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3. Mental health practitioners have also discovered that creative activi- ties can serve to safeguard children from stress (Honig, 2000).


4. Creative thinking allows both young people and adults to “avoid boredom, resolve personal conflict, cope with increasing consumer choice, accept complexity and ambiguity, make independent judgments, use leisure time constructively, and adjust to the rapid development of new knowledge” (Strom, 2000, p. 59).


As we emphasis creativity, we also ac- knowledge our roles as music teachers and again arm ourselves with the ammunition needed to remind our administrators and parents that the study of music, in par- ticular multicultural music, is vital to the success of our students.


In the following abstract from the ar- ticle “Do multicultural experiences make people more creative? If so, how?” you will find a brief synopsis of the findings from research that explores this question.


Abstract:


“Research suggests that living in and adapting to foreign cultures facilitates cre- ativity. Te current research investigated whether one aspect of the adaptation process–multicultural learning–is a critical component of increased creativity.


1. Experiments 1-3 found that recalling a multicultural learning experience: (a) facilitates idea flexibility (e.g., the ability to solve problems in multiple ways), (b) increases aware- ness of underlying connections and associations, and (c) helps overcome functional fixedness.


2. Importantly, Experiments 2 and 3 spe- cifically demonstrated that functional learning in a multicultural context (i.e., learning about the underlying meaning or function of behaviors in that context) is particularly important for facilitating creativity.


3. Results showed that creativity was enhanced only when participants recalled a functional multicultural learning experience and only when participants had previously lived abroad. Overall, multicultural learning appears to be an important mechanism by which foreign living experiences lead to creative enhancement.”


Te results of this research were based on experiences where people lived in a foreign culture. Te impact is more pro- found due to the direct immersion. Te results do not negate the importance of our more limited exposure to varying cul- tural experiences. It only underlines the impact of multiculturalism on creativity.


Perhaps you will make creativity your emphasis this school year. Whether it be through composition and improvisation, or perhaps new and refreshing interpre- tations of repertoire, I hope you consider the possibilities open to us all through multiculturalism. I hope you will note the resources and read further about the impact that we can have on creativity in young people and the possibilities that stem from it.


Mary Teresa Reed Director of Choirs Evanston Township High School 1600 Dodge Avenue Evanston, IL 60204 P: 847.424.7857 (Office) E: reedm@eths.k12.il.us


References:


Chiu, C-y., & Leung, A. K-y. (2007). Do multicultural experiences make people more creative? If so, how? In-Mind. http://www.in-mind.org/ artikelen/do-multicultural-experi- ences-make-people-more-creative- if-so-2.html


Honigh, A.S. (2000). Promoting Cre- ativity in Young Children. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Board of Advisors for Scholastic, Inc., New York. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 442548)


Maddux, William W., Adam Hajo, Galinsky, Adam D. (2010) When in Rome . . . Learn Why the Romans Do What Tey Do: How Multicultural Learning Experiences Facilitate Creativity 2010 36: 731 originally published online 5 May 2010, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


Sautter, R.C. (1994). An arts education school reform strategy. Phi Delta Kappan, 74, 432-437.


Strom, R.D. (2000). Parents and grandparents as teachers. In E. Paul Torrance (Ed.), On the Edge and Keeping on the Edge, (pp. 53-76). Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing.


Todd, S.M., & Shinzato, S. (1999). Tinking for the future: Developing higher-level thinking and creativity for students in Japan-and elsewhere. Childhood Education, 75, 342-345.


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