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Abstract

This study explores to what extent the SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Rearrange) technique combined with animal adaptation ideas learned through form and function analogy activities can help fourth graders generate creative ideas while augmenting their inventiveness. The sample consisted of 24 fourth grade students (14 female, 10 male) ages 9-10 at a suburban Midwestern elementary school. A repeated-measures design involving all participants alternately in the two conditions measured students under each treatment condition. In the experimental condition, students used SCAMPER charts with animal adaptation ideas to generate ideas to improve a product using limited materials; in the control condition, they used simple SCAMPER charts to improve a product with limited materials. A scoring rubric was designed to assess the utilization of the SCAMPER chart and students’ inventiveness. Paired t-tests were used to compare each student's average score in the control condition to the experimental condition. Students’ inventiveness scores showed a statistically significant difference with a p-value of .003. The resulting Cohen's d was 0.64, a medium effect size, favoring the experimental condition. In contrast, student scores for completing the two types of SCAMPER charts favored the simpler control condition’s chart. However, student products completed under the experimental condition showed more complexity and originality.

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