A meta-analysis of research on creativity: The effects of instructional variables

Ellis Everarda Scope, Fordham University


A meta-analysis of the literature on creativity was conducted to examine the effects of instructional variables on increases in creativity in school-aged children. The instructional variables under study were: time spent on instruction, reviewing previous lessons, structuring new information, questioning students, responding to students' questions and comments, and independent practice. An extensive search of both the published and non-published literature was conducted to locate all accessible studies. It was hypothesized that the presence and implementation of the instructional variables would increase the creativity scores of school-aged children. Studies were located on topics ranging from creativity training, problem solving instruction, computer programming, computer assisted instruction, foreign language instruction, reading, physical education, art education, motivation training, puppet play, and story telling, to imagery training, meditation, and visualization. The subjects in the studies ranged from preschoolers to high school students. Overall, instruction had a positive effect on the creativity of school-aged children. There was a modest positive correlation between independent practice and creativity. The hypothesized link between the instructional variables of time spent on instruction, structuring, reviewing, questioning, and responding was not supported by the data. It is likely that there were additional variables or combinations of variables that accounted for the increases in creativity in this study. A qualitative, exploratory review of three outstanding studies from the meta-analysis revealed that the most successful treatments were developmentally appropriate, had high levels of teacher-student interactions, had high treatment compliance, and were motivating for the subjects. Future studies should address the complexity of the variables that give rise to the complex construct of creativity.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Scope, Ellis Everarda, "A meta-analysis of research on creativity: The effects of instructional variables" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9839518.