The effects of copy related activities on selected aspects of creative behavior and self concept of fourth grade children

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Doornek, Richard Rudolph, 1938-
Dorethy, Rex E.
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The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a learning sequence involving copy related activities and to provide clarifying evidence regarding copying effects on personality and artistic development. Improvement in selected aspects of creative behavior was hypothesized. The aspects of creative behavior selected for the study were: Figural Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration as identified by researchers in creative behavior, and two drawing tasks developed by the investigator. In addition, improvement in self-concept ratings was also hypothesized.Three intact groups made up of 58 fourth grade students from the Milwaukee Public Schools comprised the sampling. A random cluster sampling procedure was used to identify three schools from the population of 123 elementary schools in the system. Random procedures were used to identify the specific class within the schools and also to assign specific classes to treatment and control groups. The intact groups represented broad socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and were representative of racially balanced schools in the system.The Copy Activity Group of 18 subjects received the copy treatment, a second group of 20 subjects received an art activity treatment, and the third group of 20 subjects, a control group, received no treatment. All groups received pre- and posttests consisting of the Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and Elaboration categories of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Forms A and B, and two drawing tasks designed by the investigator. The drawing tasks included an imagination or memory task (IDT) and an observational task (ODT). The tasks were rated by experienced judges on a rating scale designed specifically for the study. In addition, all groups received a posttest only administration of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. Five treatment sessions were administered to the Copy Activity Group and the Art Activity Group on five consecutive days between the pretest and posttest sessions.Two similar yet different treatments were used in the experiment. One utilized structured copy activities designed to promote the mastery of specific concepts, and the other stressed similar concepts and subject matter but utilized more traditional, open ended art activities. Both treatments made use of similar art media and were of identical length. The copy activities provided information which was abstracted from the natural environment and artist's interpretations of the environment. Subjects were instructed to attend to points of maximal information, peaks of curvature, distinctive features, naturally occurring elaborations and artist's interpretations of the visual world in the context of the treatment. The activities, structured from simple to complex, involved tracing, dot-to-dot activities, copying, and coloring activities.The data were subjected to analysis of covariance during the hypotheses testing. The statistical results indicated improved overall performance on all instruments in favor of the Copy Group over the Art Activity Group. The data analysis also indicated that the ability to perceive and subsequently delineate perceptions may have been positively influenced by the copy treatment. While clearly significant differences were noted in the analysis of the self-concept data in favor of the Copy Group, generalizations as to cause-effect relationships were considered to be hazardous and therefore subject to further analysis.