Measuring adolescent creativity: predictive or problematic?

Year: 2019

Author: Patston, Tim, Samalca, Ethel, Wales, Prue

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Measuring adolescent creativity: predictive or problematic?

The Australian curriculum explicitly states that critical and creative thinking should and can be taught but how do we know what critical and creative thinking look like at particular year levels? Studies which have been conducted to assess creativity have generally fallen into two camps: one relies on self-report measures, the others on generic product based outcomes. However, product based outcome measures come from general tests of creativity and are not domain specific. This presents a conundrum as the dominant view in creativity literature is that creativity is domain specific and not domain general.

This paper discusses the development and implementation of a study exploring base-line and developmental measures of creativity in adolescents at five cross-sectional time intervals. The research explored a variety of measures in creativity assessment from cited literature. However, while the existing measures from the literature seemed adequate for purpose, they were developed and implemented with predominantly adult samples (including undergraduate tertiary students).

While some significant findings were made from the research, there were difficulties assessing the developmental trajectory of creativity in adolescent students. The findings were compromised because while the measures reported on creativity, they were not developed for the adolescent context. Consequently, the implications of these findings have helped the research team develop the next stage of the study. These will include modifying reliable measures and making them fit for adolescents, particularly in terms of language and context. The modification of these measures will be an ongoing iterative process that will capture the progression of creativity in students.