The What and the How of Creativity: An Exploratory Study

  • Paola PizzingrilliEmail author
  • Stefania Molteni


This chapter reports findings of an exploratory study to examine the what and the how of creativity among young children. They analyzed children’s naïve conceptions of a creative person and creativity. Results showed that all pupils were able to outline a profile of the creative person and were also able to express their own creativity.


  1. Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Andiliou, A., & Murphy, K. P. (2010). Examining variations among researchers’ and teachers’ conceptualizations of creativity: A review and synthesis of contemporary research. Educational Research Review, 5, 201–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Antonietti, A., & Cesa-Bianchi, M. (2003). Creatività nella vita e nella scuola. Milano, Italy: Mondadori Università.Google Scholar
  4. Antonietti, A., & Pizzingrilli, P. (2008). Beliefs about creativity. In A. Antonietti & P. Iannello (Eds.), Representing the mind: A collection of instruments to assess naïve psychological conceptions (pp. 261–276). Monza, Italy: Polimetrica.Google Scholar
  5. Antonietti, A., & Pizzingrilli, P. (2009). Come sviluppare la creatività nei bambini: le indicazioni di un programma di ricerca. Synergies Europe, 4, 151–166.Google Scholar
  6. Bruner, J. S. (1964). On knowing. Essays for the left hand. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press (trad. it. Il conoscere. Saggi per la mano sinistra, Armando, Roma, 1968).Google Scholar
  7. Cristini, C., Cesa-Bianchi, M., Cesa-Bianchi, G., & Porro, A. (2011). L’ultima creatività: Luci nella vecchiaia. Milano, Italy: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2006). A system perspective on creativity. In J. Henry (Ed.), Creative management and development (pp. 3–17). London: Sage Publications Ltd.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dow, W. (2004). The role of implicit theories in the development of creative classrooms. The Journal of Design and Technology Education, 9(3), 187–188.Google Scholar
  10. Drevdhal, J. E. (1965). Factors of importance for creativity. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 12, 21–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. European Commission. (2008). Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (2009) COM (2008) 159, final. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission.Google Scholar
  12. Eysenck, H. J. (1993). Creativity and personality: Suggestions for a theory. Psychological Inquiry, 4(3), 147–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Getzels, J. W., & Jackson, P. W. (1962). Creativity and intelligence. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Gorman, B. K., Fiestas, C. E., Pena, E. D., & Reynolds Clark, M. (2011). Creative and stylistic devices employed by children during a storybook narrative task: A cross-cultural study. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 42, 167–181.Google Scholar
  15. Graham, B. C., Sawyers, J. K., & DeBord, K. B. (1989). Teachers, creativity, playfulness and the style of interaction with children. Creativity Research Journal, 2, 41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hatano, G., & Inagaki, K. (1993). Desituating cognition through the construction of conceptual knowledge. In P. Light & G. Butterworth (Eds.), Context and cognition: Ways of learning and knowing. The developing body and mind (pp. 115–133). Hillsdale, NJ/England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  17. Hsiao, C. Y. (2010). Enhancing children’s artistic and creative thinking and drawing performance through appreciating picture books. Journal of Art and Design Education, 29(2), 143–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin, X., Schwartz, D. L., & Bransford, J. (2007). Intercultural adaptive expertise: Explicit and implicit lessons from Dr. Hatano. Human Development, 50, 65–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mednick, S. A. (1962). The associative basis of creativity. Psychological Review, 69, 220–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mindham, C. (2005). Creativity and the young child. Early Years, 25(1), 81–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Moran, S., & Steiner-John, V. (2003). Creativity in the making: Vygotsky’s Contemporary Contribution to the dialectic of development and creativity. In R. K. Sawyer, V. John-Steiner, S. Moran, R. J. Sternberg, D. H. Feldman, J. Nakamura, & M. Csikszentmihalyi (Eds.), Creativity and development (pp. 61–90). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pizzingrilli, P., & Antonietti, A. (2009). La rappresentazione della creatività. In M. Cesa-Bianchi, C. Cristini, & E. Giusti (Eds.), La creatività scientifica. Il processo che cambia il mondo (pp. 60–88). Roma: Sovera Edizioni.Google Scholar
  23. Pizzingrilli, P., & Antonietti, A. (2010). Implicit theories of creativity in schoolchildren. An exploratory study. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2(2), 4732–4736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Plucker, J. A., Beghetto, R. A., & Dow, G. T. (2004). Why isn’t creativity more important to educational psychologists? Potential, pitfalls, and future directions in creativity research. Educational Psychologist, 39(2), 83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Runco, M. A. (1984). Teachers’ judgments of creativity and social validation of divergent thinking tests. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 59, 711–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Runco, M. A. (1989). Parents’ and teachers’ ratings of the creativity of children. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 4, 73–83.Google Scholar
  27. Runco, M. A. (1999). Implicit theories. In M. A. Runco & S. R. Pritzker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of creativity (Vol. 2, pp. 27–30). San Diego, CA: Academic.Google Scholar
  28. Runco, M. A. (2004). Creativity. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 657–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Runco, M. A. (2007). Creativity: Theories and themes: Research, development, and practice. San Diego, CA: Academic.Google Scholar
  30. Runco, M. A., & Johnson, D. J. (2002). Parents’ and teachers’ implicit theories of children’s creativity: A cross-cultural perspective. Creativity Research Journal, 14(3–4), 427–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Runco, M. A., Johnson, D. J., & Bear, P. K. (1993). Parents’ and teachers’ implicit theories on children’s creativity. Child Study Journal, 23, 91–113.Google Scholar
  32. Simonton, D. K. (1999). Origins of genius: Darwinian perspectives on creativity. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Sironi, S. (2005). La creatività nelle rappresentazioni degli insegnanti di scuola primaria. Imparare, 2, 63–78.Google Scholar
  34. Smolucha, F. (1992). A reconstruction of Vygotsky’s theory of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 5(1), 49–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (1989). The nature of creativity: Contemporary psychological perspectives. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Sternberg, R. J., Grigorenko, E., & Singer, J. L. (2004). Creativity: From potential to realization. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sternberg, R. J., & Lubart, T. I. (1999). The concept of creativity: Prospects and paradigms. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of creativity (pp. 3–15). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Taylor, C. W. (Ed.). (1956). University of Utah research conference on the identification of creative scientific talent. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  39. Tinagli, I., & Florida, R. (2005). L’Italia nell’Era Creativa. Retrieved from
  40. Torrance, E. P. (1989). Test di pensiero creativo – Forma A: per la valutazione delle potenzialità creative. Firenze ,Italy: O. S., Organizzazioni Speciali.Google Scholar
  41. Vygotskij, L. S. (1930). Immaginazione e creatività nell’età infantile. Roma: Editori Riuniti.Google Scholar
  42. Vygotskij, L. S. (2004). Imagination and creativity in childhood. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 42(1), 7–97.Google Scholar
  43. Westby, E. L., & Dawson, V. L. (1995). Creativity: Asset or burden in the classroom? Creativity Journal Research, 8, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Winnicott, D. W. (2001). Gioco e realtà. Roma: Armando.Google Scholar
  45. Yeh, Y. C. (2008). Age, emotion, regulation strategies, temperament, creative drama, and preschoolers’ Creativity. Journal of Creative Behavior, 42(2), 131–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zachopoulou, E., Makri, A., & Pollatou, E. (2009). Evaluation of children’s creativity: Psychometric properties of Torrance’s “Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement” test. Early Child Development and Care, 179(3), 317–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service of Developmental PsychologyCatholic University of Sacred Heart of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human ScienceMilano-Bicocca UniversityMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations