Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Toby Metcalfe

Second Advisor

Dr Peter Sloan

Third Advisor

Dr Toby Metcalfe


The current level of scholastic success of Aboriginal students in Western Australian schools is overviewed together with some concerns regarding Aboriginal cognition. The issues which appear to inhibit in Aboriginal children the sort of cognitive development which is beneficial for schooling are reviewed. These are seen as cultural discontinuity, Vygotsky's belief in the cultural transmission of language, political constraints and the concept that different cultures with different needs produce different modes of thinking. Aboriginal child rearing practices are also reviewed together with the definition, process and product of creativity. The review also deals with the creative person, the creative environment, creativity and the brain, creativity and intelligence and some suggestions for the ideal classroom for fostering creativity. The results of a pilot study exploring Aboriginal creativity are outlined and the Torrance Figural A Creativity test is shown to be an inappropriate measure for Aboriginal children. Research into Aboriginal creativity has been completed using the Test of Creative Thinking (Urban and Jellen, 1984), the Renzulli Hartman creativity scale and the Group Inventory for Finding (Creative) Talent (GIFT) Upper Elementary level (Rimm, 1976). Some evidence supporting the argument that Aboriginal children are creatively superior to European students has been produced, but the results are inconclusive. Nevertheless the indications alone provide food for thought which could lead to a re-thinking of not only classroom management techniques but also the entire curriculum including concepts, content and strategies, which is placed before Aboriginal children.