Creativity in art lessons at primary schools

This study examines the entry requirements, the development of performance and personality of children with respect to their social background in the subjects German, mathematics and art. The aim of the study, which was started on 1 May, 2005 and will be conducted for 4 years, is to evaluate the success achieved at primary schools by means of a combined cross-sectional and longitudinal study. The study also examines so-called creativity schools which place their pedagogical emphasis on talent, intelligence and personality. Since features such as class composition, quality of lessons and teacher expertise are considered to be the most influential factors with respect to the success of schoolchildren, three video studies will be made to analyse whether differences between control and experimental classes can be proved. The longitudinal study will particularly look at the development of children who had unfavourable starting conditions. The project is based at the German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DIPF, Frankfurt a. M.) and the University of Bamberg. One segment of it deals with the evaluation of art lessons. It has been developed, drafted and carried out by Prof Dr Constanze Kirchner (Augsburg University) and Prof Dr Georg Peez (University of Duisburg-Essen). Art lessons in 14 to 16 elementary school classes will be video-taped to show if and how creativity is encouraged by art classes and how this can be proved. We will analyse not only the video films but also the children’s products, notes and drawings. For the first time, the significance of art lessons in elementary schools encouraging the creative competencies of children will be acknowledged and evaluated by an extensive empirical study. Prof Dr Constanze Kirchner