DIVERGENT THINKING, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND MEASURED INTELLIGENCE
This study investigated the relationship between divergent thinking, academic achievement and measured intelligence in 35 fourth and 35 sixth grade children. These two age groups were chosen as representative of children at different stages in the cognitive process.;It was postulated that children with high divergent thinking skills and high I.Q., who are at a later stage of cognitive functioning would have higher academic achievement than comparable children at an earlier stage of cognitive functioning. It was also expected that children with high I.Q. and high divergent thinking skills would perform better on standardized academic tests than comparable children with low divergent thinking skills.;Divergent thinking was measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Reading, math concepts and math computations were measured by the E.R.B. Achievement Test, published by the Educational Records Bureau. The achievement and divergent thinking tests were scored by the publishers of the tests. WPPSI I.Q. scores were obtained from school records. In addition, teachers' ratings (grades) were examined.;In this study divergent thinking and intelligence emerged as separate factors. The results indicate that divergent thinking did not have an effect on the academic achievement of fourth or sixth grade children. Measured intelligence appeared to be the significant factor affecting academic achievement. There was no evidence from this study that children at a later stage of cognitive development would demonstrate greater academic gains because of divergent thinking skills.;Teacher ratings of math, reading, science, and social studies did not correlate positively with high divergent thinking. In fact, a statistically significant negative correlation was found between teacher ratings as measured by grades and high figural divergent thinking.;Several major concerns of educators are made apparent by this study. Namely, that achievement tests do not allow for divergent thinking within their limited scope. Therefore, children with high divergent thinking skills may be penalized by standardized achievement tests. The results of the teachers' evaluations suggest that teachers may not be recognizing or appreciating the quality of divergent thinking in their students. It is possible that due to some particular behaviors of children with good divergent thinking skills they may be elliciting negative responses from their teachers.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 45-12, Section: B, page: 3925.