The effect of synectics training on gifted and nongifted kindergarten students
Meador, Karen Sue Wilson
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This study investigated the effect of one particular creativity training method, synectics, on gifted and nongifted kindergarten students. Data were gathered from 109 students in three gifted and two nongifted kindergarten classes. One group of gifted and one group of nongifted kindergarten students received synectics training. Comparisons of changes in creativity, self-concept, and verbal skills during the research period were made for experimental versus control groups, gifted versus nongifted experimental groups, and highly creative versus average to below average creativity groups. The collected data included the results of pretest and posttest administrations of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, the Martinek-Zaichkowsky Self-Concept Scale, and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. These were analyzed through one-way analysis of variance. Student interviews were also conducted and other qualitative information was gathered by tape recording the training sessions and keeping anecdotal records. The major findings of the study reveal a significant growth in creativity by both the gifted and the nongifted experimental groups as a result of the training and nonsignificant changes in self-concept and verbal skills. There was no significant difference between the changes of the gifted and the nongifted experimental group on any of the measures. The study did, however, note that gifted students enter and participate in the training at a different level from the nongifted students. It provides rich descriptive data of the participatory differences between the two groups. The research also showed that the highly creative experimental students displayed less gain in creativity than the other experimental students. Intra-group differences in creativity were also described in this study in which creative response levels differed according to whether the activity was figural, verbal or manipulative. The researcher established a response hierarchy for rating pupil products in order to make comparisons of responses possible. The study revealed that kindergarten students have the ability to reason by analogy and benefit from synectics activities which uses this type of thinking. It also points to the fact that the use of creativity training in the kindergarten classroom helps prevent the decline of creativity which is common as children enter school.