A recent study showed that teaching creative literary techniques to primary school students increases their resilience in the face of real-life problems and difficulties.

A scientific journal indicated that researchers trained primary school students to use literary techniques such as changing perspective, counterfactual thinking (what if), and causal thinking (why) to improve creativity in dealing with difficulties, reports Al-Rai daily.

“Technologies helped children come up with new, innovative, and practical ways to solve problems,” said Angus Fletcher, the study’s lead author and a professor of English at Ohio State University.

“Training children’s creativity can help them come up with a second plan when things don’t go well for them,” Fletcher added. The magazine reported that the researchers conducted two separate studies that included students attending a summer camp.

According to the magazine, in the creative case, the students were asked to think of a friend who did something special and to think of him as their “creative friend” who could help them solve any problem. This type of creativity training is called perspective change, where children look at the problem through someone else’s eyes.

Fletcher continued: “The results showed how creativity training can enhance children’s sense of self-efficacy, the belief that they have some control and authority over their own lives.”

The magazine stated that in the second study, the effects of the narrative creativity curriculum were tested among 28 students, for 5 days and 10 hours, and they were trained in creativity, self-efficacy, and flexibility. The results showed that each pupil who took the five-day curriculum was able to provide a second solution to both age and personality problems.

What narrative creativity training can do, Fletcher explained, is teach children that there are ways to deal with real-life problems that don’t have easy answers.

Fletcher concluded: “Children can learn creativity through the arts, such as literature and theater, if they are done in the right way.” Instead of simply asking students to analyze works of art, teachers can have students imagine themselves as different characters, explore new perspectives, and engage in why-and-what-if thinking.

He added: “The ability to use this type of thinking cannot be assessed through standardized tests, but it is still very important and can help children use and develop their creativity to solve real-world challenges.”

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