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Title: Creativity for children : assessing children's creativity in play and design : recommendations for educational outdoor environments to enhance children's creativity
Author: Mozaffar, Reyhaneh
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5014
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This research studied children’s educational outdoor environments in order to understand which contexts and environmental characteristics support children’s creativity in play. Creativity is an important factor in children’s cognitive development; children’s creativity can flourish in outdoor environments as they can engage in free play. Accordingly, this research had two central aims: Aim 1: To classify and assess children’s levels of creativity during play. Aim 2: To develop design principles for educational outdoor environments in order to nurture children's creativity in play. Initially, behaviour observation and the Leuven Wellbeing and Involvement Scale were used to collect data for a pilot study. Children’s play behaviours were observed and analysed, and based on the Evaluation of Potential for Creativity, the Creative Play Taxonomy was designed in relation to the first aim of the study. Then, at two study sites, experimental research was designed. At both study sites, children were observed in four different play contexts. At Study Site One, duration recording was used and the videorecorder observations were coded with the Creative Play Taxonomy using the software The Observer from Noldus. At Study Site Two, narrative recording was used in the observation sessions and focus group discussions were held with the children. The findings from both study sites achieved the second aim of this study. The current research makes two main contributions to knowledge. Firstly, it introduces the Creative Play Taxonomy, which can be used by researchers, psychologists, educationalists and related disciplines to understand, categorise and assess children’s creativity in play. Secondly, it increases the understanding of the particular play contexts that support children’s creativity in play, and the environmental characteristics that enhance these types of play. Accordingly, this research suggests that: - Outdoor play spaces should include a variety of different play contexts to encourage creative play amongst different groups of children. - The most effective play contexts for children’s creativity are those facilitated with flexible, changeable, mouldable, movable, multi-functional and open-ended play materials. - Children’s outdoor play spaces should be facilitated with loose parts, both natural and synthetic, as they are highly supportive of children’s creativity. - Natural outdoor environments and elements highly encourage creative play behaviours amongst children. The findings are intended to guide landscape architects and playground design professionals to produce informed design decisions based on the framework of creativity, in order to nurture children's creative thinking abilities.
Supervisor: Thompson, Catharine Ward ; Scott, Iain ; McGregor, Evelyn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: creativity ; educational outdoor environment ; children ; school playground ; nature ; loose parts ; originality ; flexibility ; integration