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i NEW DIRECTIONS IN CREATIVITY MARK 1 The NEW DIRECTIONS IN CREATIVITY program, under the direction of Joseph S. Renzulli, includes the following manuals: MARK A MARK B MARK 1 MARK 2 MARK 3 ii Editorial: Betty L. Comer, Project Director Herta S. Breiter, Editor Design: Barbara Wasserman Kristin Nelson Text Illustrations by John Faulkner Revised edition Rachel A. Knox, Editor Lori D. Frazier, Associate Editor Cover Illustration by David J. Jernigan iii Creative Learning Press, Inc. PO Box 320, Mansfield Center, CT 06250 MARK 1 NEW DIRECTIONS IN CREATIVITY JOSEPH S. RENZULLI iv Revised edition. Copyright ® 2000 by Creative Learning Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. ISBN No. 0-936386-79-7. v CONTENTS A PERSONAL NOTE TO TEACHERS ....................................... 1 PART I: PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM ............... 3 Purpose of the Program ............................................................3 Specific Abilities Developed by the Program ......................... 3 Description of the Program ...................................................... 4 Grade and Ability Levels ...........................................................5 PART II: GENERAL STRATEGIES FOR USING THE PROGRAM .......... 7 Brainstorming and the Fluency Principle ............................... 7 The Principle of Mild Competition ........................................... 9 The Principle of Cooperation ................................................... 9 Evaluation: The All-Important Classroom Atmosphere ....... 10 How to Use the Primary Activities ......................................... 12 Introducing the Primary Activities ......................................... 13 PART III: RATIONALE UNDERLYING THE PROGRAM ......................... 15 The Need for Creativity Training Programs .......................... 15 The Structure of the Intellectual Model ................................. 16 PART IV: LESSON GUIDES FOR MARK 1 .............................................. 21 BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................37 vi In children creativity is a universal. Among adults it is almost nonexistent. The great question is: What has happened to this enormous and universal human resource? This is the question of the age and the quest of our research. —from Harold H. Anderson, ed., Creativity and Its Cultivation (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1959), p. xii. Copyright ® 1968 by Saturday Review, Inc., New York. Reprinted by permission of the Saturday Review and Joseph Farris. “The main thing is not to take it personal.” “What I liked best about school this year was the teachers’ strike.” The Family Circus by Bil Keane. Copyright ® 1971 by The Register and Tribune Syndicate, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa. Reprinted by permission. 1 A PERSONAL NOTE TO TEACHERS Whenever teachers ask me how I became in terested in creativity and why I developed a creativity training program for children, I often answer by referring to the quotation and the two cartoons on page vi. The quotation from Harold Anderson’s book points out the great loss in human potential for creative development that takes place between childhood and adult hood. Although this loss no doubt takes its toll by limiting the number of people who make creative contributions to our society, a much more serious and far‑reaching consequence is that many adults never have the opportunity to experience the satisfaction and enjoyment that results from the act of creating. Somehow the joys that were associated with childhood fantasy and imaginary excursions into the world of the improbable seem to disappear as we engage in the business of growing up. Although growing up is indeed a serious business, I often wonder if the emphasis that our culture places on the prac tical and the utilitarian causes most people to arrive at adulthood without the creative ability that they possessed as children. The first cartoon illustrates the emphasis that our educational system places on the process of conformity. Most learning experiences are de signed in a way that causes all youngsters to arrive at the same solutions to problems; thus it is not surprising to see a very homogenized group emerging from “the system.” A quick glance at most workbooks or exercises in text books reveals that only rarely do these materials purposefully encourage youngsters to be as origi nal as possible in their answers to given problems and questions. The second cartoon presents a sad but essen tially valid picture of most children’s perception of school. Our preoccupation with order, con trol, routine, and conformity has made schools into dreary and often oppressive places for many children. The supposedly exciting act of learning has frequently been a coercive and sometimes even punitive process. Many writers have summarized problems that have made schools such unfriendly places and have pointed out some of the ways that these problems can be overcome. One suggestion common to many writers is that classrooms need to be more engaging, creative, and interactive places and that youngsters need to be given greater opportunities to imagine, create, and express themselves. The creativity training program described in this manual represents one attempt to provide both teachers and students with a set of materials that will help them learn a variety of ways for expressing their creative potential. Creativity is a dynamic process that involves “a way of looking at things”; therefore the activities included in this program are designed to broaden the way that youngsters look at their world. The program is not an end in itself, but rather a series of first steps that will provide teachers and students with the basic skills involved in creative production. Over the past few years, I have worked with hundreds of teachers in courses and workshops dealing with creativity. These experiences have shown me that a minimum amount of instruction and a maximum amount of actual involvement with the materials have effected the biggest changes in teachers’ understanding and application of creativity training activities. The old saying “The best way to learn how to do it is to do it” is a guiding principle in my approach to teaching teachers the skills of creative production. Once these skills have been assimilated, they can be applied to all areas of the curriculum and to most of the learning experiences that take place in the classroom. Joseph S. Renzulli Storrs, Connecticut 2 3 PART I I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember; I do, and I understand. Chinese Proverb PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM The New Directions in Creativity program consists of five volumes: Mark A, Mark B, Mark 1, Mark 2, and Mark 3. The program is designed to help teachers develop the creative thinking abilities of primary and middle‑grade youngsters. Research has shown that almost all children have the potential to think creatively and that creative production can be improved by providing systematic learning experiences that foster use of imagination. Purpose of the Program The general purpose of this creativity training program can best be explained by contrasting the creative or divergent production abilities with the convergent production abilities emphasized in most elementary school classrooms. In most traditional teaching‑learning situations, major emphasis is placed on locating or converging upon correct answers. Teachers raise questions and present problems with a predetermined response in mind, and student performance is usually evaluated in terms of the correctness of a particular answer and the speed and accuracy with which youngsters respond to verbal or written exercises. Thus the types of problems raised by the teacher or textbook and the system of rewards used to evaluate student progress cause most youngsters to develop a learning style that is oriented toward zeroing in on the “right” answer as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Although this ability has its place in the overall development of the learner, most teachers would agree that impressionable young minds also need opportunities to develop their rare and precious creative thinking abilities. Divergent production is a kind of thinking that is characterized by breaking away from conventional restrictions on thinking and letting one’s mind flow across a broad range of ideas and possible solutions to a problem. The real problems humanity confronts do not have the kinds of predetermined or “pat” answers that a great deal of instruction focuses on in the convergent‑oriented classrooms. Yet we give our children very few opportunities to practice letting their minds range far and wide over a broad spectrum of solutions. The philosopher Alan Watts (1964) has talked about these two kinds of thinking in terms of what he calls the “spotlight mind” and the “floodlight mind.” The spotlight mind focuses on a clearly defined area and cannot see the many alternative possibilities or solutions to a problem that may exist outside that area. Floodlight thinking, on the other hand, reaches upward and outward without clearly defined borders or limitations. The floodlight thinker is free to let his or her imagination wander without the confinements or limitations that usually lead to conformity. Both types of thinking are valuable, and to pursue one at the expense of the other is clearly a disservice to the children for whose development we are responsible. This description of divergent thinking should not lead teachers to believe it is undisciplined or disorderly. Mary Nicol Meeker (1969) has pointed out that “divergent generation does not proceed willy‑nilly; the divergent thinker is not a scatterbrain; the worthwhile generation of information requires discipline and guidance.’’ Following Meeker’s suggestion, the New Directions in Creativity program has attempted to provide youngsters with an opportunity to break away from conventional restrictions on their thinking. Yet an effort has been made to generate responses that are relevant to particular kinds of problems and that fall within reasonable bounds. Specific Abilities Developed by the Program The New Directions in Creativity program is designed to develop each of the following creative thinking abilities: 1. Fluency—the ability to generate a ready flow of ideas, possibilities, consequences, and objects 2. Flexibility—the ability to use many different approaches or strategies in solving a problem; the 4 willingness to change direction and modify given information 3. Originality—the ability to produce clever, unique, and unusual responses 4. Elaboration—the ability to expand, develop, particularize, and embellish one’s ideas, stories, and illustrations Each activity in the program is designed to promote one or more of these four general abilities. The activities are also classified according to (1) the types of information involved in each exercise (semantic, symbolic, figural) and (2) the ways that information is organized in each exercise (units, classes, relations, systems, transformations, implications, elaborations). These two dimensions are described in detail in Part III of this manual. The activity‑by‑activity lesson guides presented in Part IV include the specific objectives for each activity and suggestions for follow‑up activities designed to develop further the specific abilities toward which the respective exercises are directed. Although many of the objectives and suggestions for follow‑up activity are directed toward the development of traditional skills in language arts, these skills are always “piggybacked” on the four major creative thinking skills. Field testing has shown that students are more motivated to pursue traditional language arts skills when such skills are based upon activities that make use of their own creative products. Although the purpose of each manual in this program is to provide teachers with a systematic set of activities aimed at promoting creativity in children, a second and equally important objective is to help teachers unlock their own potential for more creative teaching. In almost every school where these activities were field tested, participating teachers began to develop their own materials and activities for creativity training. In many cases, the teacher‑made activities were highly original and skillfully integrated with various aspects of the regular curriculum. Once teachers understood the general nature of the creative process, they were quickly able to apply the same basic strategies to other areas of the curriculum. Therefore, teachers should view this creativity training program as a starting point that will eventually lead to the development of a “creativity orientation” on the part of teachers. This orientation will assist teachers in finding numerous opportunities for creativity training in a wide variety of learning situations. Description of the Program Each manual in the New Directions in Creativity program consists of twenty‑four types of creativity training activities. Two activity sheets, both containing one or more exercises, are provided for each type of activity, and each type is classified according to the kinds of information involved in the exercises and the ways that information is organized. Each activity is further classified according to the level of response required. This classification scheme is based on Guilford’s model of the structure of human abilities. Teachers who wish to know more about this model should refer to Part III of this manual. (An overview of the activities in this manual, listing the types of activities according to Guilford’s classification scheme appears on page 22.) Mark A and Mark B : Most of the activities in the primary volumes have been designed so that children can respond with either words or pictures. This approach allows children who cannot yet express themselves in writing to communicate their creative ideas through pictures. Suggestions for alternative modes of expression, such as dictating responses to a teacher’s aid or to a tape recorder are also included. The primary volumes are also designed to develop the psychomotor abilities of younger children through manipulative and dramatic activities, and the teaching suggestions present ideas for using primary teaching aids such as flannel boards, chart paper, scissors, and paste. The format of the primary activities attempts to take account of the developmental level of the young child. Illustrations on the exercise sheets are generally larger and less complicated than the drawings in the middle‑grade books, and fewer responses are required to allow for the gross motor coordination of the primary‑aged youngster. Page directions are simpler, and greater reliance is placed on illustrations than on written directions. The lesson guides for the primary volumes contain more detailed suggestions for introducing activities and emphasize using concrete examples to get children started on exercises that are more easily demonstrated than described. Mark 1, Mark 2, and Mark 3 : Most of the activities in the middle‑grade volumes deal with semantic information. Some symbolic activities that involve the use of words have been included, and a few figural activities have also been included to help students understand that creativity skills can be applied to both verbal and nonverbal information. 5 Activities dealing with information that is organized into units, classes, or relations generally require students to (1) fill in blanks with unspecified words, (2) manipulate given words and figures, or (3) complete short statements. These activities are considered warm‑ ups for higher level activities, and they are generally directed toward giving students practice in the basic creativity skill of brainstorming. Brainstorming activities help students free their thinking processes from the restraints that usually hinder creativity and provide an effective means for promoting a free and open classroom atmosphere. The higher level activities deal with information that is organized into systems, transformations, implications, or elaborations. The major difference between the two levels of activities is that fewer specifications are given for the kinds of responses required in the higher level activities. These responses are generally more open‑ended, and fewer restrictions are placed on the nature of the products developed by students. Although all activities provide youngsters with opportunities to express themselves in a relatively free and unrestricted manner, the program will be most effective if students pursue a balanced combination of the various types of activities. Each type is designed to develop and give practice in the use of certain creativity skills, and the skills developed by the warm‑up activities are necessary for maximum development of the more advanced kinds of creative thinking necessary for the higher level activities. Suggestions for the most effective sequencing of activities are included in Part II of this manual. Grade and Ability Levels Although no specific grade level has been assigned to the respective volumes, field tests have shown that Mark A is most successful with children in kindergarten and first grade and that Mark B works best with second‑ and third‑grade youngsters. An attempt was made to separate activities in the primary volumes so that the first book would contain exercises for children who have not yet developed reading and writing abilities or who are in the beginning stages of development in these areas. The exercises in Mark B were designed in accordance with the level of communication skills that typically are taught in second and third grades. Field tests have shown that Mark 1, Mark 2, and Mark 3 are most successful with students in grades four through eight. The open‑ended nature of creativity training activities has provided an opportunity to develop a truly nongraded program, and many of the exercises have been used successfully with students at several grade levels. When there are no “right” or “wrong” answers, each student sets his or her own level of response. The responses of bright youngsters are often characterized by higher degrees of fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration, but even the slowest child is able to respond in a way that is appropriate to his or her own developmental level. It may be necessary for teachers to read some of the directions to students and to supervise their work more closely until they catch on to the nature of the various tasks. To help both younger and slower students grasp the main idea, most of the introductory exercises include illustrative examples. These examples are useful in helping students who have some trouble reading the directions or getting started on some of the more difficult exercises. Most of the exercises are not too difficult for younger or slower students, but because of the open‑ended nature of the exercises, teachers must carefully explain directions, and they may have to provide a few examples of their own in order to start students off on the right track. An important feature of this creativity training program is that a youngster can respond to each activity in terms of his or her own background and experience. Because the program is not based on the student’s ability to recall factual information, each student can express his or her creativity by drawing on his or her own knowledge and experiences. Many writers have pointed out that the child’s own experiences and activities are the principal agents of his or her development and that no matter how “primitive” a child’s level of development, he or she can extend his or her mental abilities by probing, manipulating, and applying his or her own experiences to new kinds of materials and situations. This idea is one of the fundamental principles on which the constructivist learning is based, and field tests with the New Directions in Creativity program have shown that students from so‑called disadvantaged backgrounds are able to use their own experiences to complete most of the activities in the program. Insofar as individualized programming is concerned, it is important for teachers to carefully consider each child’s preferences. Some students may show a preference for semantic activities, whereas others may prefer to respond figurally or symbolically. Similarly, certain children may like exercises with a less complicated response format (units, classes, relations), whereas others may show a preference for more complicated modes of expression such as poetry or story writing. The classification system which underlies the New Direction in Creativity program provides a unique opportunity for teachers to study children’s learning 6 style preferences and to adapt accordingly. The program will be most successful if teachers respect children’s preferences and avoid forcing every child to complete every activity. 7 GENERAL STRATEGIES FOR USING THE PROGRAM Although a great deal has been written about fostering creativity in the classroom, relatively few basic teaching strategies have been effective in encouraging creative development. This section of the manual will describe the basic strategies that teachers have found most helpful in using the New Directions in Creativity program. Although the materials have been designed to require min imum preparation time, the importance of the teacher’s role cannot be overemphasized. In describing the role of teachers in this regard, Starko (1995) emphasized the distinction between teaching for the development of creativity versus creative teaching. She concluded that effective teachers who develop students’ creative thinking know how to teach techniques that “facilitate creative thinking across disciplines and provide a classroom atmosphere that is supportive of creativity” (p. 17). Other studies, including a meta‑analysis study by Rose & Lin (1984) and a research synthesis by Torrance (1987), indicate that creativity training is associated with increased creativity, involvement in creative activities, and positive feelings toward school. Brainstorming and the Fluency Principle In most cases, the first thought that comes to mind in seeking the solution to a difficult problem is seldom the most original idea. Therefore, fluency, defined as the ability to produce several ideas or possible solutions to a problem situation, is an important condition for creative production. The fluency principle, which underlies the development of this creativity training program, maintains that fluency is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for originality. Although there are some cases on record of highly creative products that have resulted from sudden inspirations, research on creativity in both children and adults strongly supports the fluency principle. Studies by Archambault (1970), Paulus (1970), and Baer (1993) have shown that initial responses to a given problem tend to be the more common ones and that the greater the number of answers generated, the higher the probability of producing an original response (original in the sense that fewer students come up with that response). Therefore, a hypothetical curve of creativity for a given task or activity (see Figure 1) would show a gently sloping gradient with an increase in originality being related to an increase in the number of responses. For example, if we asked a group of students to list all of the utensils that people might use to eat with, their initial responses would no doubt include common utensils such as forks, spoons, and knives. But if we encouraged them to increase their lists by using their imaginations (“Suppose you didn’t have any forks or spoons. What could you use?”), students would begin to explore some possible alternatives. They might suggest such items as sharpened sticks, shells, and bottle caps. If we compared the lists of several youngsters, we would find that most of the initial answers are quite common—that most of the students have given the same responses. As the lists grow longer, we would find more divergence occurring, and the probability of a youngster’s producing an original response increases. In other words, quantity PART II “Imagination grows by exercise.” W. Somerset Maugham Figure 1. Hypothetical curve of creativity. Responses Originality 8 breeds quality, and research has shown that individuals who produce a large number of ideas are more likely to produce ideas that are more original. Each manual in this program attempts to capitalize on the fluency principle by including a number of exercises that generate a large number of responses. In opposition to the techniques of convergent production discussed earlier, these exercises have no right answers. Rather, they are designed to encourage the student to produce a large quantity of responses, and, hopefully, practice in this mode of thinking will help free the learner from previously acquired habits which predispose him or her to rely mainly upon recall and convergent thinking. The basic technique for increasing fluency of expression is called brainstorming. The first step in this process is to provide students with a problem that has many possible alternative solutions. Brainstorming can be carried out individually or in group sessions. During the early stages of a brainstorming activity, students should write or verbalize all thoughts and ideas that come to mind, no matter how silly, way‑out, or wild the ideas may be. The best way to promote free‑wheeling and offbeat thinking is to value quantity and withhold criticism and evaluation until students have exhausted their total supply of ideas related to a given problem. This principle, known as the principle of unevaluated practice, is further discussed in the section dealing with evaluation (pp. 10‑12). The following is a list of general questions (adapted from Arnold(1962)) that can be used to spur students’ thinking during brainstorming sessions: Other Uses Can it be put to other uses as is? Can it be put to other uses if it is modified? Adaptation What else is like it? What other ideas does it suggest? What could you copy? Whom could you imitate? Modification What new twist can you make? Can you change the color, size, shape, motion, sound, form, odor? Magnification What could you add? Can you add more time, strength, height, length, thickness, value? Can you duplicate or exaggerate it? Minification Can you make it smaller, shorter, lighter, lower? Can you divide it up or omit certain parts? Substitution Who else can do it? What can be used instead? Can you use other ingredients or materials? Can you use another source of power, another place, another process? Can you use another tone of voice? Rearrangement Can you interchange parts? Can you use a different plan, pattern, or sequence? Can you change the schedule or rearrange cause and effect? Reversibility Can you turn it backward or upside down? Can you reverse roles or do the opposite? Combination Can you combine parts or ideas? Can you blend things together? Can you combine purposes? These are only some of the questions that teachers and students can use to stimulate creative thinking during the brainstorming activities included in the program. Once students have learned the basic brainstorming technique, you should encourage students to approach each activity with an idea‑finding frame of reference. The section “Introducing the Primary Activities” (pages 12‑14) is especially designed to teach the brainstorming process through active involvement in both group and individual brainstorming activities. As a general rule, you should always encourage students to go as far as they can in completing the exercises on the activity 9 sheets and the follow‑up activities. Students may need to go beyond the spaces provided or you may need to extend time limits when youngsters are engaged in a highly productive activity. Keep in mind that brainstorming is a skill that grows through practice, and students will develop this skill if they know you place major value on the quantity rather than the quality of their responses. The Principle of Mild Competition Although a great deal has been written about the dangers of high‑pressure competition in the classroom, research with various curricular materials has shown that mild competition is a positive nutrient in motivating students to become involved in learning activities. The use of simulation and learning games to promote learning is based on the finding that gamelike activity is one of the child’s preferred ways of learning. Several researchers have investigated the relationship between children’s play and creativity. For example, Li (1985) found significant gains in preschool children’s creativity after being exposed to play training. Mellou (1995) examined the literature on the relationship between dramatic play and creativity and concluded that most of the research supports a positive relationship between them, noting the alternative symbolic constructions and flexibility common to both. In a research synthesis on creativity processes in children that are predictive of adult creativity, Russ (1996) also concluded that the relationship between children’s play and creativity is strong. We have made an attempt to capitalize on the motivational benefits of gamelike activity by suggesting that certain exercises be carried out under mildly competitive conditions. This approach will introduce an element of excitement into the program and give youngsters an opportunity to pursue classroom activities in their preferred manner of learning. To avoid the dangers associated with high ‑pressure competition, you should use caution when employing the mildly competitive mode. You should observe the following general rules when ever you introduce competition into creativity training activities. 1. Group competition should be used rather than individual competition. 2. Grades or other material rewards should never be associated with competitive activities. Stu dents will derive satisfaction from the competi tiveness itself and the excitement of winning or trying to win. 3. Teams should continually be rearranged in a way that allows all youngsters an opportunity to be on a winning team. There are several ways of arranging teams for competitive classroom activities—row against row, boys against girls, or everybody wearing a certain color on one team, to name a few. If some youngsters find it difficult to perform under com petitive conditions or if some put undue pressure on others who slow the team down, it may be wise to ask these students to serve as moderators or scorekeepers because “you need their help.” A good way to help build up enthusiasm is to get involved in competitive activities on an equal basis with students. When you join a given team, the students will no doubt look to you for leadership, but you should try to be just another member of the team and avoid contributing more than a proportionate share of the responses. You will, of course, have to experiment to determine the best ways for operating in the mildly com petitive mode. A good deal of the art of teaching is involved in knowing your students and in using classroom management procedures that are espe cially applicable to a given group. A general strategy that you can use in follow‑up discussions of the exercises is intergroup com petition. Prior to assigning a particular exercise or after an exercise has been completed, divide the class into several small groups which can then compete with each other on the basis of (1) the greatest number of team responses and (2) the most original responses (i.e., responses that other teams did not think of). A team’s score would consist of one point for the total number of respon ses generated by all team members (including duplications) minus a given number of points for each response that appears on another team’s list. Slowly increasing the number of points de ducted for responses that are common among teams will encourage the students to strive for originality, as well as quantity, of responses. Students might like to keep a score card on the bulletin board to record team progress. Competitive follow‑up activity of this type is probably most appropriate for exercises that emphasize the quantity of responses rather than the production of a story or single product. The Principle of Cooperation Researchers have found that activities involving team collaboration help youngsters increase their creative productivity. You should allow students to work on some activities in pairs or in small groups,