Building resilience among children has become a priority in recent times with their physical and mental well-being put at risk by a myriad of events, from the covid-19 pandemic to the dire consequences of the climate crisis. A new study demonstrated that training elementary school children in creativity could boost their resilience against real-world challenges.
In the study by researchers from Ohio State University, third to fifth-graders were taught literary techniques to enhance creativity when faced with problems. The techniques, such as perspective shifting and causal thinking, were found to be effective in helping children come up with innovative solutions. The students who were trained in perspective-shifting could successfully draw out solutions to 94% of age-typical and personal problems, according to a press release by Ohio State University.
Creativity training can help kids come up with a second plan when things don’t work out or when faced with a problem, Angus Fletcher, lead author of the study said in the statement. “When you ask people to shift their perspective and imagine receiving advice from a friend, you get a lot more creative and effective solutions to problems than just trying to solve the problem yourself,” Fletcher added.
The study focused on narrative creativity training, which is based on previous research into the psychology of young children. It showed how this type of training could boost children’s sense of self-efficacy, which refers to the belief that they possess control and power over their own lives. This finding reiterates the results of previous studies that linked creativity with self-efficacy and showed how it can make students more confident in their ability to succeed outside school and deal with uncertain environments, according to the study published in the Journal of Creativity.
This creative training also highlighted the essential role of narrative techniques, indicating how correct exposure to arts, literature, and theatre can be vital in building real-world problem-solving abilities, according to Neuroscience News.
“We are at this moment in our society where our kids need help. We found that before this training, kids had this propensity to just give up when faced with problems. That could lead them to get angry, or embarrassed that they can’t solve their problems, or look for adults to offer solutions,” Fletcher explained in the statement. Narrative creativity training can teach children different ways to approach real-life problems that do not come with easy solutions.