Education and the Creative Potential

Education and the Creative Potential

E. PAUL TORRANCE Editor
Volume: 5
Copyright Date: 1963
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 180
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttpw7
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Education and the Creative Potential
    Book Description:

    Education and the Creative Potential was first published in 1963. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Modern School Practices Series, Number 5 How can we identify creative children? What makes them different from other youngsters, and what happens to them in today’s schools? How can we improve our schools to make the most of our creative potential? Dr. Torrance, a leading educational psychologist, discussed such challenging questions and proposes challenges in the schools which will give children a better chance to learn and think creatively. He summarizes much of what is known about the conditions which nurture or inhibit creative growth and reports on a series of original, exploratory studies concerned with the problems of testing creative ability or potentiality and the influence of various factors on the development of creativity. This book is recommended by the National Council of Teachers of English as a standard reference for high school English classrooms and departments._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3844-8
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Part I. General Problems
    • THE CREATIVE POTENTIAL OF SCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE SPACE AGE
      (pp. 3-15)

      As we enter the Space Age, we hear a great deal from the critics of American education, and perhaps even more from its defenders. In my view, however, the creative challenge to education in the coming years will be met by neither critics nor defenders, but by prophets and frontier thinkers. As an educational researcher, I propose to play the role of prophet in this paper. Though fear of being tagged “witchdoctor” or “soothsayer” makes us shrink from assuming this role, we educators must increasingly become prophets. To behave effectively in his universe, man must improve wherever possible his ability...

    • CONDITIONS FOR CREATIVE GROWTH
      (pp. 16-33)

      There is so much talk these days about the need for developing the creative talents of children that the conditions needed for creative growth are sometimes overlooked. By now, I think teachers want to know what they can do to stimulate children to think creatively. First, however, it might be useful to consider a few blunt statements about the importance of creative growth. Here are some of the facts:

      1. Although we have long known that it is natural for man to learn creatively, we have almost always insisted that he learn by authority. We now know that many things can...

    • MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS OF HIGHLY CREATIVE CHILDREN
      (pp. 34-43)

      In this paper I shall sketch eight typical situations, or verbal pictures, from our Minnesota Studies of Creative Thinking, which provide information on the mental health problems of highly creative school children. Then I shall propose a general conceptualization for investigating these problems and applying the results.

      My first picture is of the sociometric position of a highly creative boy in a class of thirty-five third graders in a public school. I shall call this boy Jim. On our tests of creative thinking, he displayed some of the most inventive, original, and flexible behavior we have found in testing several...

    • GIVING CHILDREN A CHANCE TO LEARN AND THINK CREATIVELY
      (pp. 44-58)

      When I ask parents and teachers if they want their children or pupils to learn and think creatively, I can count on most of them to say, “Yes!” But if I were to talk with them individually, or to observe their behavior toward children, I am afraid I would find that they don’treallymean what they say. In mind and spirit they may approve of giving children a chance to learn and think creatively, but outwardly, in action, they behave in a contrary manner. So many parents and teachers feel uncomfortable, even disturbed, if their children display any tendencies...

    • CREATIVE STUDENTS IN OUR SCHOOLS TODAY
      (pp. 59-71)

      The stories of the following eight creative students show what current research is discovering about the identification of creative students, what makes them different from their classmates, and what happens to them in school. I have chosen these eight by no means unique cases to represent the most frequently occurring types of creative student from kindergarten through college. The names are fictitious, but their histories are authentic. The research findings discussed in relation to these students are based on fairly large numbers, usually the total population of at least two schools.

      Ollie is a kindergarten boy in a suburban school....

    • CULTURAL DISCONTINUITIES AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF ORIGINALITY
      (pp. 72-88)

      When our staff began to study the development of the creative thinking abilities, first by cross-sectional methods and later by longitudinal ones, we were puzzled by what we discovered. Clearly, the intellectual abilities that we had labeled “creative thinking” did not follow the same course of development as other abilities. For most of our measures of creative thinking, there were distinct periods of decline rather than growth at about ages five, nine, thirteen, and seventeen. We became particularly interested in the decline that appears at about age nine, or the fourth grade, because it is so acute and is accompanied...

    • RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND CREATIVE THINKING
      (pp. 89-100)

      Man’s natural inclination is to learn creatively. By learning creatively he acquires much of his really useful knowledge. By learning creatively he acquires his enduring beliefs. God has commanded man to live creatively. Yet in education we have traditionally insisted that man acquire hisknowledgefrom authority. In religious education we have usually insisted that he acquire hisbeliefsfrom authority.

      In a way it is strange that Christian educators have insisted upon teaching largely by authority, since Jesus himself was such a good example of the creative learner and the creative teacher. The first picture we have of Jesus...

  4. Part II. Exploratory Studies
    • SEX ROLES AND APPROPRIATENESS OF STIMULI IN TESTS OF CREATIVE THINKING
      (pp. 103-109)

      Some of the most firmly established facts now available about individual differences concern the rarity of women among inventors (Rossman, 1931) and creative scientists (Roe, 1956). Many have hastened to point out the apparent paradox between these and other equally well-established facts about the superior scholastic achievement, reading skills, and vocabulary development of girls (Mussen and Conger, 1956).

      Both biological and social explanations have been offered for these phenomena (Bosselman, 1953). The biologist explains that the boy, by virtue of his usually stronger muscular endowment and his more active sexual role, is predisposed to more aggressive qualities. The girl, more...

    • THE ROLE OF MANIPULATION IN CREATIVE THINKING
      (pp. 110-118)

      Early in the process of administering our test of creative thinking to children in the first and second grades, members of the project staff observed what appeared to be a meaningful relationship between the child’s manipulation of the objects provided to evoke creative thinking, or inventiveness, and the quantity and quality of his responses. Since we were unable to find any information of a firm nature concerning the role of manipulation in creative thinking and inventiveness, the present study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between degree of manipulation and the quantity and quality of responses.

      Rossman (1931), in his...

    • PEER SANCTIONS AGAINST HIGHLY CREATIVE CHILDREN
      (pp. 119-136)

      Creative persons have always met with opposition. Columbus was scorned for thinking the world was round. Everyone laughed at the Wright brothers for believing men could fly. It seems to be the lot of innovators in all fields to endure opposition, apathy, prejudice, and even hate. Only strong confidence in their beliefs enabled the great thinkers of history to persevere in the face of opposition. This pattern of self-confidence versus opposition has become so much a part of our culture that many people regard it as a necessary prerequisite to outstanding success as a creative scientist or inventive genius. Whether...

    • EVOKING CREATIVE THINKING IN THE PRIMARY GRADES
      (pp. 137-144)

      Many methods are being offered for evoking more and better creative ideas from individuals and groups. A few of these methods are being evaluated objectively through controlled experiments, though reports have been limited to research with adult groups. The experiment reported here was undertaken to encourage creative thinking among young children.

      Osborn has suggested a set of questions or principles for stimulating new ideas. Though useful in a variety of situations, these questions are most directly applicable in developing ideas for improving a product, a procedure, or a group performance. We used them to stimulate children to think of ideas...

    • CHANGING REACTIONS OF PREADOLESCENT GIRLS TO SCIENCE TASKS
      (pp. 145-151)

      It is well known that extremely few women have achieved eminence as scientific discoverers or inventors. Experiments such as the ones described in the preceding reports show that in the early school years girls develop attitudes, interests, and even disabilities that make it difficult for them to become scientific discoverers and inventors. Moreover, these trends are so strong as to suggest that the attitudes of girls in today’s elementary schools make difficult a healthy adjustment in our culture.

      In an experiment involving the use of science toys, many girls in the fourth through sixth grades shrank from participation. The experimenters...

    • SEX-ROLE IDENTIFICATION AND CREATIVITY
      (pp. 152-158)

      This exploratory study was suggested by a variety of research findings derived from recent studies of creativity, including those of the author (Torrance, 1961a). The most immediate stimulus was a suggestion by Anne Roe (1959) at the Third National Conference on the Identification of Creative Scientific Talent. In discussing the personal problems of creative scientists, she listed as one of the more persistent the difficulty of sex-role identification in the highly creative person. She pointed out that, on measures of masculinity-femininity, the highly creative person of either sex is likely to be higher on the scale of the opposite sex...

  5. REFERENCES
    (pp. 161-163)
  6. INDEX
    (pp. 164-167)