The objective of the current study was to examine the effect of early computer experience, using quasi-experimental design, on creative thinking among Jordanian kindergarten children. It intended to answer two main research questions. First, does adding a computer to a kindergarten environment enhance children's creative thinking? Second, does children's creative thinking differ due to gender? Experimental group consists of (37) and the control groups consist Of (39) child. In this study the Arabic Jordanian version of Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking TTCT was used. Each class of the experimental groups have computer learning center, as well as pre-installed developmentally appropriate educational software programs. The findings show statistically significant differences between the experimental and the control groups only on creative thinking total score. All dimensions show no significant differences between boys and girls, and no effect of interaction between group and gender, In the light of the findings of this study, some recommendations are presented.
Key words: computer, creative thinking, kindergarten.
The power of any nation depends greatly on the quality of new knowledge and unique information that it integrates into its educational system. Even though, the effects of the technological revolution are visible in classrooms everywhere and computers have become commonplace, from preschool to graduate school, and the changes they have brought might be most dramatic and unexpected in programs for young children, there is still much to learn about how children use computers in order to understand the contribution they can make to young children's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Thus, and due to the importance of early childhood computer use in the development of minds and bodies of young children and their creative thinking, the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Jordan announced in 2003, its Strategic Project "Developing Education towards Knowledge Economy (ERFKE)" to promote the quality of the teaching process at all levels including the early childhood education paying more attention to creativity and critical thinking strategies emphasizing on the use of computers and the new technology (Jordan Times, 2002). Given the discrepancies in empirical studies regarding the potential impact of computer use on young children in the Arab World in general and Jordan in particular, it is important to examine the impact of computer experience on children creative thinking.
Facing the challenges and complexities of today's life calls on developed societies to change the methods they adopt in teaching kids in kindergartens by means of using new approaches that are expected to discard traditional teaching. This entails the introduction of modernized curricula that implements the methodology of integrated technology, especially at this critical stage of children's education (Lally, 2001; Samaras, 1996). As a matter of fact, this stage will by no means bear its fruits without a sound scientific approach built on accurate, comprehensive and technologically integrated methodology. Accordingly, this approach will suit the nature of this stage and children's needs, in addition to providing an educational environment with trained and qualified technical cadre at all levels. Kindergarten teachers are sometimes unable to achieve the desired goals, as a result of the insufficiency of and shortages in modernized and developed curricula and other supportive educational activities which meet kids' needs. In addition, they themselves (teachers) are not adequately or sufficiently qualified to perform their task and mission (Lally, 2001; Samaras, 1996).
Studies show that pre-school stage is very important in the evolution and development of children, as it helps in the formation of their personality and ensuring their lifelong learning. Specialists agree that children's personalities (in it's all aspects) are formed in the first five years, and 60% of their intelligence becomes mature in the first four years. …