Cross-Sequential Results on Creativity Development in Childhood Within two Different School Systems: Divergent Performances in Luxembourg Versus German Kindergarten and Elementary School Students
University of Trier, Trier
Université du Luxembourg, Luxembourg
The aim of the study is conducting methodologically sound, cross-sequential analyses of the creativity development of children attending different school systems. Culture-free tests of creativity (ideational fluency and flexibility) and intelligence were administered in 5 cohorts (two kindergarten and first three elementary school years), which were retested in three consecutive years. Samples include 244 Luxembourg and 312 German children enrolled in educational systems with obligatory kindergarten and 6-year comprehensive elementary school versus optional kindergarten, 4-year comprehensive elementary school and educational placement thereafter. Results demonstrate (1) linear increases in intelligence, (2) declines of divergent performances after school enrollment in both samples, (3) increases in divergent performances up to the 5th elementary school year in Luxembourg and up to the 3rd elementary school year in Germany (i.e., the next to last school year before educational placement) followed by a second creativity slump. Cross-sequential results confirm discontinuities in the development of divergent productions in childhood.