ADHD Creativity Training
Summary, Discussion of Findings, Recommendations and Future Research
This chapter will summarize the purpose, methodology, and findings of this investigation. Following the summary, discussion of these findings will be provided, and limitations will be presented. Finally recommendations will be suggested for future research.
Summary of Investigation
Living in a global environment where information and technology are changing as science expounds new insights nearly everyday led educators to realize the importance of teaching children skills which they will need as adults, and to become more effective learners. Most, if not all, today's educators have agreed on both the tremendous value of creativity and the possibility of teaching and enhancing creative ability (Runco, 2007).
Since all human beings are innately creative and able to develop creative abilities and thinking skills, many teaching programs (e. g. the CoRT program) which aimed to develop and strength creative abilities have been established.
Creativity is important to everyone and ADHDs are no exception.
What strategies, then, might be appropriate for regular and special education students in the same educational setting? Research conducted by Jaben (1983, 1986) with specific learning disabled students suggested creativity training might be one such strategy. Gowan and Torrance (1971) theorized that creativity is a prerequisite for achievement. Baum and Owen (1988) investigated the characteristics that differentiate high ability learning disabled students from other students with learning disabilities and found creativity to be the distinguishing factor.
Novak (1991) suggested concept mapping is a metacognitive strategy. While concept maps can be constructed in several ways, Novak et al (1983) theorized, “the greatest creativity may be required to construct a concept map without any supplied words or text, but drawing on an individual’s fund of knowledge for some specific topic” (P. 626). Thus, concept mapping is a metacognitive strategy which allows students to integrate creative relationships between concepts.
If it has been theorized that creativity is related to concept map development, would creativity training impact the concept maps developed by students with ADHD?
It was hypothesized participants receiving creativity training would not score significantly higher on the posttest than those participants not receiving such creativity training. Specifically, this study asked the following questions as defined in chapter one:
- Is there a correlation between Concept mapping ability of students with ADHD and their performance in the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking(TTCT)?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher scores on the TTCT than students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher scores on the TTCT in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training score higher scores on the TTCT in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training produce more complex concept maps than students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training produce more complex concept maps in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training produce more complex concept maps in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher proposition’s scores compared with the students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher proposition’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training score higher proposition’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher hierarchy’s scores compared with the students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher hierarchy’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training score higher hierarchy’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher cross link’s scores compared with the students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher cross link’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training score higher cross link’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher example’s scores compared with the students with ADHD who not do receive such training?
- Will students classified with ADHD who receive creativity training score higher example’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
- Will students classified with ADHD who do not receive creativity training score higher example’s scores in the posttest compared with the pretest?
The purpose, then, of this study was to investigate the effects of creativity upon the ability to produce more complex concept maps among fourth and fifth grade students classified as having ADHD. Sixty four students from twenty four schools in Riyadh participated in the investigation. The subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. The groups consisted of thirty two in each group.
All sixty four subjects were given training in concept mapping and were asked to complete a concept map and the TTCT as a pretest. The experimental group was given 20 hours of creativity training while the control group received no creativity training. As a posttest measure, all sixty four subjects completed a second concept map and the TTCT.
Data were analyzed via the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, the t test for two independent samples, and the paired-sample t test. Results indicated subjects who received creativity training developed significantly more complex concept maps than those subjects who received no such creativity training. Thus, creativity training enhances the concept mapping ability of students with ADHD.
Discussion of Findings
The data analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between the treatment group, which received creativity nurturing techniques, and the control group, which did not receive creativity enhancing techniques. It is reasonably plausible to conclude from this creativity intervention that student’s scores on the TTCT and Cmap did increase with the implementation of creativity nurturing techniques.
An examination of the literature pertaining to this finding indicated that the results of this study added to a growing body of data accumulated from research that attempts to understand the role of nurturing creativity through creativity instruction as an opportunity for increasing student’s creativity. Sternberg (2003) found that students could learn certain kinds of decisions and techniques to enhance their creativity. Moran et al. (1983) further confirmed that fluency is an essential component in the process of creative and original thinking.
Golovin (1993) who analyzed the mean creativity scores on the TTCT among 159 subjects from eight classrooms. The intervention lasted for ten days and measured the effect of the control group receiving no creativity training, and two treatment groups receiving creativity, fifty minutes daily.
The study showed that creativity training had a positive effect on the two treatment groups. The treatment of creativity training was effective as shown by the measured effect on the TTCT. Golovin concluded that creativity training was statistically significant and had a positive effect on measured creativity.
Jaben (1983) used a pretest-posttest design with 49 students from two intermediate-level learning disabilities classrooms. This study used the Purdue Creative Thinking Program for a 14-week intervention to measure the effect of creativity instruction. The study found that the learning disabilities treatment group made significant gains over the control group. The gains were measured using the TTCT. Jaben concluded that based on the results, creativity programming such as the Purdue Creative Thinking Program can enhance the fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration of students labeled as learning disabled.
Jaben (1986) repated the above-mentioned study. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of instruction on learning disabled students’ divergent thinking. Again the sample included 50 LD participants measuring the effect of creativity instruction through the Purdue Creative Thinking Program in a 14-week intervention. Again, the learning disabled treatment group had significantly higher TTCT scores than the learning disabled control group.
Schack (1993) investigated the effects of a creative problem solving curriculum on students of varying ability. The subjects included 276 middle school students in six schools. The students’ labels designated them as gifted, honors, or average. The students were rated on fluency, flexibility, and originality according to the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) criteria. The findings concluded that no one ability level gained more significantly than another.
Many theorists (de Bono, 1986; Gordon, 1961; Renzulli and Reis, 1997; Schilchter, 1991, 1997) also confirm the impact of creativity programs on the enhancement of creative thinking.
Both the review of literature and data analysis clearly demonstrated that the use of creativity enhancing techniques increase the creative thinking of both regular education students and students designated as special education students, therefore creativity training is a technique that can be employed in an integrated classroom comprising of regular education students with students who are classified as special needs students.
Russell and Meikamp (1994) tout the praises of creativity training as a strategy worthy of implementation for developing metacognitive skills in students of all abilities.
In the present study a benefit of the creativity training intervention may be the development of metacognitive strategies as measured by concept mapping. Students were encouraged during the training to be more fluent, flexible, original, and elaborative.
As the subjects developed their skills in each of these areas, they were encouraged to developed creative ideas for expression that were unlike ideas from any other member of the training group, and they were given the opportunity to generalize their newly found ability to a tangible product. Generalization of the cognitive strategies presented suggested meacognition was occurring. This was evidenced by the complexity of the maps produced by the students in the experimental group.
In conclusion, the results of the present study indicated that there was a significant difference between the treatment and control group on posttest scores. Because these two groups were equivalent before beginning the intervention, but significantly different after the creativity intervention, it is reasonable to conclude that student’s scores did increase with the implementation of creativity enhancing techniques.
Learning creativity enhancing techniques such as fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration helped the students in the treatment group to develop the metacognitive skills necessary for nurturing creativity, resulting in the confidence needed to exercise creative abilities; thus, producing a more complex concept maps than students in the control group.
Another finding is that there is a relationship between the TTCT scores and concept map performance. This finding indicates that those students who did better concept maps also score better in the TTCT.
Concept mapping tacninc have been used as assessment tacnic (see ?). From the result above (strong positive correlation was found (r=0.961, P<0.0001) it is possible to conclude that there is a small possibility to use concept mapping to assess creative ability. However, the strong positive correlation found between TTCT and concept mapping is not enough to support the above suggestion of using Cmap to assess creativity, because the population of this study is implemented by their age, Gender and disability moreover it a small sample to be use to assess correlations, thereafter the researcher suggest that studying the relation between Cmap and TTCT as a facture analysis study using a preventive similar to that used to develop the TTCT (that is, a large sample (more than 10,000 subject), wade range of development age (5 to +18) wade range of development ability, (e. g. gifted, LD, mental retarded, normal) wade range of academic grease (from granddad to 12 graders) and both gender) can help to understand the relation between Cmap and TTCT, in specific, to answer the following questions: is there a correlation between concept mapping ability and the creative ability, the total score on Cmap and on the TTCT. Is the ability of originality in TTCT correlate with that of cross links in Cmap, fluency with propositions, flexibility with hierarchy and elaboration with examples?
Delimitations and Limitations
Delimitations provide descriptions of the population to which generalizations accurately may be made (Locke et al., 1993). Delimitations suggest how the study will be narrowed in scope (Creswell, 1994). These delimitations may affect the external validity. Based on Creswell (1994) and Locke et al., (1993) people, places, and times are the three major threats to external validity. The researcher identified three delimitations, which affected the applicability and generalization to the settings and populations.
First, this study was delimited by its restriction to explore the effect of the CoRT program as an enhancement tool on the creative thinking of children with ADHD who fourth and fifth graders. Enhancement of creativity in this study was measured by both the TTCT and the complexity of Cmap. This study did not address gender differences nor address the use of prescribed for the treatment of ADHD even though all of the participants were taking medication for their treatment of their ADHD. Therefore, because of the focused population used in this study, generalizations to other populations are made with caution.
In addition, this study was conducted in Riyadh which is the capital city of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia; therefore the results from this study may not be generalizable to a rural setting. Finally, the study was further delimited by the duration, which was three months. This may have affected the applicability.
Limitations establish the boundaries, exceptions, reservations and qualifications inherent in every study (Castetter and Heisler, 1994). Limitations therefore identify potential weaknesses of the study.
A major limitation to this study was the size of the sample, this may due to the voluntary nature of the study. In addition, all participants are girls; therefore this study did not address gender. It would have been interesting to have boys in the study for gender comparison.
Another limitation is that the purpose of this study was not to quantify a training program for teachers but rather to explore the CoRT program which may be employed by teachers when working with children who have ADHD.
Finally, the study dose not investigates the relationship between increased concept map complexity and achievement gains in content areas.
Although creativity is often thought of as a natural talent, creativity enhancing techniques and creative awareness can be beneficial for improving a student’s creative abilities and creative thinking. The overall findings of this study demonstrated the benefits of utilizing creativity program in nurturing creativity through creativity enhancing techniques such as fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration resulting in the development of creative products on the TCCT and complex Cmap.
The implications of this study are presented as recommendations for educators, students, and the field of education in general for implementing creativity programs and providing opportunity for students to nurture creativity, thus impacting and improving creativity and creative products.
Gardner (2000) believed that the education of the future calls for a fundamentally different kind of education. Education should focus on disciplinary forms flexibly designed in teaching students to solve new problems and create new lines of thought.
The same processes used in problem solving are used in creativity training. Students are taught to develop many possible solutions to the problem (fluency), to classify these solutions into probable categories (flexibility), to produce unique ideas that have not been presented before (originality), and to expand upon these ideas to increase usefulness (elaboration). Thus creativity training is training in problem solving. Educators should provide students with opportunities to express creativity in content, process, and product.
Research studies suggest that the use of creativity nurturing techniques can benefit students in both process and product by teaching the metacognitive skills necessary and providing opportunity in the development of creative and critical thinking. The results of this study validate other research on the use of creativity instruction. Creativity should become an integral part of the educational process and not be considered the fluff of the curriculum.
Educational curriculum should focus on teaching students to take an active role in the creative process through metacognition. It should endeavor to introduce students to thinking not only about what they think, but how they think for improving creative processing and creative production. Iimplementing and utilizing creativity enhancing techniques are imperative if creativity enhancing methods are to become a vital part of the educational curriculum.
It is also imperative that students learn to nurture their creativity in both process and product. Students should be given the opportunity to express creative ideas and thoughts in open-ended activities that allow creative expression with no right or wrong answers. Metacognition, creative thinking, and creative expression are life skills that are imperative to students’ future successes; and therefore, must be nurtured and enhanced.
All students should be challenged to reach the pinnacle of success that only comes through deeper understanding and practice of the creative process. The implementation of creativity instruction can move students to higher levels of creative performance.
Given the intricate relationship between creativity instruction and improved creative performance, educators must allow creativity enhancing techniques such as fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration to become an integral part of the activities performed daily in the educational pedagogy of school curriculum.
When developing curriculum for exceptional students, learning styles and instructional strategies which the individual student possesses are essential considerations. Given the results of this study, it is suggested that creativity training be included as a teaching strategy to promote both metacognition and higher order thinking (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation).
This study also has implications for teachers training programs. Traditionally, creativity training has been an integral of teacher preparation for those trained to work with the mentally gifted. If indeed, as this study suggests, creativity training is also effective with students who are not classified mentally gifted, then teachers of these students should be prepared to teach and foster creativity.
This research suggests that a better understanding of the nature of creativity and the possible advantages ADHD children may lead to the design of teaching strategies and to the planning of educational environments that maximize special learning styles, decrease comorbidity, and make use of special talent and potential.
The research and intervention on ADHD now is overly focused on identifying deficiencies (Frick and Lahey, 1991; McBurnett et al.; 1993) and remediating them (Burcham et al.; 1993). It would be valuable for schools and parents to be able to focus on strengths as well as weakness. Labels may not only affect the way children are perceived by the teacher but also their self-esteem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for teachers and parents to work together to bolster self-esteem and to identify and nurture strengths as much as possible.
As educators, it is our responsibility to design educational environments in which their talents can be developed.
A recommendation could be taken from weiss (1997) to determine the appropriate educational placement and style of teaching from which ADHD creative children could benefit. The children who learn well in the conventional setting should remain there, and those who do not should have the option to be placed in smaller, experience-based learning environments.
An understanding of creativity’s many dimensions may lead to reorganization of educational environments so that maximum opportunities exist for creative behaviors to emerge and for each child to develop in the way that is most suited to his/her own special talents.
Throughout both the literature and research on the topic of creativity, one point was clear and concurred by all: more qualitative and quantitative research for assessing and developing creativity is necessary if creativity instruction is to be come a vital part of the educational curriculum. Research based methods for assessing and nurturing creativity should to be developed, understand, and applied appropriately for adding students in the creative process, resulting in the development of quality products by independent and creative thinkers.
The limited amount of research on this subject suggests that the areas examined in this dissertation would benefit from future investigations. An extension of this study with the same groups is essential to determine the impact of creativity training upon other evaluation measures as determined by school grades, achievement scores, and self concept inventories.
Further recommendations include interventions of longer duration to demonstrate the long-term advantages of utilizing creativity nurturing techniques. A larger sample size would also be beneficial to validate this study and increase reliability in generalizing the results to a larger population.
Future research would benefit from having a separate control group of children having difficulties in school but who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD so that comparisons could be made.
If creativity training is effective with students who are ADHD in terms of concept mapping, how might it impact other areas of exceptionality such as mild mental retardation?
Since students with mental retardation and those with mild disabilities are also being integrated into the regular education classroom, other studies should be conducted with these populations.
Additionally, the process of creativity training and concept map development could be explored as an alternative way to assess students classified as mildly disabled. Traditionally, knowledge acquired by students classified as mildly disabled cannot always be measured by pencil and paper tests. This method might provide an additional measure for classroom teachers.
Many can argue that there is a relationship and similar characteristics between ADHD and creativity (Cramond, 1994; Frick and Lahey, 1991; Hartmann, 1997; and Weiss, 1997). The exact nature of the relationship between ADHD and creativity is not known at this time. Both are very complex constructs.
However, one cannot demonstrate with the variation that ADHD causes creativity or part of it. It can easily be assumed that other factors are involved (temperament, cognitive aptitude, genetics, deficient social skills, academic underachievement, and numerous other environmental variables). Perhaps ADHD and creativity are similar constructs, but further academic research in this particular area is needed
It can be concluded that all ability level students can benefit from creativity enhancing techniques. If indeed creativity can impact creative ability with both regular students and those students classified as special education students, and these results are generalizable, then the argument for integrating exceptional students into the regular classroom using the same teaching strategies may have merit.
Creativity training appears to be a strategy worthy of use by teacher with students in an integrated setting. The initial results of this study were interesting and promising, but there is still considerable work to be done in many areas that could be beneficial to the children, their families, and teachers.
participants on the present study were average, less than average, and highly creative according to their results on the TTCT. Semelar to that of Cramond, 1994a,b, 1995;
Although some of the participants of the present study score high scor in the TTCT, it is not the perpuse of this studay to exame explore creativity among ADHDs or to enderstand the coection between creativity and ADHD. The pourpes of this studay is to exame whether or not a creativity treaning program will help students with ADHD to develop more complex
Recomadition: Mothers training programs is good for poth children with ADHD and mothers (see Weiss and Hechtman P32)
For recomandiotns see keetam (Gul 2006)
Monsen and Frederickson, 2004
Sherman et al., 2006
On their study on a sample of 151 children aged 10-11 years Wallach and Kogan (1965) proposed four categories of characteristics, classified on the basis of their levels of creativity and intelligence:
High creativity-low intelligence: their main characteristics are:
- Angry conflict with themselves and their school environment.
- Feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy.
- Able to blossom cognitively.
Low creativity-high intelligence: their main characteristics are:
- Addicted to the school achievement.
- Strive continually for academic excellence because they perceive academic failure as catastrophic.
High creativity-high intelligence: their main characteristics are:
- Can exercise within themselves both control and freedom.
- Have both adult like and childlike behaviours.
Low creativity-low intelligence: their main characteristic is:
- Engage in various defensive maneuvers such as intensive social activity or passivity or psychosomatic symptoms.
Yet many of these integrated students bring to the regular classroom learning characteristics that are specific to their exceptionalities. For example, students with specific learning disabilities have difficulty knowing how to learn (Plloway, et al., 2002) chapter one. Recomadition: Research indicates metacognition –knowing how to learn- is an area of difficulty for these students (Bos and Vaughn, 2005). Moreover, mildly disabled students experience difficulties acquiring and utilizing metacognitive strategies.