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CREATIVITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BY SCIENCE ADVENTURE LEARNING


Definition of Creativity
A number or other psychologists during the sixties and early seventies have become increasingly concerned about creativity. They have endeavored to define, characteristics and develop it, all with various degrees of success. A leader in this endeavor has been Dr. Paul Torrance. He says ;
‘ I have chosen to define creative thinking as the process of sensing gaps or disturbing missing element; forming ideas or hypotheses; and communicating the results, possibly modifying and retesting the hypothesis’.1
Creativity generally thought of in two ways. Some believe it should be extricated to production of a new entity or idea never before known to man. Others have a more inclusive definition including all productive endeavors unique in the individual. This latter view is the more useful for teachers trying to develop creative ability and helping individuals to self actualize.

Creative Potential Must Be Developed Early
Research indicated that creative potential will not manifest itself ell unless the individual encounters early, stimulating environments. Robert Hess has experimented with rats to determine how experience affect later behavior.2other research in anatomy and biochemistry on similar groups of animal indicates that those with enriched experiences show an increase in cortical tissue and in the cholinesterase of the brains.3 Hess states the implications of his research follows :
(1)               There is a reason to believe that the potentialities of human mind as genetically determined do not un fold naturally and inevitably, but require active participation of a stimulating environment in order to attend normal development. (2) it is important that this stimulation occur early as possible in the child’s experience. (3) the range and variety of early experience directly affect the possibilities of later learning and set limits to the flexibility and adeptness of the adult mind by limiting and expanding the network concepts, meanings, and symbols through which individual experience his world. (4) the early deprivation of suitable stimulation probably results in some permanent loss of mental ability. (5) one of the primary purposes of elementary school education is the maximizing of mental capabilities by systematic stimulation and exercise of mental faculties.
Although what Hess has to say pertains directly to the elementary school, it also has relevance to junior high school education. The research reported above clearly indicates the role teachers should play. They have the responsibility to insure that student have numerous opportunities to develop their creative faculties in order to unleash dormant creative potentials.

How Do Modern Curricula Influence the Development of Creativity?
Few published materials except those specifically designed to do so do a very good job of eliciting the creative processes of thought. Seldom do they require students to suggest problems for study or design investigations, etc. if children are encouraged and given some guidance early in the year in how to do this. They are surprising in revealing their talents as a term progresses.
A creative teacher must modify most of the materials he uses and break away from books at times in order to really stimulate creative activity. The typical science text has been written for the average teacher to use. It had to be in order for it to sell and have a wide market. A teacher who is going to be above average must, therefore, not be limited by the text in order to require more creative processes from children.
Awareness of creative ability, and striving by instructors to stimulate its fruition, can do much to make this valuable human resource available to society. A teacher who accomplishes this end separates himself from a mass of instructors to become truly a master teacher.
There are some ways to develop creativity by science adventure learning:
1.      Science Museum
A science museum may be set up anywhere in the school, such as in the special science lab, science center, or bakeoff gym or lunchroom. A museum may start with collection of shells, rocks, or plants, etc., by children, teachers, parents or commercial firms. The science club can add works to the  museum and can also help maintain, inventory, and do necessary housekeeping. As museum increases its offering, the science club members or other responsible children can be trained to serve as ‘tour guides’ for other classes in the school. If the room can be locked, animal and plant could be kept here also; children can be helped to care for these living things. They can also use the outdoor science facilities mentioned in this chapter when weather condition are suitable.
2.      Science Club Room
Science clubs and museum are becoming more commonplace in the elementary schools, especially in those with departmentalized fifth and sixth grades. Times are designed in such schools when children can participate in club organized in such areas as science, music, art, literature, etc. a teacher volunteers to work with each club in guiding and directing his particular area of interest. Because of the self- selection basis for the clubs, motivation and interest of children are high. Teachers may present science ideas through demonstrations, experiments, films, etc., but usually the bulk of the time is devoted to student activities.
The elementary school laboratories or school science centers are most appropriate for science clubs because of the activity facilities. However, any classroom can be arranged for activities by following the suggestions made earlier in the chapter. It is recommended that the science club period of time be in blocks of at least two hours each due to the time needed for preparing and conducting activities and cleaning up. Clubs are another avenue for enriching the science programs for highly stimulated children. It must be pointed out, however, that these children are not necessarily the ‘best’ student.

References
1.       Paul Torrance, Guiding Creative Talent (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1962)
2.      Unpublished paper: New science in the inner City. Teacher College. Columbia University
3.      Robert D. Hess, “The latest Resources of The Child’s Mind,” Journal of Research in Sense Teaching, 1, Issue I (1963)

**This article also posted at http://readthinkwriteact.blogspot.com/

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