Creativity encouragement strategies at early age Aleksandar Stojanović and Jelena Prtljaga and Aleksandra Gojkov-Rajić
Summary: Abstract: Analysis of prior research on creativity at an early age indicates a lack of data on the efficacy of existing, theoretically promoted strategies and procedures applied at older age. There are, however, certain findings in favour of these strategies at an early age. In addition to theoretical explication, the paper offers arguments for the empirical validation of strategies for creativity encouragement, based on broader international research carried out in Serbia and Romania that studied the didactic reaches of the Nikola Tesla Centre (NTC) program, intended for encouraging divergent thinking and focusing specifically on qualities of thinking, such as fluency, flexibility, and originality. The current study investigates what are the effects of a divergent production of tasks, created on the basis of one of the strategies of creativity development, saturated with processes of creative imagination and inventiveness, on preschool-age children. The experiment in the evaluation study was conducted on a group of respondents, measuring their performance in solving divergent production tasks in initial and final testing. The study included children between 6–7 years old from Romania and Serbia: 562 in the initial and 371 in final testing. The results show that over the course of the NTC learning and teaching program, children can be instructed in developing a wider mental structure in the sense of discovering unusual and remote relations between stimuli and responses.