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Giftedness and Creativity

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: Are the terms creative child and gifted child the same? How to improve or what are the necessary things to be considered in class room to enhance creativity in children?

A: Not really. They are two different terms but there is a relationship. But it is a fact that to be creative, a minimum level of higher intelligence is required. Intelligence is a part of giftedness. A gifted child can be creative and a creative child can be gifted. Different tests are used for giftedness (namely intelligence tests) and for creativity; there are specific tests as well.

A little more into creativity and intelligence. As Sternberg (2001) had put in his work, intelligence is necessary for creativity because not only is generation of novel ideas necessary but the critical analysis of novel ideas is also necessary. To be able to generate novel ideas, there must be some basic intelligence, but to further analyze those ideas that are generated, there must be higher intelligence.

To make this clear, Sternberg used the example of Charles Darwin's theories in evolution. Charles Darwin was thought to be a creative because of his high intelligence; he was able to generate the idea of evolution and to critically analyze it against other possibilities. If his analysis had not been intelligent, then his creativity could have been a chance happening, or it would not have been his theory of evolution in the first place. Therefore beyond intelligence, there must also be ‘wisdom’ because intelligence alone is not sufficient). Sternberg considers wisdom to be the balance between creativity and intelligence relegating the novel ideas according to their appropriateness. It may be easy enough to generate novel ideas, but wisdom will distinguish the reasonable from the unreasonable. A creative and intelligent person may produce a novel idea, but without wisdom, the novel idea may be “foolish” or inappropriate (Sternberg, 2001).

There are so many ways to improve creativity in the classroom. Activities should consider these creative traits - sensitivity to problems, fluency of ideas, fluency of associations, flexibility, (5) originality, redefinition or ability to arrange, elaboration, sensory awareness, divergent thinking, independence in thinking and judgment, and imaginative activities. And many, many sites so here are a few good ones for you to check out:

  • (a good one by Robert Fisher)





  •  (specifically art education)

Hope that helps!


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