Title

Effects of a creativity training program on creative abilities and self-concept in monolingual and bilingual elementary classrooms

Date of Completion

January 1999

Keywords

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Elementary|Education, Educational Psychology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Educators and psychologists often emphasize the importance of developing students' creativity. As a consequence, many programs have been developed to foster creativity in the educational environment. Differing results have been found with respect to the effects of creativity training programs on divergent thinking abilities, and little research has examined the effects of a creativity training program on affective variables. Most studies in creativity have investigated differences among individuals from similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Although some efforts have focused on evaluating the relationship between creativity and bilingualism, very few studies have examined the effects of creativity training programs on students in monolingual and bilingual classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a creativity training program, New Directions in Creativity , on students' creative abilities and self-concept in monolingual and bilingual elementary classrooms. ^ A pretest-posttest control group design using a sample of eight monolingual and six bilingual classrooms from one school in New England was used in this study. The bilingual classrooms consisted of Brazilian students. Descriptive hierarchical discriminant function analyses were employed to investigate differences between treatment and control groups with respect to creative abilities and self-concept. Qualitative procedures were used to analyze data from interviews with teachers and students who participated in the program. The quantitative findings indicated that the creativity training program, New Directions in Creativity, slightly improved the creative abilities of students in the treatment group. The results also indicated that the effect of the creativity training program on the self-concept of students in the treatment group was small, and the control group students experienced a substantial decline in self-concept between pretest and posttest. Placement in monolingual or bilingual classrooms was not found to affect students' creative abilities and self-concept. Qualitative analyses generated three core categories that help explain how the creativity training program, as well as the school environment, influenced students' creative abilities and self-concept, which are the implementation of the creativity training program, the degree of bilingualism of Brazilian students, and cultural issues. ^