THE CREATIVITY OF GIFTED CHILDREN IN ESTONIA AND FINLAND FROM A MUSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE
Inkeri Ruokonen1, Maie Vikat2
1University of Helsinki, 2Tallinn Pedagogical University
Abstract. This study is one part of the co-operative research project of gifted (IQ 120–144) 6–8-year-old children in Estonia and Finland. In this article we report and compare the creativity, musical ability and environmental aspects of these gifted children. The creative thinking and the musical ability of these Estonian and Finnish gifted children is explored from a learning environmental perspective. The information was collected using both qualitative and quantitative methods by interviews of 64 gifted children. Children’s creativity is described through teacher evaluations and a creativity and musicality assessment test. The environmental aspects are assessed by questionnaires sent to parents and by interviews of 64 gifted children. This study explores what young gifted children tell about their own musical environment and how their creativity and musical abilities can be evaluated. We have tried to ascertain how the learning environment of gifted children can best be supported to foster their creativity and satisfaction in musical expression and culture. There are significant connections between the different levels of creative thinking, giftedness and musicality. Homes and teachers play an important role in creative thinking and music. According to teachers’ assessments competence of creative arts seems to be significantly linked to competence in other areas of school life.
Keywords: creativity, learning dispositions of gifted children, music education