How can we enhance creativity in childhood? An action research with Italian children

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Maria Elvira De Caroli
Rossella Falanga
Orazio Licciardello
Elisabetta Sagone


Creativity was defined as “the centerpiece of an education that prepares a generation of change agents for doing good” (Sheridan-Rabideau, 2010). In the theoretical framework of the action research model (see Lewin, 1951) this study was aimed to propose a training to enhance creativity in children. According to the William’s model (1966, 1994), creativity is made by the following factors: fluency, flexibility, originality,elaboration and the ability to produce creative titles . Purpose: to explore the effects of a specific training on improvement of creativity factors. Training consisted of three steps (1 hour every one) in which the children, respectively, a) imagined to see objects looking in a Kaleidoscope and wrote a story with imagined objects; b) proposed ways to enhance a simple toy and to make it funny (see Torrance, 1989); c) found similarities between couples of objects. Sample: 36 Italian children (16 boys and 20 girls) aged between 7 and 8 years old, attending second classes of a primary school in Misterbianco (Italy). Participants were divided between experimental group (attending training) and control group (no training). Measures: The Italian version of Test of Divergent Thinking (TCT: Williams, 1994). We used protocol A to analyze levels of creativity before the training and protocol B (perfectly comparable with protocol A) to evaluate creativity after training. Results: Children reached levels of creativity similar to those obtained by children of the same age in our context (De Caroli, 2009). After training, children of the experimental group improved in flexibility (t= -2,872, p=.01), originality (t= -3,831, p=.001), elaboration (t= -6,096, p menor que .001), and in titles production(t= -3,573, p=.002). No significant changes emerged in the Fluidity. Future research could deepen the effects of this training in children of different ages.


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Maria Elvira De Caroli, University of Catania

University of Catania, Department of Educational Sciences, Catania, Italy


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