Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Sefton, Terry (Faculty of Education)


Education, Curriculum and Instruction.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This study undertook to elicit and characterize the transition strategies that creatively-inclined students adopted to manage their first year of high school in Southeastern Ontario. The grounded theory research design included two semi-structured interviews with 12 female Grade Nine students and a content analysis of their multi-modal journals and provincial report cards. Participants' creative-thinking aptitudes were assessed using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking and these findings, in combination with interview, journal and report card data were employed to designate four Ideal Types: creatively-inclined participants at high-risk of academic failure (n=5); creatively-inclined participants at low-risk of academic failure (n=2); creatively-disinclined at high-risk of academic failure (n=0); and creatively-disinclined at low-risk of academic failure (n=5). The results of this investigation suggest that creatively-inclined Grade Nine students who are at high-risk for academic failure: have had fewer opportunities to engage in creative pursuits; possess an underdeveloped sense of creative personal identity; employ transition strategies based primarily on psychosocial needs; experience lower levels of academic, intellectual and social engagement; and are prone to engage in high risk behaviours. The discussion traces linkages between theoretical concepts: self-identity and creativity; creative personal identity and academic engagement; self-perception and intellectual engagement; social engagement and transition strategies employed. Finally, an integrated model for transitioning creatively-inclined students who are at higher risk for academic failure into Grade Nine is proposed.