students. The “kinesthetic learning style” was preferred learning style among Translation students.
Another study is conducted by Khaksar (2008). The main purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between learning styles, self-efficacy beliefs and academic fields in high school students. In this research, we have been seeking to find whether there is significant relationship between the element of study field and learning style, between the elements of self-efficacy belief and field of study, and the elements of gender and self-efficacy. The studies about learning styles have indicated that the various learning styles differ with gender, academic field and education level. The result indicates that the students of mathematics, physics field have the divergent learning style, the students of empirical sciences field have as similar learning style, and students of human sciences field have accommodate learning style. The students of mathematics physics field have the highest self-efficacy compared to others. Significance was not seen between learning methods and self-efficacy belief and female students are in a higher level compared to male students in self efficacy beliefs.
2.3.7 Differences between Language Learning Styles and Strategies
Providing a wide range of definitions of LLS proposed by experts in the field does not solve the problem of understanding what LLS are because LLS have usually been confused with learning styles. Reid (1998) draws a distinction between learning styles and learning strategies by focusing in what way they are distinct from each other. She refers to learning styles as “internally based characteristics, often not perceived or consciously used by learners, for the intake and comprehension of new information”(p. 30), whereas learning strategies are defined as “external skills often used consciously by students to improve their learning.” (p.30)
What we can infer from these two definitions is that since learning styles are “internally based characteristics”. They explain a learner’s preference to a learning situation. In addition, it can be said that they are relatively stable and not likely to change over time. This view is also supported by Oxford (1990) who states that some learner characteristics such as “learning styles and personality traits are difficult to change” (p. 12). Yet, as it will be discussed later, some studies such as Ellis (1989) revealed that learners abandoned their own learning styles and they adjusted themselves according to the teaching style they were exposed to.
The learning strategies, on the other hand, are said to be “external skills”, which indicates they are more problem oriented and conscious. This also implies that they are more liable to change over time and depending on the task and materials used in the learning environment. Oxford (1990) claims that “learning strategies are easier to teach and modify” (p.12) through strategy training.
2.4.1 The History of Creativity
Creativity has been an interesting topic for many years. Definition of creativity is a matter of ongoing debate. Despite the work of many scholars, it is considered as a concept, which is very hard to define (Agars, Kaufman, & Locke, 2008). Plucker, Beghetto, & Dow (2004) in their survey on 90 different creativity articles came to conclusion that only 38% of these articles provide an explicit definition of creativity (as cited in Kaufman, 2009). There exist various definitions of creativity as Welsch (as cited in Isaksen, Dorval, and Treffinger, 2010) noted:
The definitions of creativity are numerous, with variations not only in concept, but in the meaning of sub-concepts and of terminology referring to similar ideas. There appears to be, however, a significant level of agreement of key attributes among those persons most closely associated with work in this field. (p. 6)
As Agars, Kaufman, & Locke (2008) puts it, “Most early definitions of creativity implied that creativity was a singular entity…these initial conceptualizations, although meaningful, were somewhat limited in their application” (p. 6). Clauss-Ehlers (2010) believed in creativity as a single concept, “Creativity boiled down to two components. First, creativity must represent something different, new, or innovative. Second, it also must be useful, relevant, and appropriate to the task” (p. 270). Limitation of this kind of definition is that it is very much dependent on the context, setting, and number of people involved in the activity. In fact, in real condition ideas that are considered as new or creative in one context, may be old or disruptive in another, or something creative done by one person may be impossible for a group. Therefore, it is recognized as a need to define and understand creativity in another way (Agars, Kaufman, & Locke, 2008).
In other view, creativity defined as a multifaceted phenomenon made up of a number of elements; these elements interact to shape the whole concept (Puccio & Gonzalez, 2004). Rhodes (as cited in Sarsani, 2005) described the multifaceted construct of creativity by analyzing 56 different definitions of creativity. He came to conclusion that all these definitions linked in four overlapping themes, and introduce the concept of “the four P’s of creativity” as follows:
• Person: personality characteristics of the creative individual;
• Process: stages of thinking that resulted in producing something creative;
• Product: characteristics of the end products or outcomes of new ideas, thoughts, or inventions; &
• Press: environment that influence the performance of creative people.
As cited in Kaufman (2009), later two other P’s added to this framework. One of them is “persuasion” proposed by Simonton (1975), and the other is “Potential” offered by Runco (1996). Rhodes definition is not the only framework we have to understand creativity, but it is a valuable one because it conceptually organizes creativity research (Murdock, Isaksen, Vosburg, & Lugo, 1993).
2.4.2 The Background of Creativity
Creativity has been a neglected topic in psychology (Sternberg & Lubart, 1996). As Kaufman (2009) noted, “history of creativity research has two eras so far before 1950 and after 1950. Before 1950, there was little serious research being conducted on creativity” (p. 9). As Guilford (as cited in Sternberg, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2002) reported, fewer than two tenth of one percent of the published research on creativity deal with this subject.
Earlier people thought of creativity as something, which exists in the nature of people, therefore it can particularly find in genius (Khandwalla, 2004). Rhyammar and Brolin (as cited in Jeffrey and Craft, 2001) noted that the 1950s research focused on three different lines of development: personality, cognition, and possible ways of stimulating creativity.
Interests in creativity research began to grow in 1950s. At this time, Guilford challenged psychologists to pay more attention to this marginal construct. In fact, a good point to start talking about the concept of creativity can be found in his work (Kaufman, 2009). In 1980s and 1990s, a new line of development attracts the attention of researchers. Therefore, they focus on the role of social context in individual creativity, which is called social psychology (Rhyammar & Brolin as cited in Craft, 2002). As Sternberg, Kaufman, Pretz, (2002) mentioned the essence of creativity cannot be considered as something just within the individual, but it is also related to the society.
During 1990s, the emphasis of researchers shifted onto creativity of ordinary people in educational context. On the other hand, there was a shift of focus in the methodology of research from general quantitative approaches to qualitative discussions focusing on what actually occurs in the context of teaching and learning (Craft, 2002).
Jefferey and Craft (2001) noted that all these changes resulted in universalization of creativity and there were two reasons behind it. First, it is easier to affect the environment in comparison with personalities, and second it gives us a better understanding of the fact that all the people can be creative when they placed in a right context.
According to Sternberg 1988, 2001, “the most mysterious aspect of creativity may in fact be described and even taught, given the right context” (cited in VanTassel-Baska, 2006, p. 300).
2.4.3 Attributes of Creativity
For many years, psychologists were interested in creativity and attributes of creative people (Campbell, 1985). Frisha (as cited in Cropley, 1992) pointed out that “personality is consistently emphasized in research on creativity” (p. 17). According to Murdock, and Treffinger, Young, Selby, and Shepardson (as cited in Isaksen, Drovel, Treffinger, 2010) large number of research has been conducted in this area that resulted in discovering the characteristics of highly creative individuals.
Cropley (1992) described creative person as,
…….a person who is intelligent and capable of sustained hard work, who seeks change and adventure, who is impulsive, and who does not like to conform. The creative thinker is inclined to avoid adherence to strict and restrictive schedules and, as a result, may show a certain disregard for observing rules and details of plans. In fact, many creative individuals give a strong impression of being disorganized, although they may also show meticulous attention to detail when circumstances require it. (p. 18)
Torrance (as cited in Khandwalla, 2004) held that all the scholars worked on creative personality come up with some major characteristics of creative people. These attributes are -curiosity, sensitivity, independence, persistence, self-sufficiency, imaginativeness, complexity, risk taking, and being realistic. Simonton (as cited in Tan, 2007) added two other traits,