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					     Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.

            Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg
1.        Abstract.
          A creativity programme was developed following results of previous
studies on children in South Africa which indicated low creativity levels. The
creativity programme was theoretically based on two models, namely
Guilford’s Structure of Intellect Model (SOI) and an Interaction Thinking-
Feeling Model: The Cognitive-Affective Interaction Model. These models
were primarily used to address how creativity can improve, but also how
creativity can enhance other aspects. Guilford’s Structure of Intellect Model
refers to an interrelated classification of human abilities which will contribute
to a child’s creative productivity, especially regarding creative thinking.
Creative thinking can be subcategorised as fluent, flexible, original and
elaborative thinking. In conjunction with these two models, the programme to
enhance creativity in a group of South African children was developed. The
group consisted of children from grade 4-7. The programme composed of four
sections: coping, self-concept, problem-solving and creativity. Each section
consisted of three dimensions. Dimension 1 refers to programme contents;
dimension 2 is strategies used to help foster thinking and feeling behaviours
and dimension 3 is behaviour. Each activity was explained by its creative
thinking component and strategy. The activities consisted of strategies that
will help foster feeling and thinking behaviours and the exercises primarily
focused on cognitive aspects such as fluency, flexibility, originality and
elaboration. The programme lasted five weeks and an activity was presented
each day for between fifteen to sixty minutes. The aim of this presentation
would be to provide an outline and demonstration of this programme, discuss
the results and effect of the programme and state the importance of
implementing such a programme in children’s lives.
Key words: creativity, South Africa, programme, enhancing
2.        Introduction.
          The concept creativity elicits numerous definitions and views.
Recent definitions state creativity can be seen as ageless and everyone has the
potential to be creative1 and that creativity can be regarded as an important
activity and attribute to have2.
          The study of creativity in the South African context is limited.
Studies indicated that creativity levels in the late middle childhood are poor
when tested by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking.3,4,5,6
2        Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.
    ________________________________________________________
          In order to recognise creativity and creating conditions for one to
develop creatively, the assessment of creativity is essential.7 The creativity
programme was based on two models: Guilford’s Structure of Intellect Model
(SOI) and an Interaction Thinking-Feeling Model: The Cognitive-Affective
Interaction Model (CAI). Guilford’s SOI Model explains intellectual growth
and development of children, while the CAI model entails unifying the entire
global aspect of a child, namely the intellect, with the person.8 The CAI- and
SOI-Model comprises of three interrelated dimensions. The SOI-Model
implies an interrelated classification of human abilities, which will contribute
to a child’s creative productivity8, especially with regard to creative thinking.9
          The SOI-Model comprises of three dimensions. Dimension 1 refers
to intellectual operations, referring to cognition, memory, convergent and
divergent production and evaluation. Children need to know how to either use
or act upon information or content he/she will encounter in life. Operations
cannot come about without content (dimension 2), which will help the child to
produce something. Content refers to types of information the mind acts upon,
namely figural, symbolic, semantic and behavioural content. Dimension 3 is
products. Products which the mind produces are the result of contents
processed by mental operations.10
          The CAI-Model also comprises of three dimensions; namely
programme contents (previously curriculum), strategies and behaviour. The
programme contents constituted out of coping, self-concept, problem solving
and creativity. Strategies are regarded as a means of using the programme
content to help the child to foster thinking and feeling behaviours. The
strategies may be regarded as divergent thinking and feeling processes. A
child’s creativity will flourish if his/her divergent production is stimulated.
The third dimension is behaviours which are sub-divided into cognitive-
intellective (fluent, flexible, original and elaborative thinking) and affective-
temperament (willingness to take risks, curiosity, imagination and preference
for complexity).11
3.        The development of a creativity programme.
The programme was conducted over a period of five weeks and the daily
activity varied between fifteen to sixty minutes. By incorporating the two
models, the programme activities consisted of strategies that will help the
participant’s foster feeling and thinking behaviours. The activities also
focused on cognitive aspects such as fluency, flexibility, originality and
elaboration. In accordance with these guidelines, a programme that included
              Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg                          3
    ________________________________________________________
the appropriate strategies to help the participants improve their creativity, self-
concept, coping and problem-solving was compiled.
          In order to illustrate the relevance of the activities, the strategy and
the creative thinking skills are provided. The strategy and creative thinking
skills are based on the models discussed.


Theme       Activity       Aim                  Creative         Strategy
                                                thinking
                                   Creativity
Creating    Ink blot       By using             Fluent,          Visualisation
some-       picture.       imagination,         flexible,        and creative art.
thing                      something new        original and
new                        can be formed.       elaborative
                                                thinking.
            New            Reinforce the        Flexible,        Creative
            invention      creativity aspect    original and     imagination
                           of developing        elaborative      organised
                           and creating         thinking,        random search.
                           something new
                           and unique.
Creativ-    Cartoon        To focus on          Fluent,          Creative writing
ity and     strip          being creative       flexible and     skills, creative
cartoons                   and using his/her    original         art, creative
                           imagination.         thinking.        visualisation and
                                                                 imagination.
Fun,        Improving      Creativity and       Elaborative,     Tolerance for
fun, fun    the toy        problem-solving      original,        ambiguity,
                           techniques are       fluent,          creative writing,
                           reinforced and       flexible         brainstorming,
                           the individual is    thinking         examples of
                           given the                             change, creative
                           opportunity to                        listening.
                           learn from others
                           as well.
            Mind           To think beyond      Original         Discrepancies
            stretchers     the obvious and      thinking         and tolerance for
                           to encompass all                      ambiguity.
                           they have learnt.
4        Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.
    ________________________________________________________
                                    Coping
Identify-   Four         To identify          Fluent         Creative
ing         coping       stressors.           thinking       reading/listening
stressors   styles                                           /writing skills.
and
types of
coping

            Brain-       To identify new       Fluent,       Brainstorming
            storming     coping strategies    original and   as creative
            coping       and implement it     elaborative    problem solving
            strategies   into his/her life.   thinking       technique and
                                              (building on   creative writing
                                              example        skill.
                                              given).
            Word         To review that       -              Consolidation of
            search       which they have                     learning.
                         learnt and to
                         consolidate it.
Relax-      Relaxation   To identify the    -                Visualisation
ation                    difference                          skills and
                         between a                           creative writing
                         relaxed state and                   skill.
                         tension and to
                         realise that the
                         more relaxed a
                         person is, the
                         more creative a
                         person can be
                         and also cope
                         more effectively.
                                Self-Concept
Who am      Lifeline     Self-discovery     Fluent and       Creative
I?                       and exploring      elaborative      investigation/ski
                         strengths and      thinking         lls of search,
                         weaknesses.                         attributes,
                                                             creative writing
                                                             skills, creative
                                                             art.
              Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg                        5
    ________________________________________________________
            I am….      Identifying           Fluent         Attributes,
                        characteristics       thinking.      intuitive
                        that are unique to                   expression,
                        him-/herself.                        creative art and
                                                             creative writing
                                                             skills.
            Market      Acknowledge-          Fluent and     Creative writing
            place       ment of               elaborative    skill/listening
                        characteristics       thinking       skill and
                        and identifying                      intuitive
                        how growth can                       expression.
                        take place by
                        acquiring other
                        characteristics/
                        qualities, thereby
                        living an even
                        fuller life.
            Word        Combining the         Fluent,        Visualisation,
            name        previous              flexible and   creative self and
                        activities and        original       intuitive
                        concluding it         thinking       expression,
                        with a visual and                    creative art.
                        mental reminder
Self-talk   Negative    Identifying           Fluent and     Creative
            self-talk   his/her negative      flexible       investigation/int
                        self-talk and         thinking       uitive
                        realising how it                     expression,
                        influences the                       creative reading
                        self-concept. In                     and writing skill.
                        addition to this,
                        the activity also
                        enhances
                        problem-solving
                        techniques.
Goals       My goals    By incorporating      Fluent and     Attributes,
for                     all he/she has        elaborative    creative writing
improve                 learnt and putting    thinking       skills and
-ment                   it into practice by                  creative self-
and                     thinking of ways                     discovery.
accept-                 to enhance him-
6        Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.
    ________________________________________________________
ing                     /herself.
myself
           My own       This activity       Fluent,        Creative
           article      helps to            flexible,      listening,
                        consolidate the     original and   visualisation,
                        previous            elaborative    creative art,
                        exercises.          thinking       creative writing
                                                           skill and
                                                           attributes.
           Puzzle of    A visual           -               Creative art.
           myself       reminder of
                        his/her qualities
                             Problem-solving
Problem    What do      To illustrate how Fluent,          Creative writing
and        you see?     a person’s         flexible and    skills,
tunnel                  creativity and     original        visualisation and
vision                  problem-solving    thinking.       tolerance for
                        ideas can be                       ambiguity.
                        influenced by
                        preconceived
                        ideas, tunnel
                        vision.
Problem    Road to      To realise that    Fluent,         Brainstorming
-solving   problem-     problem-solving    flexible and    as creative
           solving.     occurs best when elaborative       problem solving
                        following the      thinking.       technique,
                        correct steps and                  creative writing
                        when solving                       skill, skills of
                        problems,                          search,
                        creativity is also                 evaluation,
                        stimulated and                     creative
                        ideas are formed.                  listening skill.

           Brainstorm   Brainstorming by    Fluent,        Visualisation,
           -ing         means of steps to   flexible,      brainstorming,
                        problem-solving,    elaborative    tolerance for
                        thinking            and original   ambiguity,
                        creatively and      thinking       creative writing
                        creating original                  skill.
                        solutions.
              Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg                       7
    ________________________________________________________
Putting     Problems      To find solutions    Fluent          Brainstorming,
into                      to practical         thinking        creative reading
practice                  problems and                         skill, tolerance
                          realising that by                    for ambiguity,
                          using these                          evaluate
                          techniques,                          situations.
                          solutions can be
                          found.
            Bag of        To think beyond      Fluent,         Creative
            objects       the obvious and      flexible,       imagination,
                          to think             elaborative     tolerance for
                          creatively, as       and original    ambiguity,
                          well as make use     thinking.       creative reading
                          of problem-                          and creative
                          solving                              listening skills.
                          techniques.

The creativity programme was implemented on a group of randomly selected
grade 4-7 children which were representative of different race and socio-
economic strata. The participants that were selected were also randomly
selected to represent the control and experimental group.
 4.       The effect of the creativity programme.
          Creativity was tested by means of the Torrance Test of Creative
Thinking. Four sub-tests were used, namely (1) Picture Completion and (2)
Circles (figural tests); (3) Product Improvement and (4) Unusual Uses of Tin
Cans (verbal tests). When viewing the scores collectively, it seems that the
children improved the most regarding originality, in that they were able to
produce new, non-obvious ideas. The experimental group showed significant
increases in their scores regarding originality, thus illustrating that after the
completion of the programme, the children were able to produce original ideas
in both verbal and figural tests. The Picture Completion test illustrated the
most significant increase in the scores for the experimental group and the
control group presented with a decreased score when retested regarding the
Circles activity. Even though the participants were unable to increase their
scores significantly regarding the fluency scores in all the tests, they did
improve them, even if only slightly. Significance in fluency was found in
activities 1 and 4. Therefore, fluency, flexibility and originality improved in
the non-verbal tests and only fluency and originality improved in the verbal
tests. Ultimately, creativity levels did increase, especially with regard to the
ability to produce new, non-obvious ideas. In spite of this increase, the
8        Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.
    ________________________________________________________
creativity levels were still low. Numerous factors may be ascribed to why the
creativity levels did not improve such as that the time frame used to instil
creativity may be insufficient as well as lacking in motivation.12 It is therefore
imperative that children should incorporate creativity into their lives on a daily
basis.
          The self-concept scores indicated, in both the control and
experimental group, that the self-concept of the children is not sufficient
enough. The scores indicated on the sub-scales of, for example, physical-,
personal-, social- and total self-concept, that the children are dissatisfied with
their bodies; react temporarily to circumstance and to the opinions and
behaviours of others; lacking social skills and has a sense of failure and
unhappiness with a lacking desire to change and grow. Thus, by increasing
one’s creativity and implementing it on a daily basis, the child will help him-
/herself to find original ways to improve their self-concept.13 Therefore, with
creative intervention, self-concept can improve and creativity can have a
positive influence on developing children’s self-concept.
          By enhancing one’s creativity so that one can find different creative
ways to deal with certain situations and by enhancing one’s self-concept, it
seems plausible that the emotional intelligent behaviour of the individual will
increase as well. The scores found on the BarOn Emotional Quotient
indicated impaired emotional and social capacity. The results indicated that
the individual’s self-concept scores are low, thus their ability to express and
understand emotions could be hampered. Emotions of others may be projected
onto themselves or they may withdraw as they may feel inept and not
understanding the emotions of others. Because they have unrealistic
expectations of themselves, they may not be as flexible and realistic in dealing
with and managing with change. Problem-solving was therefore also low.
          The collective results for coping with stress as indicated in the Stress
Response Scale indicated that the participants may struggle to deal with their
stress and that they may present with temper outburst, inability to accept
criticism and be afraid of new situations and lacking self-confidence. Once
again, by enhancing creativity, the aforementioned may improve, should it be
conducted on a daily basis.
          Everyone has the ability to be creative,14 however various factors may
influence creativity.15 In a South African context factors such as poverty and
socio-economic status may play a role. Children who are not given the
opportunity to realise their creativity will ultimately experience a decrease in
their creativity, which will in turn affect coping, self-concept and emotional
intelligence.
              Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg                         9
    ________________________________________________________
           It is therefore essential that the testing questionnaires as well as the
programme should therefore be translated so that South African norms can be
developed. Furthermore, the programme should be elaborated so as to
incorporate all phases of development and follow-up sessions should be
presented, in order to further enhance the skills taught in the programme.
Lastly, parents should also be made aware of creativity and by helping their
children, they will also indirectly help themselves and their child’s coping
abilities further in life.

                                     Notes
1
   GW Millar, The Torrance Kids at Midlife: Selected Case Studies of
    Creative Behaviour. Alex Publishing, Westport, Connecticut, 2002.
2
   DK Simonton, Creativity: Cognitive, Personal, Developmental, and Social
    Aspects’. American Psychologist, vol. 55(1), 2000, pp.151-158.
3
   T Bond, Creativity and anxiety in the late middle childhood. Dissertation-
    M.A., PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 2001.
4
   E Naudé, Psiglogiese weerbaarheid by kinders in die laat
    middelkinderjare .[Resilience in children of late childhood]. Dissertation-
M.A., PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 2001.
5
   EC Brink, Creativity in the late middle childhood: Development and
    gender differences. Dissertation, M.A., PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 2003.
6
   AM Van der Berg, Die effek van ‘n kreatiwiteitsprogram op enkele
    persoonlikheidsaspekte van milieugestremde kinders. [The effect of a
creativity programme on personality functioning of children of disadvantaged
communities]. Dissertation-PhD, PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 1993.
7
   AJ Starko, Creativity in the classroom: Schools of curious delight.
    Longman Publishers, New York, 1995.
8
   FE Williams, Encouraging creative potential: A total creativity program
   for individualizing and humanizing the learning process. Educational
   Technology Publications, New Jersey, 1972.
9
    RW Woodman & LF Schoenfeldt, ‘Individual differences in creativity: An
     interactionist perspective’, in Handbook of creativity: Perspectives on
     individual differences, J.A. Glover, R.R. Ronning & C.R. Reynolds (eds)
     Plenum Press, New York., 1989, pp.77-92.
10
    FE Williams, Encouraging creative potential: A total creativity program
      for individualizing and humanizing the learning process. Educational
    Technology Publications, New Jersey, 1972.
11
     ibid
12
    L Venter, ‘n Kreatiwiteitsprogram vir kleuters. [A creativity programme for
pre-school children]. Dissertation-M.A.,
10        Enhancing creativity in a group of South African children.
     ________________________________________________________
   Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat, Bloemfontein, 1998.
13
   E Steenberg, Die effek van ‘n kreatiewe kunsterapeutise program op die
   psigologiese funksionering van kinderhuiskinders. [The effect of a creative
art programme on the psychological functioning of children from a children’s
home]. Dissertation M.A., PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 1995.
14
   GW Millar, The Torrance Kids at Midlife: Selected Case Studies of
   Creative Behaviour. Alex Publishing, Westport, Connecticut, 2002.
15
   NL VanDemark, Breaking the Barriers to Everyday Creativity: A
   practical guide for expanding your creative horizons. The Creative
   Education Foundation, Buffalo, N.Y., 1991.

Bibliography
Bond, T., Creativity and anxiety in the late middle childhood. M.A.
         Dissertation, PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 2001.
Brink, E.C., Creativity in the late middle childhood: Development and gender
         differences. M.A. Dissertation, PU vir CHO, Potchefstroom, 2003.
Millar, G.W., The Torrance Kids at Midlife: Selected Case Studies of Creative
         Behaviour. Alex Publishing, Westport, Connecticut, 2002.
Naudé, E., Psiglogiese weerbaarheid by kinders in die laat middelkinderjare.
         [Resilience in children of late childhood]. M.A. Dissertation, PU vir
         CHO, Potchefstroom, 2001.
Simonton, D.K., ‘Creativity: Cognitive, Personal, Developmental, and Social
         Aspects’. American Psychologist, vol. 55(1), 2000, pp.151-158.
Starko, A.J., Creativity in the classroom: Schools of curious delight.
         Longman Publishers, New York, 1995.
Steenberg, E., Die effek van ‘n kreatiwe kunsterapeutise program op die
         psigologiese funksionering van kinderhuiskinders. [The effect of a
         creative art programme on the psychological functioning of children
         from a children’s home].           M.A. Dissertation, PU vir CHO,
         Potchefstroom, 1995.
Van der Berg, A.M., Die effek van ‘n kreatiwiteitsprogram op enkele
         persoonlikheidsaspekte van milieugestremde kinders. [The effect of a
         creativity programme on personality functioning of children of
         disadvantaged communities]. PhD Thesis, PU vir CHO,
         Potchefstroom, 1993.
VanDemark, N.L. Breaking the Barriers to Everyday Creativity: A practical
         guide for expanding your creative horizons. The Creative Education
         Foundation, Buffalo, N.Y., 1991.
              Dr. Tanya Boshoff, Prof. Esmé van Rensburg     11
    ________________________________________________________
Venter, L., ‘n Kreatiwiteitsprogram vir kleuters. [A creativity programme for
         pre-school children]. M.A. Dissertation, Universiteit van die Oranje-
         Vrystaat, Bloemfontein, 1998.
Williams, F.E., Encouraging creative potential: A total creativity program for
         individualizing and humanizing the learning process. Educational
         Technology Publications, New Jersey, 1972.
Woodman, R.W. & Schoenfeldt, L.F., ‘Individual differences in creativity:
         An interactionist perspective’, in Handbook of creativity:
         Perspectives on individual differences, J.A. Glover, R.R. Ronning &
         C.R. Reynolds (eds) Plenum Press, New York., 1989, pp.77-92.

Dr Tanya Boshoff
Prof. Esmé van Rensburg

				
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