Curiosity & Creativity

Compositive Model

Curiosity & Creativity

Here’s a good working definition of creativity: “Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.” And curiosity: “Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.”

Here are key research findings on creativity

  • Creativity is linked to academic success when individuals receive creative instruction; that is, when the instructional method matched their creative abilities.
  • Creativity is associated with openness to experience among middle school students and agreeableness and openness to experience among undergraduates.
  • Reviews of creativity interventions and trainings indicate that people can be trained to become more creative.

And what promising programs and practices are out there that help boost creativity?

  • Purdue Creative Thinking Program is an audio-taped program with written exercises that is designed to enhance creative thinking.
  • Osborn-Parnes CPS program is a cognitively-based program designed to help individuals improve their creative problem-solving abilities.
    • The same meta-analysis found that the program “reported significant impacts.”

And these are important research findings on curiosity

  • Curiosity has generally positive effects on youth and adults in the form of higher life satisfaction and happiness.
  • Curiosity is associated with openness to experience among middle school students.
  • The school environment can influence the impact of curiosity on academic achievement. In a study of adolescents from Hong Kong, youth who demonstrated higher levels of curiosity had the greatest academic success when they were in a challenging school.

And what promising programs and practices are out there that help boost curiosity?

  • KIPP is group of charter schools designed for underprivileged youth that focus on both academic success and character development.
    • In a study of 22 KIPP middle schools, What Works Clearinghouse found that students at these schools had higher reading and math test scores compared to similar students that attended public middle schools. 

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