The effects of structure in instructions and materials on Montessori and traditional preschool children's creativity
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of structure in instructions and materials on preschool children’s creativity as measured by a drawing task. Subjects were twenty children from a traditional laboratory preschool, and twenty from a Montessori program. The children, ranging in age from forty-eight months old to seventy-one months old, were assigned to four experimental groups (A/B/C/D). Each group was exposed to four treatments consisting of: Structured Instructions-Structured Materials; Structured Instructions-Unstructured Materials; Unstructured Instructions-Structured Materials; Unstructured Instructions-Unstructured Materials. The order of treatment was determined by the group. The results indicated that the Montessori and Laboratory subjects differed significantly on baseline originality, (Montessori, M = 2.1, SD = 1.61; Laboratory, M = 5.25, SD = 2.09), thus baseline originality scores served as a covariate. Results indicated no significant differences for treatment between children from the two schools, or between the groups on originality scores. Results indicated an order effect for treatment for Montessori group B, which had a significantly higher mean.