking tests are probably the most commonly used measure of children's creative thinking. A study was conducted to examine the influence of environmental cues on the divergent thinking of children between the ages of 11 and 13. All subjects received the Uses, Instances, and Line-Meanings divergent thinking tests. Each test involved three questions for a total of nine divergent thinkin
g tasks administered to the subjects in their classrooms. Three tests were administered and used as criteria for analyses of predictive validity: How Do You Think test, Teachers' Evaluation of Students' Creativity, and Creative Activities Check List. The results revealed that only two of the nine tasks had a significant proportion of ideas that were related to the immediate environment. One of these was from the Instances test, and the other was from Line-Meanings. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the proportion of original ideas increased significantly when the environmentally cued ideas were controlled. Further, scores which were adjusted for environmental cues had slightly higher predictive validity than unadjusted scores. Still, the difference between the predictive validity coefficients was unimpressive. Taken together, the results suggest that the testing environment has only a small influence on the divergent thinking of intermediate school children.
This website uses studies that look at how parents and teachers can encourage creativity.
Kaleidoscope: How a Creative Arts Enrichment Program Prepares Children for Kindergarten
In 1990, the Settlement Music School Kaleidoscope Preschool
Enrichment Program, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, created a preschool program to teach music and other
to three- to five-year-olds. This article describes how the program works: how music teaches language and math,
how dance teaches action words and spatial concepts, how painting leads to writing letters and words. It explores ways in which preschoolers develop physical, cognitive, and social competence through the
. The author describes a child's typical day at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)-accredited child care center and academic preschool, moving from homeroom to music studio to dance studio and to visual
studio, and then back to homeroom. She explains how Kaleidoscope uses the
to achieve early childhood learning objectives.
Schools Integrate Dance into Lessons
Photosynthesis may be an unlikely topic to inspire an opera or ballet, but in a 2nd grade classroom in Pikesville, Maryland, the children were asked to use dance to help them learn about that process. Small groups of pupils in this class at Fort Garrison Elementary School brainstormed to come up with dance movements to convey elements of photosynthesis, including water, sunlight, carbon dioxide,
and chlorophyll. They leaned, they reached, they flowed, sometimes with surprising grace. The idea of integrating the
, including dance, into the broader curriculum is not new, but it appears to be gaining a stronger foothold in public schools, proponents say, though national data are not available. The growth comes as
education advocates struggle to ensure adequate time and support for the
in schools--whether music, visual
, theater, or dance--amid the financial straits facing many districts and other challenges, such as pressure to boost test scores in core subjects like reading and math. Instances of integrating dance, though apparently still quite limited, are scattered across the country, from public schools in Los Angeles and Reno, Nevada, to suburban Minneapolis and the Baltimore County, Maryland, district, which includes Fort Garrison Elementary. And they span the curriculum, from science and math to social studies and English. The lesson this month at Fort Garrison came out of a small, new program, dubbed Teaching Science with Dance in Mind, that provides professional development and support for several classroom teachers and dance specialists. The program was launched with the help of a $36,000 grant from Hands On Science Outreach, a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that recently closed its doors.
education proponents suggest that studying the
provides a variety of academic and social benefits to young people and can enhance students' ability to learn other subjects, including the development of skills in reading, language development, and math. It's seen as a powerful way to promote
and critical thinking, among other skills.
Nicholas, Howard and Ng, Wan. (2008)
Blending Creativity, Science and Drama
into students' learning of science concepts through role-play and drama is unusual pedagogy in schools. For seven Australian Year Five students seeking extended learning, advanced scientific concepts were learned during the creative process of script writing and production of a science play called "Hectic Electric". A mentor and two parents wer
e involved in the students' learning and the script creation processes. The script was transformed into a dramatic play involving other members of the class and submitted for a science drama competition. The play was awarded the winning prize in the primary school section. Based on this situation, this study indicated that by providing the initial "thinking activation" and promoting self-efficacy in the students, they were able to draw on and further develop their communicative, creative and higher order thinking skills in bringing abstract science concepts to a more concrete and visual form leading to a novel outcome.
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