UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Kwan, Celina Kh'uan Dai
Thesis (M.Ed.) National University of Singapore
Hickman, Richard
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

The research problem in this study is that here appears to be a lack of individual expression in Singaporean preschool children's drawings. This research explorers the relationship between creativity in children's drawings and their parents' attitude towards creativity,and looks into the relationship between creativity in children's drawings and their teachers' style of teaching. 69 preschool children of ages between 4-6 years were chosen. They were then further divided into 2 culture groups: 35 'Western' and 34 Singaporean. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) was used to measure the children's creativity in drawing. The parents of these 69 preschool children were given an attitudinal scale and their attitude towards creativity was measured. This scale, called the Attitude towards Creativity scale (ATC), consisted of 40 statements that were related to creative behaviour. In addition to the questionnaire, parental interviews of six parents (three 'Western' and three Singaporean) were conducted. Three 'Western teachers (from an expatriate school in Singapore) and three Singaporean teachers ( from a local kindergarten) were observed during an open-ended class activity and during a more structured activity. In addition, less formal observations were made on the classroom environment and programme adopted by each teacher. A statistical significant difference was found in the scores obtained from the TTCT between the 'Western' and Singaporean preschool children. The 'Western' group scored higher than the Singaporean group. A significant difference was found in the scores obtained from the ATC between the 'western' and Singaporean parents. The 'Western' group scored higher then the Singaporean group. However, a weak but positive correlation was found between the TTCT scores of children and the ATC scores of parents. It was found from the parental interviews, that an additional variable, the degree of parental control over children's after school activities may influence creative production. It was also found that there was a difference observed in the teaching style between the 'Western' teachers and the Singaporean teachers. The 'Western' teachers appeared to be more indirect than the Singaporean teachers. There was a relationship observed between the teachers' teaching style and the children's' performance on the TTCT. Observations indicated that teachers who adopted a more indirect approach had children with higher scores in the TTCT. It was also observed that the teachers who adopted a more indirect approach had some degree of structure in guiding the children's activities.

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