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Flourishing at school in France: Creativity and wellbeing in flux in preadolescence?

Abstract : This article builds theoretically and empirically on the concepts of creativity and wellbeing within the schooling context, focusing on 927 preadolescents attending primary schools in France. Following and testing a line of argumentation delineated in educational research, creativity is defined as conceptually distinct from, but closely related to, student wellbeing, and the relationship between these two constructs is tested empirically. We use path models to model the relationship within and between these two variables, as well as their relationships with predictor variables underlined as important in the literature, including parental social class and parental implication in the child's schooling. Specifically, we test operationalizations of multi-dimensional concepts of creativity and wellbeing using factor analysis techniques, and illustrate potential causal relationships over two points in time (beginning and end of the school year) amongst these variables. We define "creativity" as a high level of adaptability and flexibility of thought, the key to developing novel ideas, and "wellbeing" as both the presence of positive affect and the absence of negative affect (hedonic components), as well as the presence of positive interpersonal relationships, self-growth, and feelings of competence (eudaimonic components). These two concepts map more broadly onto the meta-construct of 'flourishing at school' proposed here through the theoretical lens of the capability approach: the ability of students to develop and realize their unique potential in the context of forming a future life that they will have reason to value. Student wellbeing at school is shown to be influenced not only by socio-economic and socio-emotional familial factors, as convincingly argued previously by previous research, but also by children's integration of these inputs into a creative engagement with the learning process in the school context.
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Bertille Theurel <>
Submitted on : Friday, December 9, 2016 - 2:19:21 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 10:52:01 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01413152, version 1



Janine Jongbloed, Agathe Fanchini, Agathe Dirani. Flourishing at school in France: Creativity and wellbeing in flux in preadolescence?. Education and the Life Course: Determinants and Consequences of Unequal Educational Opportunities, Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, Oct 2016, Bamberg, Germany. ⟨halshs-01413152⟩



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