By Eda Heinla and Stanislav Nemeržitski
Approaches defining creativity as inter-related co-constructs of individual and social environments are taken as the theoretical basis of this paper. The qualitative research reported in this article focuses on students' perceptions of the positive and negative changes in the manifestation of creativity in Estonian society that have taken place in the last decade. The current study is concerned with implicit theories of creativity, as viewed by laypeople (students). It is based on students' essays (n=57) on the topic 'Manifestation of Creativity in Estonian society during the last decade'. Results are analysed using content analysis.
With regards to the national level, students shared the view that, due to their historic background and culture, Estonians are very flexible in their thinking and open to unconventional solutions. At the societal level, students described two opposite tendencies: the changed social system supports the manifestation of creativity in people (initiative and creative solutions are acknowledged in the society), but at the same time, the creative initiative of people is not supported (due primarily to a lack of funding in the areas of culture, education and hobby activities). Also at the societal level, Estonians have become more self-confident and open, but at the same time, so-called Western welfare values and manners, and material welfare have become important for Estonians which can threaten their creativity. The steps which need to be taken to counteract this tendency are identified.
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