Creativity in the Gifted Classroom

Creativity in the Gifted Classroom

Tia M. Neal
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-6677-3.ch007
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It is not enough for the creatively gifted children in the school systems to simply wonder about the world around them. It is the responsibility of educators to promote and encourage those wonderings so that gifted children can develop their creativity to their fullest potential. The objective of this chapter is to examine the various viewpoints of the nature of creativity. This chapter seeks to explore the following questions: (a) What is creativity? (b) Are academic giftedness and creative giftedness distinct concepts? (c) Can creativity be assessed? (d) What instructional strategies can be used within classrooms to enhance the creativity of gifted students? (e) How does one build a culture of creativity within the classroom?
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Piirto (2004) recounts that the term creativity does not occur in dictionaries until 1964. Clark (2002) provides insight into the term by stating that “creativity is a special condition, attitude, or state of being that nearly defies definition” (p. 74). The New World Encyclopedia (n.d.) defines creativity as a “process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts, and their substantiation into a product that has novelty and originality” (para. 1). These products that result from the creative thought process, which is sometimes called divergent thinking, are typically original or new (New World Encyclopedia, n.d.). This seemingly simple concept is indeed utterly complex, and the various disciplines of science and psychology have yet to agree upon a specific definition (Karnes and Stephens, 2008), nor is there a standardized instrument that can effectively measure every area of creativity (New World Encyclopedia, n.d.). Perhaps it is because of the lack of consensus regarding the term creativity that makes it difficult to identify.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Creative Press: The creative press is a synonymous term for the creative environment.

Creative Process: During the creative process, people prepare their ideas and see them through to fruition.

Creative Person: Creatively gifted individuals are those who typically exhibit novelty in their ideas and their abilities to produce original or unique products.

Naiveté: This is the attitude that people possess that helps them to pay close attention to the small things around them. They can see information in their fields or domains with fresh eyes.

Creative Product: The outcomes of the creative process that have been synthesized by the creative person as influenced by the creative press.

Gifted Classroom: This is a learning environment that is created to meet the needs of creatively gifted or academically gifted students.

Creativity: Creating something from nothing or adding to an existing idea or product in a way that enhances its value or usefulness.

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