- Enhancing divergent thinking in visual arts education: Effects of explicit instruction of meta-cognition
- British Journal of Educational Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 85 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
Background: The main purposes of visual arts education concern the enhancement of students’ creative processes and the originality of their art products. Divergent thinking is crucial for finding original ideas in the initial phase of a creative process that aims to result in an original product.
Aims. This study aims to examine the effects of explicit instruction of meta-cognition on students’ divergent thinking.
Sample and method: A quasi-experimental design was implemented with 147 secondary school students in visual arts education. In the experimental condition, students attended a series of regular lessons with assignments on art reception and production, and they attended one intervention lesson with explicit instruction of meta-cognition. In the control condition, students attended a series of regular lessons only. Pre-test and post-test instances tests measured fluency, flexibility, and originality as indicators of divergent thinking.
Results: Explicit instruction of meta-cognitive knowledge had a positive effect on fluency and flexibility, but not on originality.
Conclusions: This study implies that in the domain of visual arts, instructional support in building up meta-cognitive knowledge about divergent thinking may improve students’ creative processes. This study also discusses possible reasons for the demonstrated lack of effect for originality.
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