The Impact of Screen Time on Children
The media often portrays scree time as being harmful to children; however, these claims are not supported by evidence. Furthermore, more evidence is needed in this area. In particular the impact of different types of screen time (handheld device vs big screen/ interactive vs non interactive) need to be investigated. Projects in this area could involve children experiencing different types of screen based content and their performance on other tasks (e.g. measures of creativity, attention etc) being assessed prior to and after this experience. Alternatively, projects might explore how parents manage children’s screen time and how they perceive that it influences their behaviour.
How do we measure creativity? There are a large number of paper based measures, including questionnaires, as well as tasks that psychologists have developed and claim test creativity, but how reliable are the measurements and what is it that they are really measuring? Projects in this area could compare performance on different measures and also look at how performance on other cognitive tasks, e.g. executive function, working memory, are associated with performance on creativity tasks.
How do we nurture young children’s creativity? It has been suggested that different teaching approaches’ may enhance children’s creativity and previous students have investigated the impact of some of these on children’s and young peoples’ creativity. Projects in this area could involve collecting questionnaire responses from young people who have experienced different educational approaches (e.g. home-schooling, National Curriculum, Steiner). Alternatively projects could investigate specific techniques which may, or may not, promote creativity such as the instructions given, the environment in which the task is completed and feedback given.
Problem Solving and Creativity in Early Childhood
How good are young children at solving problems, and is this related to their creativity? How do these skills develop? Studies of problem solving in early childhood tend to focus on the child’s ability to use tools. Projects in this area could look at the extent to which problem solving and creativity skills are related as well as considering new ways to assess creativity and problem solving.