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International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 43–49 | Cite as

The relationship between playfulness and creativity of Japanese preschool children

  • Satomi Izumi Taylor
  • Cosby Steele Rogers
Articles

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between playfulness and creativity of 164 Japanese children aged five and six in a group-oriented program. Playfulness was assessed using The Child Behaviors Inventory, teacher interviews, and observations. Creativity was measured using The Creativity Thinking-Drawing Production Test, The Drawing Test, teacher interviews, and observations. Although the statistical data analysis indicated no significant relationship between playfulness and creativity; the qualitative data analysis revealed that such a relationship may exist. However, conclusions must be qualified because analysis of the qualitative data revealed confounding factors in the concepts of playfulness and creativity. The teachers described some non-playful children as being internally playful, and this internal playfulness was observable in a one-to-one interaction to be manifest as joy, sense of humor, and active involvement. Although these internally playful children possessed a great deal of internal imagination, they were not able to express it externally in a group situation. The Japanese understanding of the concept of creativity also influenced teachers’ views of children’s creativity, because creativity is not valued in the same way as it is in the US. Although the Japanese concur with American educators’ concept of originality as one indicator of creativity, the Japanese place a greater emphasis on persistence as the key to a successful school life.

Keywords

Early Childhood Education Qualitative Data Analysis Target Child Teacher Interview Psychological Safety 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Résumé

Cette étude visait à examiner la relation entre le jeu et la créativité chez 164 petits Japonais de cinq et six ans dans un programme d’activités de groupe. Le Child Behavior Inventory a servi à évaluer la capacité à jouer, tandis que le Creativity Thinking-Drawing Production Test et le Drawing Test étaient utilisés afin de mesurer la créativité des enfants. Créativité et jeu ont aussi été évalués grâce à des entretiens avec les enseignants ainsi que par l’observation directe. Bien que l’analyse statistique des données n’indique aucune relation significative entre le jeu et la créativité, l’analyse des données qualitatives a révélé l’existence possible de cette relation. Ces conclusions doivent être nuancées cependant car l’analyse des données qualitatives a mis à jour des facteurs confondants dans les concepts de jeu et de créativité. Les enseignants ont décrit certains enfants qui ne paraissaient pas jouer comme ayant un imaginaire actif. Ce jeu interne pouvait être observé lors d’une interaction seul à seul entre l’enfant et l’éducateur, et se manifestait par de la joie, le sens de l’humour, et une participation active à l’entretien. Cependant, malgré leur grande capacité d’imagination, ces enfants n’étaient pas capables de l’exprimer ouvertement dans une situation de groupe. La compréhension japonaise du concept de créativité a aussi influencé la vision des enseignants sur la créativité des enfants, car la créativité n’a pas la même valeur qu’aux Etats-Unis. Bien qu’autant les éducateurs japonais qu’américains voient dans le concept d’originalité un signe indicateur de créativité, la persévérance détient la clef, pour les Japonais, d’une carrière scolaire réussie.

Resumen

El propósito de este trabajo es examinar la relación entre el juego y la creatividad de 164 niños japoneses con edades de cinco a seis años en un programa de orientación grupal. El juego se evaluó utilizando el Inventario de Conductas del Niño, entrevistas a profesoras y observaciones. La creatividad se midió usando la Prueba de Producción de Pensamiento y Dibujo Creativo, la Prueba de Dibujo, entrevistas a profesoras y observaciones. Aunque el análisis de datos estadísticos no indicó una relación significativa entre el juego y la creatividad, el análisis de datos cualitativos reveló que tal relación puede existir. Sin embargo, las conclusiones deben ser calificadas porque el análisis de datos cualitativos reveló factores de confusión en los conceptos de juego y creatividad. Las profesoras describieron a algunos de los niños que no jugaban, como si lo hicieran internamente y este juego interno se pudiera observar en una relación de uno a uno que se manifiesta como júbilo, sentido del humor y participación activa. Aunque estos niños con juego interno tenían una gran imaginación, no pudieron expresarla externamente en una situación grupal. Por otra parte, el concepto japonés de creatividad influye en la visión de las profesoras sobre la creatividad de los niños, porque la creatividad no se valora en la misma manera que en los Estados Unidos. Aunque los educadores japonenes coinciden con los educadores norteamericanos en el concepto de originalidad como un indicador de creatividad, los japoneses ponen un mayor énfasis en la persistencia como la clave del éxito en la vida escolar

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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satomi Izumi Taylor
    • 1
  • Cosby Steele Rogers
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of MemphisUSA
  2. 2.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityUSA

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