«February 2015 Volume 5 Issue 1 ISSN: 2146-7463 JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL AND INSTRUCTIONAL STUDIES IN THE WORLD February 2015, ...»
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Abstract Creativity consists of flexible, fluent, unique and unordinary thinking in different situations. In educational systems, one of the most important skills which students should gain is creative thinking. In this study, “creativity scale” (7 items) which is developed by Hu and Adey (2002) and adapted to Turkish is applied to 59 Vocational High School Students, 9-10-11th grade level students. When we compare students’ GPA scores and responses of creativity scale of first 4 items in the way of fluency and unique, the results are supported by researches which say there is positive but limited association between students’ academic successes and creativity. Other 3 items responses differences are more than related researches. Thus we can say this result is supported by literature which says the knowledge is necessary but not enough for creative thinking. On the other hand, students being teenager and having much more knowledge and much more experiences causes to have much more mental images related creativity scale items and many difference responses.
Key Words: Science education, creative thinking, vocational high school learners.
INTRODUCTIONCreativity consists of flexible, fluent, unique and unordinary thinking in different situations. Senemoğlu (2013) defines authenticity as giving unique responses; flexibility as ability of adapting to changing conditions; and fluency as quick sequencing of ideas. According to Sternberg and Lubart (1996), creativity refers to the capacity of coping with a given problem in authentic ways. Such capacity is about looking at a specific situation and problem from different perspectives. Creativity is beyond creating out of nothing since a new idea or though is often a variation version of an older thought or a combination of thoughts known or possessed previously.
Thus, creativity can be defined as synthesizing previous thoughts and redefining previous thoughts (Bessis 1973). Creativity is a basic skill included in all aspects of human beings’ life and evolution of human beings (San 1985). According to Torrance (1974: 8), creativity is “being sensitive to problems, insufficiencies, shortage of information, nonexistent elements, and noncompatibility; identifying challenges, seeking for solutions, estimation and hypothesizing or modifying hypothesises in relation with insufficiencies, selecting and trying one of the solutions, retrial, and drawing conclusions accordingly” (cited by Aslan 2001).
Seeking an answer for “What’s creativity?”, Repucci found around 50-60 definitions in the literature in early 1960’s (Parkhaust, 1999:
2). Özden (1993) points out that creativity is among innate characteristics, not learnt. Since it does not refer to acquired behaviours, it is much easier to see creativity among children. Children unconsciously possess the willpower to create. Namely, their imagination, feelings and thoughts unite with natural motivation, and children express their ideas freely in this way.
Research on creativity shows that almost all children possess creative thinking skill at different levels. It is easier to observe creative skills in young children; however, it disappears eventually as creative thinking is not reinforced or hindered with comments like “Why don’t you do the right?”, “Don’t be silly!” or “How on earth do you do that like this?” Creativity can be understood different from its basic meaning as thinking from different aspects. It is also related with thinking differently from others and creating instead of necessarily creating out of nothing.
Treffinger (1996) summarized in five headings the approaches placing the concept of creativity into its current place in literature.
1. Rational Approach: It stresses creativity as a mental and cognitive action. In this approach, creativity is not considered as a mysterious and unusual phenomenon. Rather, they regard it as a way of individuals’ using their mind in an authentic and efficient manner. In this context, it is a variation of thinking, reasoning, integrating or solving problems.
2. Personality and Traits: In the survey implemented by Berkley Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR), creative people’s decisive personality traits were determined. The pairs which are and are not highly creativity in a sample group of artists, scientists, and writers. In the survey, the data comprised of theories regarding classical personality theories and psychoanalytic interpretations were used.
3. Social and interpersonal factors: These factors include values, role definitions and expectations, norms, definitions of creative expression to be supported or not to be supported by using rewards and approval. It refers to contextual/environmental factors developing or obstructing creativity from environmental, anthropological and sociological perspective.
4. Lifestyle: This approach is built on applying creativity in daily life departing from creative persons’ lifestyles. Creativity is defined as personal completion, realizing oneself, positive identity-image or personal growth.
5. Illogical nature: Neuropsychology, biochemistry and other disciplines investigate interactions of biological, physical and psychological factors and take creativity as perceiving the world differently, processing inputs differently or functioning as an authentic system (cited by Aslan, 2001: 21).
Besides such unclear definitions in the science world, Graham Wallas (1926) found 4 stages in his research on “Creative thinking process”.
a) Preparation: The individual is introduced to and learns a problem at this stage. At this stage, the relation between hypothesis and theorems is studied concerning the problem. The individual first reviews previous studies. In this way, s/he learns from observations of her/himself or others.
b) Incubation: Mechanically, it follows the preparation stage. New synthesis and views are put forward at this stage due to the lack of conscious control. Some authentic ideas can emerge as distance to rational thinking increases. According to Yıldırım, this stage can be too short or long. Human brain may not establish all connections with a subject instantly. The brain works even if thoughts are interrupted, we sleep or forget. Rather, the interrupting observation thought and experiences might contribute to emerging of the thought. The incubation period can even be more fruitful if attention is paid to other things from time to time.
c) Illumination: The solution rises in the mind all of a sudden. During this stage, it is typical that the individual finds the solution suddenly as a consequence of synthesizing the information in preceding stage.
d) Verification: This is a conscious and rational period. Faults of solutions reached at previous stage are eliminated. Also accurate aspects are reviewed (Starko 2001, cited by Demirci, 2007: 66).