Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
Teaching and Learning
Clara M. Baldus
First Committee Member
Renita R. Schmidt
Second Committee Member
David B. Bills
Third Committee Member
Kimberly A. Datchuk
This research explores the relationship between mindsets and divergent thinking skills. Specifically, the research questions sought to answer whether there was a positive association between a higher presence of divergent thinking skills and a creative growth mindset, as well as the impact environment has on creative growth. A total of 184 second and sixth grade students from a larger urban school district were surveyed. Data collection included: student surveys, two divergent thinking assessments, direct observation of the students and teacher notes. Results indicate most students identify with a creative growth mindset, but are lacking specific strategies to demonstrate creative growth. In addition, reflective survey results revealed the impact environment can have in helping students recognize and apply the specific strategies and characteristics highly creative people possess.
Many of the traits associated with a growth mindset, such as curiosity, openness to experience, persistence, and willingness to take risks, are also traits linked with high levels of creativity. Students who believe their abilities can be improved are more likely to persist and take on new challenges. Understanding which classroom atmospheres and instructional strategies nurture these traits optimizes students’ chances for creative growth.
The goal of this research was to investigate students’ current beliefs regarding their creative ability. This information was then used to design instructional experiences and atmospheres that support student growth. Students in this study completed surveys and creative thinking challenges that were evaluated for creative growth. Overall, this research indicates the need to equip students with specific strategies to identify and overcome challenges they face in the creative process. Helping students recognize and nurture individual creative growth can increase student engagement and ultimately give students autonomy over their learning.
Divergent Thinking, Growth Mindset, Nurturing Creativity
ix, 63 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-63).
Copyright © 2016 Heather Michele Seibel
Seibel, Heather Michele. "Growth mindset and fluency in the art classroom." MA (Master of Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2016.