Developing language creativity of preschool children by using “Storyline” and “Associations Pyramid” methods
In the experimental study, in which a comparison of three educational methods was conducted, 157 children from Warsaw preschools took part. Main aims of the study were:
- conducting an analysis of five year old children linguistic creativity in respect of a creative process (how children behave during creating a story, how children start the task, whether they are able to fulfil their aim of creating the story, how much the are concentrated on creating the story, how long it takes them to create the story etc.) and a creative product (an analysis of children’s stories). Assessed were: a semantic complexity (a way and a quality of story complexity), a cohesion of the narration line (logic), a complexity of the narration field (a number and quality of the links between stories’ characters), a length of the story (a number of words used), an originality of the story, a syntactic complexity (ratio of simple and complex sentences), a number of neologisms (new words). The creative process and product of every child were assessed three times – in pre-test, post-test 1 (done just after end of classes), and post-test 2 (done three months after end of classes),
- comparing an effectiveness of three educational methods: Storyline, Associations Pyramid (experimental groups) and traditional stories’ reading (control group) in developing linguistic creativity. Preschool groups were randomly assigned to one of three research groups and during three months (18 classes) took part in classes, prepared on a basis of one of the three methods. The classes were directed on developing linguistic creativity of five- year-olds. It was assumed, that Storyline and Associations Pyramid methods would be more effective in developing linguistic creativity of children than the classes of the control group,
- comparing an effectiveness of Storyline and Associations Pyramid methods. It was assumed, that the methods, because of their theoretical bases, and because each of them have originally different aims and should develop other aspects of creativity, differently influence development of aspects of linguistic creativity, in respect of the creative process and product,
- checking, whether chosen methods influence not only linguistic creativity, but also the level of operational thinking (language and thinking are bound together tightly). To fulfil this aim during every of individual meetings children were asked to solve some graphic tasks from Operational Thinking Test DMI-2 by A. Matczak. It was assumed, that children who worked with Storyline and Associations Pyramid will have better results in the level of operational thinking than children from the control group,
- checking, whether higher initial level of operational thinking positively influences the effectiveness of the methods. It was assumed that the higher level of operational thinking the better effectiveness of classes in developing linguistic creativity of children.
As a result of the study it was ascertained that:
- with time all children, who took part in the experiment, significantly improved their skills of creating stories, in the case of the process and the product. Themes of children’s stories were very differentiated. The analysis of those texts is a source of information which shows how children see the world and how they interpret stories which are known from books or television. Additional comparison of stories of children who took part in the classes and who did not take part in the classes shows, that the positive changes are caused not only by developmental changes, but also by participation in the classes,
- just after finishing the classes the results of the children in every group were very similar, but after next three months it was noticed that the classes’ effect in experimental groups (Storyline, Associations Pyramid) was much more stable than in the control group,
- it was noticed, that the effectiveness of Storyline and Associations Pyramid methods is similar, despite of different theoretical bases of the methods,
- it was confirmed, that all tested methods influence development of operational thinking, but again in the experimental groups the effect of the classes after three months from the end of the classes was more stable than in the control group,
- the assumption, that the methods’ effectiveness is related to the level of operational thinking, was not confirmed.