Abstract: In order to know the situation of creative class environment in primary and middle school and discuss how to cultivate primary and middle school students’ creativity, researchers revised the <Creative class Environment Scale>, and did a questionnaire survey among 3-6 grade students at a primary school in Langfang, Hebei province. There are 1365 valid questionnaires, and they can be used to do extensive data analyses in theory study and practice study about creativity and creative class environment.
Keywords: creative class environment; primary school; scale revision
|Title||Data of Creative Class Environment in Primary School (3-6 Grade)|
|Data authors||Tian’e, Cheng Xi, Duan Dana, Liu Zhengkui, Cheng Li, Zhang Yujing, Zhang Jie|
|Data corresponding authors||Liu Zhengkui (firstname.lastname@example.org), Cheng Li (email@example.com)|
|Geographical scope||Mainland China|
|Data volume||1365 samples|
|Data format||*.xlsx, *.sav|
|Data service system||http://www.sciencedb.cn/dataSet/handle/704|
|Sources of funding||Funding Plan of Beijing Excellent Youth|
|Dataset composition||The dataset consists of 2 aspects: Creative Class Environment Scale and valid sample data. The Creative Class Environment Scale is composed of 33 questions in 5 sections. The valid sample data includes 1365 samples, each of which has 72 fields（the basic information takes 4 fields, the questionnaire items take 68 fields）.|
Nowadays, the encouragement of innovative talents is an important goal of talent cultivation. The 19th National Congress of the CPC emphasizes that innovation is the first driving force for development, and the strategic support for a modern economic system.
During the past decades, creativity has being paid close attention. In 1961, Rhodes summarized previous studies and came up with the “4P” theory, which indicates that creativity consists of 4 factors: personality, process, product and places or press from pressures. This theory emphasizes that creativity is supposed to develop through the interaction between the individuals and environment. As a strong backing of national innovative talents, encouraging and developing students' creativity is one of the key issues that educators need to focus on. For primary and middle school students, the class learning environment is the basis of the school environment, which not only directly influences their learning process and results, but also plays an important role in developing their creativity as well (Fraser,2002). Thus, students' perception and evaluation of the class environment is a potential factor in determining the development of creativity (Fraser et al.,1995).
Class environment plays an important role in the development of students’ creativity. There has been several theories illustrating the structure of class environment. Moos(1978) found that the main feature of a creative class reflected in the relationship dimension, which not only refers to the relationship between students and teachers but also refers to the relationship among students （Rutland et al.,2008; Wood et al.,2008）. Others suggest that teachers’ support, concern, respect and expectation are related to students’ creative performance in class (Klimoviene,2010; Khine,2005; Yang Xinde,1990). Besides, in order to cultivate students’ creativity, teachers’ leadership and control are also requisite (Bancroft et al.,2008; Burnard et al.,2006; Jeffrey,2006; Sharp et al.2008). In conclusion, class environment is one of the key factors that impacts students’ creativity.
This study attempts to summarize the factors that class environment affects the development of students' creativity, combined with the existing creative class environment scales, and finally to construct a set of scale with good reliability and validity, which can be used to measure and evaluate students’ perception of the creative class environment in primary and middle schools. The scale will also provide the guidance for teachers to adjust and improve on the class environment as well as teaching methods.
The data collection includes three steps: scale revision, data collection and data observation.
2.1 Scale revision
Based on previous study on the relationship between the structure of class learning environment and students’ creativity, it can be concluded that the positive atmosphere in classrooms, the interactive relationship between students and teachers, the good relationship among students, and the emotional support or encouragement received from teachers are important factors affecting the creativity of students. This study constructed five dimensions of creative class environment on the basis of classic scales(Dai Haiqi,1999).Specifically, the five dimensions are teacher leadership,students’ communication, students’ cohesion, received support from teacher and students’ participation. Considering the different atmosphere in different classes, students’ perceptions of Chinese and mathematics class are investigated separately. Common items are extracted to directly examine students’ perception of creative class environment.
The valid data is divided into two homogeneous parts to do exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The specific steps are as follows: 1. The analysis of 33 items from the initial questionnaire shows that each item is moderately correlated with the total score (Chinese:0.366-0.658, Math:0.385-0.663); 2. Bartlett’ s test shows that the KMO values of Chinese and math class are 0.938 and 0.931 respectively (p< 0.001). 3. The results from the comprehensive analysis and Bartlett’s test indicate these data are suitable for exploratory factor analysis. 4. Factor analysis of valid data is performed to determine the items which should be kept basing on load value and commonality of the items. Items with a factor load value <0.4 or high load on multiple factors were excluded. In the end, No.16 and No.24 questions are deleted from the scale of Chinese class and 31 items are reserved, which accounts for 52.52% of the total variation (see table 1). No.16 and No.24 questions are deleted from the scale of math class and 31 questions are kept, which accounts for 53.836% of the total variation (see table 2). 5. Since 5 factors of eigenvalue > 1 can be extracted by the oblique rotation of factor analysis from the scales of both Chinese and math class, No.16 and No.24 were deleted at the same time and 31 items were reserved (see table 3).
|No.||Dimension（Latent Variable）||Items（Observable Variable）|
|1||Leadership in Teaching||1. Teachers are enthusiastic in class.|
|2. Teachers can grasp the attention of students.|
|2||Students’ Communication||7. I have the chance to communicate with my classmates.|
|8. I express my perception of the problem to my classmates.|
|3||Students’ cohesion||11. I can easily build up friendship with my classmates.|
|12. I am friendly to my classmates.|
|4||Support from teacher||19. Teachers care about me.|
|20. Teachers care about my feelings.|
|5||Students’ participation||27. I share my ideas in class.|
|28. Teachers will ask me questions.|
2.2 Data collection
2.2.1 Subject selection
Students from grade 3 to 6 of a primary school in Langfang, Hebei province are examined with the Creative Class Environment Scale, with the agreement of students, their parents and teachers.
2.2.2 Questionnaire distribution
The data are collected from Langfang, Hebei province from June 4 to 12, 2018. The specific arrangement is shown in the table 4. Before the test, the main testers were trained by the scale modifier and relevant experts. The class teachers were also required to cooperate with testers to maintain class discipline, help students to answer questions and collect questionnaires.
|June 4, 2018||A primary school, Langfang||/||/||Main tester training|
|June 5, 2018||Class 1-3, grade 6||3 postgraduates||Class teachers, who will assist testers at tests should be trained beforehand.|
|June 6, 2018||Class 1-5, grade 3||2 postgraduates, 4 undergraduates|
|June 8, 2018||Class 1-6, grade 4||6 postgraduates|
|June 12, 2018||Class 1-6, grade 5||6 postgraduates|
2.2.3 Questionnaire returning
1419 questionnaires were distributed and returned in a primary school of Langfang. The remaining valid samples turn to be 1365 after excluding extreme value samples with missing values more than 1/3 of the total number of questions and samples with a total score of 0. The returning efficiency is about 96.19%.
2.3 Data observation
The sample size of this data is 1365, covering students from the third grade to six grade of the primary school. Specifically, there are 410 in third grade, 373 in fourth grade, 391 in fifth, and 191 in sixth, respectively. There are 685 boys, accounting for 50.2% of the total, and 680 girls, accounting for 49.8%. The ratio of them is close to 1:1. The number and proportion of boys and girls in each grade are shown in Table 5.
SPSS24.0 is used to draw a frequency distribution histogram and a normaldistribution curve (see figure 1 to figure 2). The frequency distribution histogram of the Chinese class environment score and mathematics class environment score fits the normal distribution curve, which show that the data fit normal distribution.
Figure 1: The score of creative class environment in mathematics class
Figure 2：The score of creative class environment in Chinese class
Among the valid data, a single sample covers three parts for 72 fields. In terms of type, two fields are character type and 70 fields are number type. From the perspective of measurement, there are 4 categorical variables and 68 ordinal variables. Taking the first data sample as an example, the following “ID” refers to the code of data sample. “School” refers to sample source. “Grade” refers to the sample grade. “Class” refers to the sample class, and “Gender” refers to the sample gender ( “1” stands for male and “2” stands for female). C_Q1 to C_Q33 represent No.1 to No.33 questions of creative class environment in Chinese class, while M_Q1 to M_Q33 represent 33 questions in the mathematics class.
4.1 Quality control
The quality control includes the following three aspects. First, the main test is conducted by professionals in psychology or education. They were trained by researchers before the test so as to understand the test instruction and process correctly. Then, taking the class as a unit, the test needs testers, working with class teachers, to supervise the participants to complete the questionnaire independently. Finally, the data will be examined after the questionnaires were returned. If there are any serious random or missing answers, students have to retest to ensure the quality of data.
4.2 Quality evaluation
4.2.1 Reliability test
This study used SPSS20.0 to test the reliability of data. The results show that the total Cronbach's alpha of Chinese and mathematics class environment is higher than 0.9, while in each dimension, it is between 0.715 and 0.865. That is an ideal reliability(see table 6).
Table 6 Creative class environment scale of Chinese and mathematics class and Cronbach's alpha table of each dimension
|Chinese class environment||Mathematics class environment|
|Variable||Cronbach's alpha||Variable||Cronbach's alpha|
|Leadership skills in Teaching||0.718||Leadership skills in Teaching||0.754|
|Students’ cohesion||0.807||Students’ cohesion||0.801|
|Students’ communication||0.757||Students’ communication||0.773|
|Support from teacher||0.848||Support from teacher||0.851|
|Students’ participation||0.815||Students’ participation||0.828|
4.3 Validity test
This study uses AMOS21.0 to analyze the validity of the data, and used first-order 5 factors confirmatory factor analysis to analyze the Chinese and mathematics class environment respectively (see figure 9 and 10). Maximum likelihood estimation is also used to test how well the data fits the model. According to the theoretical conception, five latent variables (Leadership skills in teaching, students’ communication, students’ cohesion, support from the teacher and students’ participation.) and 31 observation variables (31 items) are set up. The results show that each fitting index is relatively ideal (see table 7)(Wu Minglong,2012).
Table 7 Parameter index of first-order confirmatory factor analysis in Chinese and mathematics class environment scale
Since the correlation coefficients between the five latent variables of the Chinese and mathematics class environment are not low (Chinese：0.441-716，Math：0.381-0.666), it can be suggested that the model may have a higher level of factor structure. Based on this, the study establishes a second-order 5 factors model of the creative environment in Chinese and mathematics classes. (Figure 11 and Figure 12). The model assumes that each question does not have a phenomenon of spanning factors. That is, each question falls on a single factor, and residual items are independent of each other. The result is shown in Table 8.
Table 8 Parameter index of second-order confirmatory factor analysis in Chinese and mathematics class environment scale
Comparing the general fitting indicators of the first-order and second-order confirmatory factor models, we conclude that both of the models are quite ideal.
Above all, this scale has good reliability and validity, which can be applied and analyzed in future studies.
This data provides the creative class environment score of the Chinese and mathematics class from grade three to grade six in primary school, which is measured by the Creative Class Environment Scale. The sample size is 1365, and the data can be analyzed by Microsoft Excel, SPSS, Amos, Mplus, SAS and other data software. In terms of theoretical research, the data can be used in the research of five dimensions of creative class environment in Chinese and Mathematics classes of primary and middle school. In addition, correlation test, difference test, regression analysis and other methods are used to study the relationship between creative class environment and other variables. We can also establish a structural equation model to study the relationship between creative class environment and other variables. In practice, this data can provide a foundation for scholars to investigate or formulate relevant policies on the creative class environment, show the current situation of creative class environment of primary and middle schools in China, and provide an indicator system for teachers to evaluate the creative class environment.
We sincerely thank all experts who contribute in the whole process of scale development and data collection, the schools and teachers who provide support, and the participants who cooperate with us.
 Fraser, B.J. Learning environments research: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In S. C. Goh & M.S.Khine(Eds.),Studies in educational learning environments: an international perspective[J]. Singapore: World Scientific,2002:1-24.
 Fisher, D, Fraser, B, Cresswell, J. Using the "Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction" in the professional development of teachers[J]. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 1995,20 ,1: article 2.
Tian’e, Cheng X, Duan D, Liu Z, Cheng L,Zhang Y & Zhang J. Data of Creative Class Environment in Primary School (Grade 3-6). Science Data Bank, DOI: 10.11922/sciencedb.726 (2019).
How to cite this article
Tian’e, Cheng X, Duan D, Liu Z, Cheng L,Zhang Y & Zhang J. Data of Creative Class Environment in Primary School (Grade 3-6). China Scientific Data 4(2018). DOI: 10.11922/csdata.2018.0089.zh