Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, No.2, 196-204
Published Online April 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Τhe Contribution of Music and Movement Activities to
Creative Thinking in Pre-School Children
Elena Chronopoulou1, Vassiliki Riga2
1Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece
2Department of Educational Sciences & Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
Received February 23rd, 2012; revised March 27th, 2012; accepted April 2nd, 2012
As interest in creativity is rising, kindergarten teachers are looking for ways to strengthen the creative po-
tential of young children. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of music and movement ac-
tivities to creative thinking in preschool children. A three month educational programme was designed
and implemented, using an experimental research method. The effect on fluency, flexibility, originality
and elaboration of thought of 5-year-old children, as well as how the programme affected creative behav-
iours, was studied. The results, upon completion of the educational programme, showed that the growth
rate of these variables in the experimental group was statistically significant compared to the correspond-
ing rates in the control group. In addition, the emergence of creative behaviours, such as an increased
freedom of expression, a tendency to explore and experiment, and a questioning of what is commonly ac-
cepted, were considered to be a consequence of the implementation of the specific educational programme.
The experimental research produced valuable information about the design and philosophy of educational
programmes, and about the teaching methods of music and movement activities in kindergarten.
Keywords: Creative Thinking; Movement; Music; Preschool Children; Play
Studies (Bidri, 2005; Hosseini & Watt, 2010; Sternberg,
2003) have been conducted in order to investigate how creativ-
ity can be taught and nurtured through education. Many re-
searchers (Howard-Jones et al., 2002; Russ et al., 1999; Tar-
nowski, 1999) have emphasized the link between play and
creative thinking in preschool education. Janjolo and Stamp (in
Morin, 2001: p. 25) also noted the similarities between play and
music, indicating that both have a symbolic and rule-governed
nature, and are meaningful and active. Furthermore, other re-
searchers (Littleton, 1991; Niland, 2009; Smithrim, 1997 in
Morin, 2001) have indicated the educational value of music
play in children’s creative thinking.
Considering all the above, this study attempted to answer the
following research questions:
1) Can a programme of educational interventions, which is
based on music and movement activities, help the development
of creative thinking in preschool children?
2) Which behaviours or creative abilities have improved the
most as a result of these educational interventions?
3) How could the curriculum in kindergartens be reformed in
order to create the conditions that promote the development of
children’s creative thinking and creative behaviours?
Considering that the encouragement of creative thinking may
be possible in a creative learning environment, the objective of
this research was to examine the relation between the creative
thinking of preschoolers and music and movement activities in
order to determine whether, and to what extent, these kind of
activities help to develop creativity.
Early childhood researchers acknowledged the importance of
play not only in promoting children’s development (Singer &
Singer, 1990; Slade & Wolf 1994), but also in fostering chil-
dren’s creativity (Balke, 1997; Russ et al., 1999). More spe-
cifically, applying the play theory to musical education, Pro-
fessor Swanwick (1988) suggested that there is a correlation
between major play aspects and musical activities. Karl Orff
and Emil Dalcroze focused on the connection between music
and rhythm and movement, using musical play and kinaesthetic
play in their training programmes (Niland, 2009). In our study
the following techniques were used: movement, singing, the
use of percussion instruments, active listening, creative expres-
sion, music reading and writing.
A comprehensive programme of educational interventions
for preschoolers was designed to explore the hypothesis that
music and movement activities enhance the characteristics of
creative thinking, such as fluency, flexibility, originality, and
elaboration, as well as certain creative behaviours in children.
These behaviours were selected by reviewing relevant studies
(Polland, 1994; Segal, 2001; Torrance, 1965), concerning the
characteristics of creative individuals. The behaviours referred
to: dedication to a goal, tendency for exploration and experi-
mentation-curiosity, confidence, imagination, challenging the
commonly accepted (i.e. non-conventionality), and freedom to
express ideas, thoughts and feelings.
In order to examine the research questions a quasi-experi-
mental design was adopted. At first a programme of sixteen
educational interventions was designed, based on music and
movement activities. Next, two groups of kindergarten children
were selected, the experimental group and the control group.
The experimental group attended the assistance programme for
three months, while the control group did not participate in it.
To maintain internal validity, the control group shared common
features with the experimental group (age, socio-economic
background and geographic region). In addition, double evalua-
tion was applied in both groups according to Campbell and
Stanley’s principals (1963) (before and after the experiment),
and the results were compared with each other in order to ex-
tract the conclusions of the research.
The experiment was conducted in a public kindergarten.
There were two classes operating in the kindergarten and one of
them was randomly determined to be the experimental group.
The two groups were similar in terms of age and number, as
well as in the percentage between the two sexes. More specifi-
cally, the control group was composed of 18 children (13 boys
and 5 girls), while the experimental was composed of 15 chil-
dren (11 boys and 4 girls). The children in both groups were 5
years old. It should be noted that the two classes were housed in
the same building, therefore the stimulus by the curriculum,
such as educational programmes, tours, celebrations, etc., and
the everyday conditions and habits, such as school facilities and
play areas during intervals, were basically the same. At the
same time, the fact that all children lived in the same area al-
lowed us to assume that differences due to socio-cultural fac-
tors between the two groups were minor.
The experiment began in January and was completed in May.
During the first weeks, all the pre-tests were conducted in order
to assess the level of creativity in both groups. In the following
weeks, a total of sixteen educational interventions took place
twice a week over a three month period. Each intervention was
45 - 60 minutes long. Upon completion of the programme, both
groups were evaluated with the post-tests. The tests used in the
second measurement were the same in concept, structure and
nature of activities as the pre-tests, but differed in their content.
Development of Data C ol lec ti on Methods
Due to the complex and multidimensional nature of creativity,
the assessment cannot be considered reliable and efficient if it
is based only on one measurement instrument (Treffinger et al.,
2002). Thus, it was decided to use different and complementary
research tools (the creativity tests, the observation plans, and
the interviews) in order to triangulate the results and explain
them in a holistic manner.
Creativity Tests
Torrance’s Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) do not meas-
ure creativity but rather estimate and diagnose the possibility of
producing creative thinking, not in a specific sector but in a
wider context (Torrance, 1966c). TTCT tests are the most
common standardized and balanced tests in which creative
thinking is characterized by the fluency, flexibility, originality
and elaboration of ideas (Guilford, 1975: pp. 37-43). The tests
have been in use over a period of 25 years, and have been ap-
plied to different people in terms of age, socio-cultural back-
ground and gender, which according to the researchers has
confirmed the internal validity of the variables, the scoring
method of the responses, and the assessment of the results (Kerr
& Gagliardi, 2003; Kyung-Hee, 2006). TTCT tests are applica-
ble at preschool age, have been adapted for the assessment of
creative thinking in music, and have been applied in Vaughan’s
and Myers’ (1971) and Webster’s (1983, 1987) tests (in Kiehn,
We used the two types of Torrance tests, TTCT-Figural and
TTCT-Verbal. Each of them has two parallel forms A and B,
which involve similar activities. In the current study form A
was used for the pre-test and form B was used for the post-test.
The figural tests consist of three activities: Picture construction,
picture completion, and repeated figures of lines or circles. The
activities of the verbal tests refer to: ask and guess, product
improvement, unusual uses, unusual questions, and just sup-
The variables used for rating the performance of children in
the tests were the four characteristics of creative thinking (flu-
ency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration). The method of
scoring the variables was based on proposals by Torrance
(1966a, 1966b, 1974a, 1974b) and the performance results were
recorded on individual student record sheets.
Observation Plan
The dynamic nature of the development of creative thinking
and the hypothesis that a creative person is an evolving entity,
highlight the need for information to be collected over time
rather than at particular moments. For this reason, participative
observation of the children by the researcher was chosen as a
second research tool during the educational interventions in
order to answer the first two research questions. An observation
plan was structured that referred to both the characteristics of
creative thinking and the creative behaviours. A weighted rat-
ing scale was used to assess the creative behaviours (Treffinger
et al., 2002: pp. 59-62). The four subdivisions (non- evident yet,
emerging, expressing, excelling) reflect the level of studied
behaviour, indicating the degree of its acquisition or its matur-
ity. The plan played a “retroactive” role, since the researcher’s
additional comments were used as a means of partial evaluation
of the educational interventions and they provided information
for possible improvements.
Individual Interviews
Interviews were used, at the beginning and at the end of the
interventions, as a primary tool for collecting the opinions of
the kindergarten teachers concerning each child’s creativity.
We also looked at how teachers perceive creativity, the creative
process, the supporting factors and the restraining factors on the
expression of creative thought. The interviews were semi-
structured and consisted of open and closed questions, which
were simple and specific (Oppenheim, 1992: p. 155) to ensure a
high degree of reliability and accuracy of results, and to mini-
mize the expression of personal opinion of the teachers.
Since the aim was to produce results that could be compared
with those obtained through the observations, the variables
selected (creative behaviours) as well as the measurement scale
used in both cases were the same. In this way the responses of
kindergarten teachers were able to be collected in the form of
quantitative data and to be analyzed further through comparison
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 197
with the corresponding quantitative observation data.
Development of Educational Programme
The design of the educational interventions was based on
principles used in other educational programmes that have been
developed to promote creativity (Santanen et al., 1999; Xan-
thakou, 1998; Xanthakou & Kaila, 2002). To be effective, the
teaching interventions took place in an environment that en-
couraged freedom of expression and provided opportunities for
development of personal initiative and psychological safety
(Leonidou, 2005: p. 55). In addition, recommendations, bias,
premature criticism and evaluation of children’s ideas, were
prevented (Xanthakou, 1998). Amabile (1982) highlighted that
in educational interventions one should seek to activate inner
motivation as well as grant sufficient time to children to express
all their ideas. Harrington (1990) summarised all the conditions
that encourage and stimulate creative ideas under the term of
“Creative Ecosystem”.
The structure of the educational interventions were divided in
four thematic areas:
1st area: Sound (tone colour, silence, pitch, dynamics, exe-
cution mode);
2nd area: Rhythm (rhythmic values, rhythmic sense of closure,
identification, composition, improvisation and performance of
different rhythmic patterns);
3rd area: Melody (upward and downward movement of the
melody, structure and form of a melody);
4th area: Combination (melody quality characteristics, rhy-
thmic and melodic variations, aesthetic approach to the rhythm,
sound and melodic patterns-energy);
And moved in three axes:
1) The activation of knowledge skills (musical concepts);
2) The activation of emotional skills through identifying and
expressing personal ideas, feelings and mood, and;
3) The discouragement of typical ways of thinking.
More specifically, in the first axis, certain activities were
used to enhance the process of problem solving, the spontane-
ous production of many ideas, the free association, the analytic-
cal and synthetic ability, the recall of prior knowledge, data
processing, and the concentration to achieve a goal. In the sec-
ond axis, the expression of emotional skills and attitudes was
fostered through role-playing, improvisation, imitation, debate,
and generally through the emotional behaviour in the classroom.
The third axis, which is inherent in the two previous ones, pro-
vided activities that were based on avoiding conventional thinking
and stimulating the expression of spontaneous and emotional
moods that are unusual.
Each intervention began either with introductory activities
during which indirect references to the topic of intervention
were made or with a short repetition of some previous experi-
ence. The last ten minutes of the activities were devoted to
choreographies or movement improvisations, to relaxation and
also to discussions. Although the programme followed some
specific strategies, its structure and application were carried out
under a flexible framework that allowed dynamic adjustment in
accordance with the children’s ideas and initiatives.
Results of Schematic Tests
Following Torrance’s schematic test manuals (1966a, 1974a),
the results of the pre-test showed that elaboration was the vari-
able with the highest average in both the experimental group
(ΕG) and the control group (CG), and flexibility was the vari-
able with the lowest minimum value. Generally, both groups
showed a similarity regarding the variables in question, which
was found with the use of t-test for independent samples. The
pre-test did not reveal statistically significant differences when
comparing the mean value of originality (t = –1.266), elabora-
tion (t = –1.717), fluency (t = –1.974) and flexibility (t = –0.959)
between the two groups. In particular, since p > 0.05, the null
hypothesis that the two groups demonstrated almost equal level
of creative thinking was confirmed (see Table 1).
The Table 2 shows the results of the post-test for both
groups upon the completion of interventions. According to
Table 2, the performance of the students in the experimental
group improved compared to those in the control group, as well
as to their own performance before the interventions. Specifi-
cally, the t-test showed a statistically significant difference in
the mean value of fluency (t = –2.28; p < 0.05), flexibility (t =
–7.33; p < 0.05), originality (t = –6.041; p < 0.05) and elabora-
tion (t = –3.145; p < 0.05) in the experimental group before and
after the interventions. Thus, the alternative hypothesis that the
mean value of these variables is different (and bigger) after the
interventions was confirmed. On the contrary, there was no
statistically significant difference in the values of fluency (t =
–1.808; p > 0.05), flexibility (t = –1.991; p > 0.05) and elabora-
tion (t = –1.495; p > 0.05) in the control group, except from the
value of originality (t = –5.992; p < 0.05), a result that leads to
the assumption that the interventions could lead to the im-
provement of originality but are not deemed essential.
At the end of the experiment, statistically significant dif-
ferences were found in the mean values of fluency (t = –2.763),
flexibility (t = –3380), originality (t = –2.247) and elaboration
(t = –2.134). Therefore, the interventions contributed to the
diversification of initially same levels of variables between the
two groups.
The relationship between the four characteristics of creative
thinking was examined using the Pearson correlation coef-
ficient, t (see Table 3).
Overall, the correlation coefficients between changes in the
variables were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). For ex-
ample, an increase in elaboration was not associated with an
increase in originality, fluency and flexibility. The only sta-
tistically significant correlation coefficient was that between
fluency and flexibility in the control group. Specifically, an
increase in fluency was accompanied by an increase in flexibility
in the control group.
Results of Verbal Tests
The assessment manuals of Torrance verbal tests (1966b,
1974b) provide a balanced way for assessing children’s re-
sponses regarding the four variables. The statistical function
t-test for paired samples was used to investigate whether there
is a statistically significant difference in these variables. The
results showed a statistically significant difference in the mean
value of fluency in the experimental group (t = –3.704; p < 0.05)
at the end of the interventions. Thus, the successive intervene-
tions improved the performance of fluency.
Also, the statistical results of the experimental group re-
vealed improved flexibility regarding the alternative uses and
possible interpretations of objects, and situations and ideas for
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 199
Table 1.
Results of pre-test for both groups.
Originality Elaboration Fluency Flexibility
Mean value 16.43 13.57 28.71 24.42 20.50 17.28 13.92 12.28
Standard deviation 5.07 6.74 6.59 6.61 2.03 5.74 2.75 5.78
Coefficient of variation 0.31 0.50 0.23 0.27 0.10 0.33 0.20 0.47
Mode 12 20 25 26 22 22 15 19
Minimum value 11 3 19 10 15 9 8 3
Maximum value 29 29 46 32 22 28 17 20
Table 2.
Results of post-test for both groups.
Originality Elaboration Fluency Flexibility
Mean value 23.14 18 32.57 26.35 21.35 19.42 17.42 13.85
Standard deviation 5.8 6.30 7.12 8.24 .84 2.47 1.86 3.48
Coefficient of variation 0.25 0.35 0.22 0.31 0.04 0.13 0.11 0.25
Mode 20 20 29 20 22 22 18 18
Minimum value 15 10 24 8 20 15 14 8
Maximum value 36 32 50 38 22 22 20 19
Table 3.
Correlations of changes in variables of two groups.
Originality Elaboration Fluency Flexibility
Pearson correlation coefficient –0.41 0.16 0.18 0.20 –0.03 0.09
p-value 0.15 0.58 0.55 0.49 0.92 0.75
Pearson correlation coefficient –0.41 0.16 0.29 0.20 0.32 –0.15
p-value 0.15 0.58 0.31 0.50 0.27 0.60
Pearson correlation coefficient 0.18 0.20 0.29 0.20 0.43 0.90
p-value 0.55 0.49 0.31 0.50 0.13 0
Pearson correlation coefficient –0.03 0.09 0.32 –0.15 0.43 0.90
p-value 0.92 0.75 0.27 0.60 0.13 0
dealing with hypothetical/imaginary situations. However, there
was no improvement in flexibility concerning the assumption
of causes and the assumption of effects/results.
Significant differences between pre-test and post-test was
found also in originality (t = –5.8; p < 0.05) and elaboration (t =
–9.32; p < 0.05) in the experimental group. However, the re-
spective measurements in the control group indicated no statis-
tically significant difference between the pre-test and post-test
Results of the Observation Pl an
The data recorded by the researcher showed that, although
the percentage change of fluency for each level (not yet evident,
emerging, expressing and excelling) is not linear, the overall
change indicates a very significant increase in fluency in the
experimental group. During the interventions the percentage of
students (67%) not showing fluency characteristics (not yet
evident) decreased dramatically (7%). At the same time, during
the first intervention the percentage of students with the maxi-
mum level of fluency (excellent) was only 8%, while during the
last intervention the percentage increased to 58%.
The horizontal axis of Figure 1 shows the educational inter-
ventions, while the vertical shows the percentage of students in
the experimental group related to fluency.
Figures 2-4 show the percentage change of the other charac-
Figure 1.
The percentage change of fluency in each level for each educational intervention.
Figure 2.
The percentage change of flexibility in each level for each educational intervention.
Figure 3.
The percentage change of originality in each level for each educational intervention.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Figure 4.
The percentage change of elaboration in each level for each educational intervention.
teristics of creative thinking (flexibility, originality and elabo-
ration) for each level and each intervention. It should be noted
that flexibility increased at a lower rate than fluency. It should
also be noted the dramatic increase in the percentage of stu-
dents whose flexibility was assessed is apparent (see Figure
Figure 3 shows that in all, originality is increased, giving
different rates of students without linear continuity for each
level/stage and intervention.
Figure 4 shows the percentage change in terms of elaboration.
Generally, there is an increase in the percentage of students in
higher levels, more evident in the third one, in which the
elaboration is apparent.
Similar figures were also produced for the following three
creative behaviours:
Freedom of expression,
Tendency to explore and experiment,
Challenging the commonly accepted.
These behaviours were ranked by the kindergarten teachers
as the most important creative behaviours. During the interven-
tions a significant increase, from 8% to 68%, was observed by
the researcher in freedom of expression. Moreover, the per-
centage of children whose freedom of expression was charac-
terized as not evident yet, decreased from 72% to 28%. Chil-
dren’s willingness to participate in experimentation and explo-
ration activities increased during the interventions, and the
percentage of the “not yet evident” level reached zero. Finally,
there was a significant percentage change, from 8% to 40%, in
the “emerging” level of the third behaviour.
Results from the Interviews with Kindergarten
Table 4 shows the kindergarten teachers’ responses for the
two groups after the educational interventions. It is clear that
the experimental group got better results than the control group.
The behaviours in which the experimental group showed supe-
riority are: freedom of expression, self confidence, and fantasy
(see Table 4).
The assessment of the open questions leads to the conclusion
that the characteristics that are rewarded and reinforced during
creative teaching depend on both the teachers’ personality and
the lack of training in the field of creativity. Thus, there is a
need for training kindergarten teachers to assess creative think-
ing and behaviours in different ways. Hosseini and Watt (2010)
provided evidence that teachers’ training programmes aimed to
improve the understanding of creativity-oriented techniques,
contribute positively to the development of students’ creativity.
It is also worth noting that teachers view the children’s ten-
dency not to act according to the norm as a threat to the educa-
tional process and not as a sign of initiative and creativity.
Conclusions on the Characteristics of Creative
The pre- and post-test results prove the positive impact of the
interventions. The control group, though starting from the same
level of creativity as the experimental group, with the exception
of originality, did not show a statistically significant increase in
any of the characteristics of creative thinking.
Concerning fluency, the results of both Torrance’s tests and
those of the observation plan indicate that fluency level in-
creased at the end of the experiment. The rate of the increase
varied according to the research measurement tool. More spe-
cifically, the analysis of the schematic tests indicated a limited
increase in fluency. This may be due to the predetermined
number of drawings children are asked to design during the test
(the structure of pre- and post-tests is limited to ten drawings
and does not allow the recording of more ideas). This interpret-
tation is verified by the children’s respective performances in
the verbal test, where there is no predetermined number of re-
sponses. Moreover, the increase in fluency is more evident in
the analysis of the observation plan. Children seem to be more
willing and find it easier to produce more ideas during the edu-
cational interventions than during the test. This is likely to be
due to the supporting role of the group, the conditions of teach-
ing and the educational techniques (for example, the brain-
storming technique). Therefore, the change in fluency seems to
vary depending on the research tool used for assessment. This
was also identified in Han, Marvin and Walden’s (2003) study,
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Table 4.
Results of the interviews before and after the intervations.
Not yet evident Emerging Expressing Excelling
Freedom of expression (post-test) * **
(pre-test) * **
Tendency for exploration and experimentation (post-test) * **
(pre-test) * **
Commitment to a goal (post-test) * **
(pre-test) ** *
Challenging the commonly accepted (post-test) * **
(pre-test) * **
Self confidence (post-test) * **
(pre-test) * **
Fantasy (post-test) * **
(pre-test) * **
where low correlation between TTCT test and NSNO (Nebraska
Starry Night Observation) tool was found on the assessment of
Concerning flexibility, the results of the schematic tests in-
dicate the positive impact of educational interventions. The
same conclusion can be reached based on the results of the
verbal tests, where an increase in flexibility occurred due to the
use of appropriate teaching techniques. The correlation between
the creativity variables was examined further as the individual
analysis of each variable could lead to misleading or superficial
conclusions. Torrance (1966c) underlined the need to examine
the correlation between the variables. He noted that an increase
in fluency does not always lead to creativity, since it could
result from spontaneous thoughts or responses of children, and
therefore it has to be associated with the other variables. The
opposite results are extracted by the observation plan where
there is an increase in both variables, with a notable increase in
fluency. These different findings are due to the fact that chil-
dren express their creativity better during the educational pro-
cess, and that fluency is more easily identifiable and measurable
in a context of participatory observation than flexibility.
Concerning originality, a statistically significant increase was
detected in both groups. Therefore, our research assumption
that the educational interventions would increase originality is
not initially verified. However, the fact that the originality/
fluency ratio in the control group varied significantly, while the
corresponding ratio in the experimental group remained stable,
indicates that the real originality was increased in the experi-
mental group. In addition, the results of the observation plan
show an overall development of originality in the experimental
group. We also observed that the degree and the form of ex-
pression of originality does not increase in a linear way, but is
strongly influenced by exogenous factors (probably the type of
interventions or the teacher’s mood) and endogenous factors
(such as the children’s mood).
In terms of elaboration, the test results showed a statistically
significant increase in the experimental group but not in the
control group. Students in the experimental group managed to
produce and complete ideas faster than before, and to stay fo-
cused on a goal. Yet, there were students whose performance in
elaboration reduced, while their fluency increased. This was
demonstrated as a difficulty in staying concentrated and focus-
sed on a goal, as increased willingness to try anything different,
as low willingness to participate in this test or by trying to
complete their drawings as quickly and simply as possible.
However, the simultaneous increase in fluency and elaboration
is not a sufficient indicator of creative thought; it has to be ac-
companied by a corresponding increase in the other variables as
well. According to the researcher’s additional records during
the participative observation, students who had difficulty in
producing original ideas insisted on perfecting their own idea
by using many complementary elements in order to make their
drawing special, and thus increasing in this way their perform-
ance in elaboration.
Increased creativity is not evident in the same way in all
people. As observed, other children express it easier verbally
and others schematically. In this context, Rose and Lin (1984:
pp. 5-50) referred to the dual nature of creativity as a cones-
quence of the different ways it is expressed. Therefore, unilat-
eral interpretation of the relationships between the characteristics
of creative thinking does not give us the possibility of general-
ized interpretations unless the specific characteristics of each
student are considered.
Conclusions on the Creative Behaviours
The existence of creative behaviours does not necessarily
guarantee the existence of creativity, but it is an indication of
potential creative thinking. According to the results of partici-
pative observation, there was an increase in the children’s
freedom of expression during the interventions. A significant
increase was found in the highest level (excelling), suggesting
the effortless, self-sustained child's need for expression. This
was also verified by the kindergarten teachers’ interviews at the
end of the interventions. Freedom of expression seems to be
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
reinforced through activities of movement improvisation, free
movement and discussions in a circle. Overall, the reinforce-
ment of group dynamics, communication, and emotional inter-
action with classmates, creates an atmosphere of joy and confi-
dence which enhances spontaneous and free expression. In
addition, several students who were initially reluctant to take up
roles in the group (such as being the leaders or conductors) or
to present their work (one of their drawings) to their classmates,
managed to overcome their hesitation, and began to seek roles
and generally opportunities to express themselves.
The tendency of students to explore and experiment was also
increased during the interventions. During the last three inter-
ventions, there was no student in the experimental group whose
will for experimentation and exploration was classified as not
apparent. This is a result of the use of exploration activities
during the educational interventions. This behaviour, if ana-
lyzed in depth, may imply an increase in other behaviours such
as: students’ tolerance to unfamiliar situations, their willingness
to take risks, and their curiosity.
The questioning of what is commonly accepted shows less
pronounced changes in percentage levels compared to previous
behaviours. According to the results of the interviews, the pre-
disposition of the students in the experimental group to chal-
lenge the commonly accepted from “not yet evident” became
“emerging”, while the students’ predisposition in the control
group remained “not yet evident”. The limited or even the ab-
sence of questioning the commonly accepted that was noted,
could be explained by what Piaget called stage of morel realism
(in Woodhead et al., 1999: p. 199). Children of 4 years or above
consider rules to be inviolable and their violation punishable.
Also, the research data reflect the cultural structure of western
society, which rewards obedience and condemns any question-
ing of societal structures.
The selection of three research tools helped to increase the
range and possibly the complexity of the research. The survey’s
reliability was increased due to the way the results were ana-
lyzed, i.e. through the variables’ correlations. More specifically,
it was observed that if the results were to be analyzed sepa-
rately for each variable and their correlations, they could have
given different, complementary, overlapping, or even contra-
dictory conclusions.
Moreover, it should be noted that the independent (educational
interventions) and dependent variables (creative behaviours) are
not incompatible and independent from each other, but they
increase while feeding one another. This interdependence af-
fects the conclusions. The original hypothesis concerned the
influence of music and movement activities in children’s crea-
tive thinking; the research verified part of this hypothesis and in
particular highlighted the positive impact of games targeting
To conclude with, the research provides sufficient evidence
that specific models of educational interventions can lead to the
further development of children’s creativity. However, there are
several limitations which have to be considered. The sample
size was relatively small to proceed on generalizations to other
kindergarten children. Additionally, such educational programmes
are not on their own sufficient for the development of creativity.
The teacher’s interest and dedication to the promotion of crea-
tivity, the use of creative teaching techniques, the creation of an
environment which promote children’s creativity are also re-
quired. Therefore, the design of relevant in-service teachers
training programmes could be a key factor to enhance chil-
dren’s creativity. In our study we didn’t take into account the
children’s social interactions during the implementation of the
educational innervations neither the affective interaction be-
tween researcher and children. We didn’t also discuss the im-
pact of the characteristics of the educational system and the
official curriculum in children’s creativity. Finally, further im-
plementation is needed on a more extended sample and in dif-
ferent socio-cultural preschool settings to give more precise
answers to our research questions.
Implications for Practice
The basic proposal of this research involved the identification
of strategies and principles that are considered complementary
to the development of creativity. In the design of music and
movement activities, playing is proposed as a suitable tool for
developing children’s creativity, based on the following tech-
The use of brainstorming;
The use of imaginary/hypothetical stories;
The alternative use of objects;
The alternative approach to situations;
Experimenting and searching;
Dealing with problematic situations;
Predicting causes and effects of a situation;
And is structured according to the following principles:
Encourages the expression of emotion;
Promotes the child’s unique view;
Strengthens the child’s initiative;
Encourages the formulation of unusual ideas and relation-
Provides psychological security and freedom of expression.
However, even the best designed educational programme is
not sufficient to promoting creative thinking and to fostering
creative behaviours. The general philosophy behind the organi-
zation and the flow of the educational process which creates the
atmosphere in which this process takes place is very important.
In this context, Treffinger (1993) suggested that increased crea-
tivity results from the discovery and the enhancement of each
child’s special skills. It is recommended, therefore, that teach-
ers encourage means by which children can discover their own
creative skills independently of their kindergarten teacher.
In regards to the implementation of these tests, it is suggested
that questions about children’s constructions be used to deter-
mine more accurately the level of creativity and limit the possi-
bility of misinterpretation. Most importantly, the structure,
content and the assessment process should not isolate the
socio-cultural factor. A verification process like that can reveal
information and effective ways about evaluation, tailored to
each situation, or even indicate the need for the overall redefi-
nition of the tests.
Generally, any attempt to study creativity requires taking into
account a variety of factors and a critical approach to the use of
tests in order to produce scientific results rather than simplistic
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