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ERIC Number: ED505478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Pages: 91
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 208
Developing Creativity in Gifted Children: The Central Importance of Motivation and Classroom Climate. Research Monograph Series. RM04202
Hennessey, Beth A.
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented
This primary goal of this monograph is to promote the creativity of gifted students. Importantly, especially high levels of intelligence or other hallmarks of giftedness do not necessarily predict creative behavior (Stein, 1968; Wallach, 1971). Yet many gifted children do have the requisite "ingredients" to become highly creative adult contributors to the arts and sciences. If these gifted students are to realize their creative potential, particular attention must be paid to the promotion and maintenance of intrinsic motivation in the classroom. Creativity does not come about in a vacuum. Empirical work carried out by investigators trained in social psychology tells us that there is a direct link between the motivational orientation brought by a student to a task and the likelihood of her being creative at that task, and it is the environment that in large part shapes that motivational orientation. Giftedness can be nurtured if conditions are right for an appropriate interaction to take place between the individual and the environment. And intrinsic motivation and creativity flourish in situations free of extrinsic constraints. Close attention must be paid to school climate if student motivation, creativity, and special talents are to be developed. In fact, the influential effects of classroom environment on motivation and creativity of performance are staggering (Amabile, 1996; Hennessey, 2003; Hennesey & Amabile, 1988). Research is reviewed that reveals that the typical American classroom is fraught with killers of intrinsic interest and creativity. These findings are particularly relevant to gifted and talented classrooms or "pull-out" programs where the potential for student creativity is especially high. The argument is made that particular attention must be paid to the impact of extrinsic constraints on the motivation and performance of gifted children coming from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds and concrete suggestions are made as to how policy makers, administrators, and teachers can work together to create an inclusive school and classroom atmosphere that will promote the development of creativity and an excitement about learning for all gifted students. (Contains 2 figures and 7 footnotes.)
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. University of Connecticut, 2131 Hillside Road Unit 3007, Storrs, CT 06269-4676. Tel: 860-486-4676; Fax: 860-486-2900; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented