The Effectiveness of Cognitive Trainings
Jagiellonian Univeristy, Krakow-Poland
Can we boost human cognitive abilities through short-term training programmes? Does our mind resemble our muscles, which can be expanded and strengthened through systematic and deliberately planned exercises? These questions need our thoughtful consideration because obtained answers, either positive or negative, are likely to affect not only individual lives but also social policies. Numerous training procedures can be found in the literature, and even more of them are practised in education, management, health-care, and other domains of social life. Cognitive trainings are supposed to improve our specific mental abilities, such as memory, attention, reasoning, learning, and problem solving, but sometimes they are assumed to enhance more generalized cognitive skills, such as intelligence or creativity. The talk will provide a comprehensive review of training procedures that are applied in practice and described in the literature. Trainings supposed to improve general intelligence or creativity will be of particular importance concerning their efficacy. The talk will end with conclusions that, contrary to widespread views, cognitive trainings have limited impact on human performance on various mental tasks. Particularly, such trainings show two important limitations, referring to generalizability and duration of outcomes. First, their outcomes are difficult to transfer onto the tasks and situations that differ from the ones that have been used during the training phase. Second, their outcomes tend to disappear after relatively short period of time, unless an additional effort is made to maintain them. These conclusions will be illustrated with empirical research findings, including the results obtained by the speaker and his co-workers.
Intelligence, Creativity and Achievement Motivation as Predictors of Outstanding Achievement of Gifted Students
Catholic University of Lublin, Lublin-Poland
The issue of school achievement is of interest to scholars representing different areas of psychological research. High intelligence, outstanding creative abilities and exceptional motivation do not guarantee school achievement or other types of life achievement. An important role in the development of achievement is played by personality as well as a variety of environmental and cultural determinants. This paper presents an overview of current research on outstanding school achievement and high ability. Contemporary models of high ability take into account, inter alia, intelligence, creative abilities and high achievement motivation, specific in its structure. The present study deals with these dimensions. It refers to ability in the domains of arts, mathematics and music. Results of tests carried out in Poland and Germany offer an empirical view of the issue of high ability. These results and the theoretical analyses presented provide a basis for the formulation of conclusions concerning the psychological determinants of outstanding school achievement in an intercultural perspective.
Creativity and Education: An Awkward Association
Academy of Special Education, Warsaw-Poland
Over the decades, the role of creativity for education has been vigorously discussed worldwide. Too often, these discussions were full of rhetoric and ideology, instead of scholarly merit and arguments. In this keynote talk, I will attempt to integrate contemporary theories of creativity and findings from empirical studies into a more heuristically sound explanation of chances and challenges creative students face in school. I will briefly discuss the results of several studies conducted in our lab, among them a metaanalysis showing the relationship between students’ creative thinking and their school achievement. I will also demonstrate how teachers’ expectations and implicit theories – especially the (mis)fit of the students’ behavior with the prototypical image of a creative student inteachers’ eyes – translate into teachers’ behavior toward the students; especially teachers’ assessment of students’ creative works. In conclusion, I will highlight the regulatory role of teachers’ implicit theories for recognizing and developing students’ creativity in school as well as necessity of thinking about creativity as a multifaceted phenomenon, necessary to analyze from a typological perspective. Thinking about creativity not only in terms of its different levels (i.e. little versus Big-C or fluid, crystallized, mature, and eminent) should be complemented by typological analysis which helps scholars better understand the differences of school functioning of creative students.
What is creativity? Scope, History and Utility of the Concept
Michel Henri Kowalewicz
Jagiellonian Univeristy, Krakow-Poland
One of the main goals of sciences devoted to the Man, both Social Sciences as well as Humanities, is the exploration of his broader activities from different points of view and under the spectrum of various aspects. Among the key aspects of human activity we find creativity, which is a specific aesthetic concept, but equally important for art historians, psychologists, sociologists and educators. Creativity is in an initial approach a very complex phenomenon; hence it will be very difficult to relate to a specific faculty. The scope of the idea of creativity embraces both the power to create and the propensity to create. As a matter of fact, the history of the concept of artistic creation has been linked to the creation in religion. In addition, the old Greek concept of mimesis was similarly closely tied to both artistic creation and the religious concept of creation. The previous relationship between concepts is part of a unique interdisciplinary project from the 1970s, the famous Dictionary of the History of Ideas, where these three key concepts were treated: first by Peter A. Bertocci, then by Milton C. Nahm and finally by Władyslaw Tatarkiewicz, Visiting Mills Professor (University of California at Berkley, 1967-68). The debate about creativity of the late 1960's did not end thanks to Philip P. Wiener, editor of the latter unique project published in 1974. A year later, Tatarkiewicz devotes special attention to creativity in his aesthetic essays, History of six Ideas (1975 Polish and 1980 English edition). In these essays, he attempts to cover specific aspects of the creation and artistic creativity under a unique concept, related to imitation as well as to the connection between art, nature and truth. It seems as if this exposé summarized the best possible place, role, privileges and duties of a man who is part of a world that tries to capture him.
Music in Movement - Movement in Music: Creative Activities in the Dalcroze Method
UMFC Warsaw, AM Krakow, Poland
The purpose of this presentation is to show the Emil Jaques-Dalcroze’s eurythmics as a universal method supporting development of the integrated human personality, the method of music education, as well as as the methods supporting maintenance of psychomotoric fitness in middle age and persons and older. Eurythmics assumes mutual creative cooperation of the teacher and the disciples.
The factor of “unpredictability”, ever-present in Dalcroze tasks, forces continuous intellectual and motoric activity, equally in the disciples and in the teacher. Most of Eurythmics activities are based on improvisation, in both piano improvisation of the teacher as well as movement, vocal and instrumental improvisation in the disciples. Various forms of activities allow everybody to find the appropriate form of expression. Experience of Eurythmics pedagogues prove that developing the creative attitude through music and movement activities can occur in any age and in persons of varied degree of musicality.
Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Approach to Creativity and Innovation: From Theory to Practice
University of Applied Management, Germany
Recent years witness a boom of academic publications about creativity in a variety of disciplines. When reviewing the status quo and foreseeing future directions of the field of creativity (see for review: Hennessey & Amabile, 2010), more and more scholars emphasize an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach (Csikszentmihalyi & Wolfe, 2000; Hennessey & Amabile, 2010; Kaufman & Baer, 2005; Sternberg, 2006). In reality, however, scholars across different domains and cultures rarely have opportunities to compare and combine their expertise on creativity and innovation for training or research purposes. This speech reviews the literature of the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to creativity and innovation and shares the experience of the University of Applied Management (UAM), Germany, in adopting this approach to design and deliver creativity training programs. The first part of the speech deals with the concepts of interdisciplinary and intercultural approach, creativity, and innovation and gives a review of the theories and studies about the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to creativity. The second part introduces the approach of the UAM in designing and delivering training initiatives involving students and experts from different disciplines and cultures. The third part shares the results of the evaluation of the training initiatives and points out major challenges in applying such an approach in training. The whole speech concludes with a discussion about the key issues that we need to put into consideration in applying the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to creativity training practice. This speech appeals to both creativity researchers and practitioners who are interested in the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to creativity and innovation. Creativity researchers will have the opportunity to obtain an overview of the current status quo of this approach in creativity research and get to know how this approach is applied in education and management. Creativity practitioners – either creativity trainers or managers – will find it useful to see how theories can be translated into practice in designing and delivering creativity training or in managing creativity and innovation at applied settings. Audience of this speech are welcome to join the discussion about the key issues that need to put into consideration in applying the interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to creativity training practice.