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INTRODUCTION Background of the Study The Nigerian school children manifest varying exceptional abilities. Some show below average learning ability, while others with high abilities over achieve so much that they need differentiated and individualized instructional programmes in order to benefit from regular educational programme and then maximize their vast human potentials. The United States Department of Education describes high ability as exceptionally advanced performance or the potential for outstanding performance in intellectual, creative, leadership, artistic, or specific academic fields (Callahan, 2009). In a specific sense, Renzulli and Reis (1997) view high ability as natural talent or superior aptitude for the four major content areas; such as: English Language, Social Studies, Maths, and Science; and other less traditional subject areas. High ability could be classified under several categories. The Blue Print on Education for the Gifted and Talented Persons (1986) differentiated between high intellectual ability as defined above and talent, which is explained as evidences of positive exceptionality and creativity manifested in the process of doing things. Gardner (1983) in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences identified eight separate kinds of intelligibility; Guilford (1988) in his Structure of the Intellect claims that there are 180 intelligences, while Renzulli in Woolfolk (1995) distinguished between academic high ability and creative/productive high ability. Pupils with academic high ability learn lessons very easily and quickly; and generally score well on tests of intelligence, while those with creative/productive high ability tend to excel in situations that require the application of information to solve problems in new and effective ways. Furthermore, Renzulli and Reis (1997) explained that high ability is a combination of three basic characteristics: above-average general ability, a high level of creativity, and a high level of task commitment or motivation to achieve in certain areas. On the other hand, the Blue Print on Education for the Gifted and Talented Persons (1986) states that characteristics of high ability children include very high degrees of creativity, memory, motivation, physical dexterity or psychomotor ability, social adeptness, leadership ability, aesthetic sensitivity, pronounced ability in visual and performing art, or demonstrated potential ability in any of these areas. It also described high ability pupils as children whose cognitive prowess result in high level innovation, problem solving, leadership and creativity in the society. The Federal Ministry of Education (FGN, 2004) defined high ability children as category of special needs persons who show evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership 2 or specific academic fields; and require differentiated educational programmes, experiences and services that are not ordinarily provided by regular education to fully develop such capacities. Thus, the researcher defines high ability pupils as learners with potential or demonstrated outstanding academic abilities that could sublimate to creative activities or productions if properly harnessed. Notwithstanding the indispensability of high ability children in fostering scientific and technological development, there is a growing recognition worldwide that they are poorly served by most schools. A United States national survey reported by Tomlinson-Keasey (1990) revealed that more than one-half of all high ability children in the US do not achieve in school at a level equal to their ability. In the Nigerian context, Kalu (2002) equally noted that high ability children wrestle with opportunities in order to develop their potentials; many underachieve or may creatively develop antisocial maladaptive traits or drop out of schooling. Likewise, Adesokan (1990) and McGrail (2005) agree that the high ability children are the largest group of underachievers in education. The reasons for this dismal outcome are not far-fetched since most regular classroom teachers are inexperienced in providing the instructional needs of high ability children, others lack training in modification of curriculum, and tend to stick to left brain method of instruction. In the same vein, many research scholars (Kalu, 2002; Onu, 2008; Irele, 2009; & Junaid, 2008) have identified other factors inhibiting the education of high ability children in Nigeria; such as lapses in parenting, lack of individualized education plan, no exposure to education based on curriculum and instructional models for the gifted (such as: the Renzulli Enrichment Triad Model, 1977 and Feldhusen’s Three Stage Enrichment Model, 1980). Others include no exposure to problem solving projects and skill acquisition through consistent working in other settings outside the school premises; lack of in-depth knowledge of the gifted, and inadequate teaching strategies and materials for effective implementation of the instructional programmes for high ability children. Irele (2009) reported that teachers lacked information in the processes of developing and applying developed individualized programme design for high ability children. The teachers’ inexperience reflects in their reverting to conventional methods of teaching. In other culture, Sesadeba (2008) also observed that the present day classroom system provides little opportunity for creative work. The materials presented to the pupils are finished products, providing very little scope for high ability pupils to think critically and creatively. More so, the researcher observed through informal interview of teachers that most primary schools in Nigeria lack appropriate educational programmes, special learning materials and 3 instructional techniques for the large number of special need learners mainstreamed in primary education. And that the regular teachers made most of the decisions during teaching, while the pupils simply observed and answer the teachers’ questions. In the same vein, Eleweke (2002) explained lucidly that the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme reintroduced by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 is not satisfactorily implemented due to the absence of relevant materials and support services for the special needs persons in the Nigerian regular schools. In line with Eleweke (2002), Aminu in Onu (2007b) reported that the Nigerian school, by its traditional nature seems committed to curriculum that is intellectually based; formal oriented and directed toward examination. Nwazuoke in Onu (2007) adds that the Nigerian type of educational system does not seem to accommodate creative thinkers due to its conformist values and expectancies, which inhibits creative behaviours. Therefore, it could be concluded that inappropriate instructional programmes, lack of relevant learning materials and learning strategies made schooling boring, and unchallenging to high ability pupils in Nigeria. It also marginalizes their creative potentials due to the focus of educational pedagogy on the left brain cognitive domain. Needless to say that nation’s economic, scientific and technological transformations become imminent only when the creative potentials of any nations human resources are properly identified and nurtured through integrated school curricula. Hence Nigeria is anxious to take off technologically, revamp her economy and improve the overall standards of living of her citizenry, the need to identify and develop creativity of high ability children is imperative. Creativity has been generally defined as the innovation of original solutions, the creation of novel products, or the process of devising alternative ways of solving problems. Onu (2006) defined creativity as that inner drive to explore and produce; an energy driven force reflecting itself in awareness of problems, deficiencies and gaps until a novel solution is found. Nwazuoke (in Onu, 2007b) defined creativity as a complex behaviour in which an individual utilizes his mental resources in such a unique way that a novel product, which is adaptive to reality, emerges. Moreover, Animasahun (2002) explained that creativity is a conscious cognitive process, guided by interests, which results in the generation of statistically infrequent variable, appropriate ideas useful in turning challenges of life into fruitful, beneficial and profitable outcomes. Inferring from these definitions, creativity could be defined as a series of mental activities in a problem solving process resulting to profitable and novel ideas or products. Creative Products are the artifacts of thoughts, the tangible result of the creative process. Creative product may be a physical object, an article, patent, a theoretical system, an equation, or 4 a new technique. It is not uniquely bound up within the life of an individual. Following the Osborn-Parnes model, they are the action or the solution, which is incomplete until implementation has taken place (Osborn-Parnes in Renzulli & Reis, 1997). Likewise, Torrance in Onu (2008) emphasized that the product of ability to generate alternatives to a given problem, produce variation in ideas, develop and generate inconspicuous solutions to problem must provide or be a solution to an existing problem. When appropriate creative techniques are applied, it culminates in creative production and eventual enhancement of creativity in people. Onu (2007b) explained creative production as the capacity to produce products, ideas or compositions of any sort, which are unique, satisfactory, novel and previously unknown to the producer. Rothenberg in Onu (2008) described creative production as the capacity or state which brings forth creation. Rothenberg stressed that creations are products, which must be both new and valuable. As applied in this study, creative production is the process by which an unusual or infrequent profitable product in a universe of products is generated by pupils in a similar grade and ability levels. Creative production is often characterized by the nature of human thought and action. It involves divergent thinking, critical thinking and other problem solving skills. It manifests in the presence of problems that need to be solved; and result in novel and valuable solutions or alternatives. Traditionally, Leslie (2003) underscored fluency, flexibility, elaboration, originality, risk-taking, imagination, complexities and curiosity that are commonly thought as inherent elements of creative production, as well as attributes associated with creative problem solving abilities. Treffinger (1991) also identified four factors that interact to influence creativity. These are characteristics of a person, operations one knows and can employ or perform, context in which one is productive, and outcomes of one’s productivity. Other important factors affecting creative production by Rhodes (1961) are: person, process, press, and product. Thus, creative production results from a systematic interaction of these interlocking variables streamlined above by Leslie, Treffinger, and Rhodes. Since creative production is the result of interactions among components of creativity, the challenge then is how to harness the creative potentials of the right brain and the intellectual capacity of the left brain within regular school set up. The development of appropriate learning programmes and strategies that could harness the diverse brain potentials represents the core aspect of education practice. Adesokan (1990) opined that high ability children should be given special learning methods that would enable them fulfill their educational needs, challenge and optimize their learning characteristics and creative potentials. In the same vein, Mitchell (1984) 5 recommended that teaching methods for high ability pupils should encourage abstract thinking, creativity, and independent learning. A variety of learning experiences different from what obtains in regular education should be made available to high ability children at all levels of education. Teaching and learning programmes that integrate the right brain creativity and left brain cognitive skills would be apt in harnessing the vast potentials of high ability children. Researches have shown that teachers who integrate the right and left brain hemisphere by using appropriate curriculum and teaching strategies affect positively learning outcome and optimize learners’ brain potentials. Naiman (2007) and James (2009) explained that actively engaging the capacities of the right and left brain hemispheres provide basis on which to create due to cross-fertilization between neural synapses, which leads to original ideas, and unprecedented discoveries. Hannaford (1995) found that higher functioning, especially achievements of the highest order emerge from the interplay of left and right brains. Other empirical research evidences show that the use of whole brain learning activities improves the behaviour of students and enhance their learning abilities. Campbell (2008) study concerned with determining whether the application of Ned Herrmann’s whole-brain” model would affect violin teaching in any way found a significant change in the playing of the majority of learners (three of the five). The learners, where significant changes were not apparent in their playing, indicated that their understanding of their practicing methods and playing had increased. Also, Dejager (2008) evaluated brain gym as a technique for promoting whole brain learning and found that the learners have improved on physical, emotional and social levels in terms of sensory integration, confidence, attitude, concentration and motivation. In other words, isolating certain parts of the brain does not promote the harnessing of the whole brain potentials or address diversity of learning preferences (Shaun, 2002; Kim and Michael, 1995). Shaun (2002) found that educational system neglects the needs of right-brain dominant individuals. Shaun equally noted that 50% of this population is dubbed “functionally illiterate” by some educators. The researcher envisages that this percentage may be much more if the out of school population is considered. In the same vein, Ananga (2009) observed that 60% of people in developed world are dominant in left hemispheric style of thinking, which connotes a greater percentage for the developing nations. Summers (2009) observed that most children think using their whole brain, and rank highly creative before entering into the educational systems. Ten percent of these children rank highly creative by age 7; and at adulthood, high creativity remains in two percent of the same population due to high value placed on left brain style of instruction. Thus, there is urgent need for the use of integrative learning strategies in the 6 Nigerian education system in order to optimize the whole brain potentials of her high ability children. Whole brain learning has been conceptualized differently by many researchers. Dejager (2008) defined whole brain learning as the process of receiving input through sight, hearing and active participation, processing the sensory input simultaneously with the left and right brain, while filtering perceptions through emotions for appropriate and accurate verbal or active output. Herrmann (2009) defined it as the science of cultivating the ability of individuals to act outside of their own preferred thinking styles. These assertions imply that whole brain learning is the result of integrative engagement of the dormant processing skills (i.e., learning styles) of the brain and unpreferred recessive processing skills in interpreting problem, and proffering profitable solutions. Lazear (1999) viewed whole brain learning as the joining of the logical, rational, and analytical thinking with spatial, intuitive, and aesthetic thinking in a deeper and richer learning experience. The left-brain processing is linear, sequential, symbolic, logical, verbal, and reality-based, while the right brain processing is holistic, random, concrete, intuitive, nonverbal, and fantasy-oriented. However, the researcher defines whole brain learning as the use of appropriate learning strategies in engaging simultaneously the right and left brain processing skills during learning activities; thereby harnessing brain cognitive and creative potentials into a more balanced, enriched and productive learning outcome. Thus, the whole brain learning strategies of interest to this study are mind mapping and synectics. They were selected due to empirical evidences that attest to their efficacy in boosting higher intellectual functioning and creativity. In respect of mind mapping, Nsikak-Abasi (1995) examined its differential effectiveness as a method of note taking on Physics achievement and found that mind map students performed significantly better than the conventional notes students. The superiority of mind map over conventional note was traced to its ability to supply recognition cue during informational storage, which facilitates understanding, recall and greater achievement. In support, Farrand, Hussain, and Hennessy (2002) observed that the mind map technique had a limited but significant impact on memory recall in undergraduate students as compared to preferred study methods. A recent scholarly research by Abi-El-Mona & Adb-El- Khalick (2008) found that mind mapping generally affects eighth graders’ science achievement significantly, improves children’s conceptual understandings by engaging the right and left brain hemispheric activities, facilitate the processes of visual coordination and integration with other cognitive operations, which are essential to knowledge construction. 7 Mind mapping according to Buzan & Buzan (1996) is a presentation form of radiant thinking, utilizing lines, colors, characters, numbers, symbols, images, pictures or keywords to associate, integrate and visualize the learned concept, and maximize brain potentials. Buzan (2009) defined mind mapping as a technique that makes use of cognitive skills to improve thinking skills, memory and creativity. It is a graphic technique, which provides a universal key to unlock and harness the potential of the brain cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single representation. As applied in this study, mind map is a graphic organizer that utilizes cortical processing capacities of the right and left brain hemispheres such as: lines, colors, letters, numbers, symbols, images, pictures or keywords in learners’ construction of knowledge. The Mind Map has four essential characteristics. A lesson topic represented by a central image. Main themes of a lesson topic radiating from central image as branches. And each branch comprising a key image or word printed on an associated line. Topics of lesser importance are also represented as lower level branches attached to higher-level branches, connected to a nodal structure. Mind maps are enriched with color, pictures, codes and dimension to add interest, beauty and individuality. The use of abundant colors, images, keywords or short sentences integrate functions of right brain and left-brain, and facilitate thinking, memorizing, analyzing, triggering inspiration and allowing young children to learn via picture (for clarity see Appendix Q, pages 173 – 199). Mind mapping is deeply rooted in constructivist theory. It facilitates linking of visual and verbal intelligences in the context of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and Kline’s notion of integrative learning; and help in the assimilation and longterm retention of information. It supports strategies that enable students to process information through building conceptual links, discern patterns among concepts, and develop the capacity for viewing situations from multiple perspectives. Mind maps support student-created representations of knowledge as compared to those imposed by other visual tools like concept maps, vee maps, and flow maps (Gowin in Abi-El-Mona and Adb-El-Khalick, 2008). The second variable of interest in this study is synectics. Empirical researches (Gendrop, 1996; Shreyashi, 2008; Sesadeba, 2008) and constructivist model of learning lend credence to the effectiveness of synectics in enhancing classroom creativity. Gendrop (1996) investigated the effect of synectics on the creative thinking of nurses and found no significant differences in their critical thinking, fluency, and flexibility; although, significant differences were found in originality. In the same vein, Shreyashi (2008) also studied the impact of synectics model of teaching in life science to develop in students. It was concluded that there is significant 8 difference between effects of synectics model and traditional method of teaching life science in development of creative thinking ability of students. Likewise, Sesadeba (2008) studied the effectiveness of synectics model of teaching in enhancing creativity, academic achievement and achievement motivation of learners. Making Familiar Strange approach of synectics model of teaching was found to be effective in enhancing the creative thinking ability of the learners. Synectics, Gordon (1961) approach to creativity, emphasizes the use of metaphor and analogy for connection making or joining of different and apparently irrelevant elements. Clemons (2005) described synectics as a metaphor/analogy-based technique for bringing different elements together in a search for new ideas or solutions. Tami (2007) defined it as a system of problem stating and problem solving based on creative thinking that involves free use of metaphor and analogy in informal interchange within a carefully selected group of individuals of diverse personality and areas of specialization. Synectics is applied in this study to mean a creative process, which involves breaking limited thought pattern or mental block by comparing known or unknown concept with seemingly unrelated or related ones in order to create novel pattern, product or solution. There are two fundamental principles that provide the operational framework for synectics approach. According to Gordon (1961), they are Making the Familiar Strange, and Making the Strange Familiar. Creative ideas frequently arise from these principles as metaphor and analogy are used to translate the two principles into practical strategies. Trevor (2009) explained that synectics also involves three analogical techniques: direct analogy, personal analogy, and compressed conflict. Direct analogy is the comparison of two or more different, and seemingly unrelated, objects or ideas using qualifiers. Personal analogy involves ascribing human qualities to things that are no human using similes and metaphors. Symbolic analogy or compressed conflict involves formulating two word description using opposites, or conflicting elements. Synectics excursion begins with description of a topic, direct analogy, personal analogy, compressed conflict, direct analogy based on a compressed conflict and re-examination of an original task. Besides mind mapping and synectics strategies, another factor that could influence whole brain learning and creative production is gender. Gender refers to judgments about masculinity and feminity, influenced by socio-cultural context, while sex refers to biological differences between male and female (Deaux, 1993). There seems to be sex differences in both brain anatomy and function during some activities. A meta-analysis of sex differences in thousands of brains for more than twenty years (1990 – 2013) of Neuroscience research conducted by a team 9 of researchers from Cambridge University, led by Amber Ruigrok, John Suckling, and Simon Baron-Cohen revealed that certain areas were larger in men, while some areas were larger in women; and that a lot of these differences originate from the limbic system. However, the researcher does not draw any direct links between brain structure and function; and stress that the difference in volume does not have direct implications for gender bias in conditions studied (Vincent, 2014). Conversely, Behavioural Sciences (1995) notes that women use both halves of their brain in processing language; whereas men use the left brain only. Men used only Broca’s area in the task, whereas women used Broca’s area plus an area on the right side of the brain. Toga (2009) equally reported that men and women may use their brain differently when thinking; though, from infancy through the preschool years, most studies find few differences between boys and girls in overall mental and motor development, or in specific abilities. The difference in brain functions could be due to sex roles and social expectancies stemming from such psychosocial stereotype as gender bias. Oko and Nwazuoke in Onu (2007c) noted that in some parts of Nigeria certain activities like nursing, cooking, music are for female folk, while engineering, armed forces, politics are for males. In the same vein, Helson (1990) opined that men have dominated access to many fields of human endeavour and controlled the standard of judging an individual’s accomplishment. When professions are gender biased, it inhibits the course of creativity, and culminates in persevering challenges to developing creativity. In addition, empirical evidences suggest that influence of gender on creativity test scores in particular is inconclusive. Many studies have looked for gender differences in scores on tests designed to measure and predict creativity; but, few found such differences, and no consistent pattern has also emerged. Ai (1999) studied Spanish students’ relation between creativity and academic achievement. The results indicate that some differences exist between males and females on aspects of creativity related to academic achievement. Detterman (2009) reported that although there are no gender differences in overall IQ test performance, there do seem to be differences in some abilities. For instance, men on average seem to perform better in tests of spatial ability, albeit the reason for this difference is still unknown. Also, Onu, Eze, and Onuigbo (2008) examined the effect of training on ideational fluency in increasing creativity of students in Nigeria and found that gender has no significant influence on ideational fluency of schooling adolescents. Considering these inconclusive and unpredictable research findings among others reviewed in literature, the researcher deems it pertinent to investigate further gender influence in relation to whole brain learning and creative production. 10 In a nutshell, empirical researches reviewed and informal interview of regular teachers revealed a lack of differentiated programmes, and use of inappropriate instructional and learning methods in educating high ability children in Nigerian regular schools despite many exceptional children mainstreamed. Although literature abound in successful use of mind mapping and synectics strategies in enhancing creativity and whole brain learning in developed countries; yet, the researcher could not find such studies conducted in Nigeria. Hence they were conducted in a foreign culture and educational context; the findings lack external validity on learners in Nigeria. This assertion is in line with Ohuche and Otaala in Eze (1998) and Yamato in Hunt and Begler (2005) who explained that no development takes place independent of the cultural context in which it occurs, and that strategy use may vary based on ethnic, educational background and learning styles. Thus, the need to investigate the effects of mind mapping and synectics strategies on whole brain learning and creative production in the Nigerian culture and educational context is necessitated. Statement of the Problem High ability pupils are poorly served by most schools. As a result, many of them wrestle with opportunities in order to develop their potentials; some others underachieve creatively, develop antisocial maladaptive traits and may eventually drop out of schooling. In the Nigerian context, it was reported in literature reviewed that high ability children are the largest group of underachievers in education due to insufficient academic challenges, and inadequate materials for effective implementation of the instructional programmes. They lack exposure to problem solving projects, skill acquisition through working in other settings outside the school premises, and use of inappropriate learning strategies. Also, teachers lack in-depth knowledge of high ability pupils, and their exposure to education based on curriculum and instructional models for the gifted. These problems compound as regular classroom teachers do not modify appropriately the existing curriculum, use relevant teaching and learning strategies that integrate the whole brain, and engage special support services. As a result, the inclusion programmes advocated by Universal Basic Education in Nigeria do not satisfactorily serve the high ability pupils. Moreover, the Nigerian regular school by its traditional nature seems to be committed to curriculum that is intellectually based; formal oriented and directed toward examination. It offers little opportunity for creative work. The materials presented to the pupils are finished products, 11 providing very little scope for high ability children to think critically, creatively, and develop their whole potentials. The foregoing problems necessitate the development of appropriate learning strategies that will harness the whole brain potentials of high ability children, encourage abstract thinking, creativity, and independent learning at all levels of education. Since learning styles match thinking styles, isolating the right or left brain hemispheres during instruction will not promote creativity nor address the diversity of learning preferences. Therefore, learning programmes based on the right and left brain hemispheres would be apt for high ability pupils, diverse learners and regular teachers in the Nigerian regular school set up. Given that the empirical literature reviewed show synectics and mind mapping as efficacious learning strategies in boosting whole brain activities, creative approach to problem solving, and learners’ knowledge construction; therefore, the researcher sought to examine if strategy training on mind mapping and synectics could enhance whole brain learning and creative production among high ability pupils in Nigeria. With the cultural advantage of males over females, the differential treatment that limit females to certain careers and rights, the on – going agitation of females for leadership roles, and many contradictory and inconclusive research findings on gender and creativity, what would be the influence of gender on whole brain learning and creative production of high ability pupils? Purpose of the Study The general purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of mind mapping strategy and synectics technique on whole brain learning and creative production of high ability pupils. Specifically, the study intends to determine the: 1. Effect of mind mapping on whole brain learning of high ability pupils. 2. Effect of synectics technique on whole brain learning of high ability pupils. 3 Effect of mind mapping strategy on creative production of high ability pupils. 4 Effect of synectics technique on creative production of high ability pupils 5 Influence of gender on creative production of high ability pupils. 6 Influence of gender on whole brain learning of high ability pupils. 7 Interaction effect of mind mapping, synectics and gender on creative production of high ability pupils. 8 Interaction effect of mind mapping, synectics and gender on whole brain learning of high ability pupils. 9 Effects of mind mapping and synectics on brain dominance 12 Significance of the Study Generally, this study would be relevant to high ability children, diverse learners, special educators, allied professionals, regular teachers, curriculum planners, parents, book publishers and writers, government agencies, teacher training institutions, policy makers, business managers, and leaders of developing nations. Basically, the results of this study would be empowering high ability children mainstreamed in the Nigerian regular schools to increase creative learning outcomes, improve students’ behaviour and learning ability. Thus, the high ability children would be identified early and equipped with effective learning strategies that would harness their whole brain potentials, boost academic achievement and classroom creativity; at large, make them contributive toward national scientific and technological transformation. The findings of this study would also provide effective approaches to breaking out of limited thinking and developing consistent fresh thinking patterns for diverse learners in the Nigerian UBE schools as they learn to construct their own knowledge through independent thinking, creative production and optimize brain potentials. The findings of this study would be useful to special educators (particularly to gifted educators), and regular teachers in the Nigerian Universal Basic Education schools to increase classrooms’ right-brain learning activities by incorporating more patterning, metaphors, analogies, role-playing, visuals, and movement into their reading, calculation, and analytical activities. It will result in the development of a more accurate whole-brained evaluation of student learning, based on new forms of assessment that honor right-brained talents and skills. Differential educational programmes are required to harness the rare potentials of high ability children, in order to circumvent out of school syndrome due to insufficient, unchallenging learning tasks provided in regular school programmes. The finding of this study provides such extra stimulating materials and experiential learning that galvanize active participation of the whole brain in the education of high ability children. The findings of this study will be of much importance to curriculum planners, school administrators and examination bodies such as West African Examination Council and National Examination council in informing a paradigm shift from pedagogical practices, which are often based on the left brain scholastic activities to a more enriching, encompassing whole brain learning approach. It would necessitate the revision of school curricula, content, design, delivery of learning goals, and intellectually based measurement that marginalizes diverse learning and thinking styles of heterogeneous group of learners. 13 The findings of this study will equip parents, guidance/counselors, and other allied professionals with effective techniques for facilitating an easy identification, placement, and training of children with learning preferences both at home and in school. More so, it will provide resource for building the capacities of classroom teachers, educators in teachers training institutions, relevant government agencies, and in-service trainers through empowerment seminars, conferences, and workshops designed to improve teaching and learning practices. The findiings of this study will equally contribute immensely to ongoing research in the influence of gender on creativity and content achievement. It will provide very effective tools for explaining and changing societal attitudes, stereotypes and bias toward femininity, and proffer encompassing gender free solutions to academic problems and to quest for creative transformation in Nigerian society. It will also be informative for authors, publishers, and stakeholders in production of children’s educational textbooks, instructional materials, and activity books as they infuse creativity, and other graphic tools (such as mind mapping) in designs and presentation of ideas and activities. This study will significantly contribute to the body of academic research on the human brain, creativity, and academic achievement. Theoretically, training programmes in mind mapping and synectics provide learners with strategies for improved learning and creative activities in regular school, and are consistent with Enrichment Triad Model for educating high ability children. According to Renzulli and Reis (1997), this model was designed to encourage the creative productivity of young people by exposing them to various topics, areas of interest, and fields of study; and to further train them to apply advanced content, process-training skills, and methodology training to self-selected areas of interest. Also, the enrichment triad is based on the precept that all learners are unique, so all learning experiences must take into account their abilities, interest and learning styles. Since, Type II enrichment is consistent with training in areas such as creative thinking and problem solving, learning-how-to-learn skills such as classifying and analyzing data, advanced reference, and communication skills; the findings of this study would enable high ability children of diverse learning preferences to acquire strategies for integrating the left-brain processing skills (linear, sequential, symbolic, logical, verbal, and reality-based) with the right brain processing skills (holistic, random, concrete, intuitive, nonverbal, and fantasy-oriented) culminating in a more deeper learning and creative products. Scope of the Study The study was carried out in Nsukka town of Nsukka education zone. Nsukka town is the headquaters of Nsukka Local Government Area (one of the 17 LGAs in Enugu State), situated at 14 Enugu North Senatorial Zone of South-East Geo-political Zone of Nigeria. The study covered high ability pupils in primary six classes of three government-approved primary schools in Nsukka urban area. The choice of primary school for the study was informed by its foundational nature to subsequent educational levels. The choice of primary six pupils is justified by the assumption that they have acquired cognitive skills, a sound basis for scientific, reflective and creative thinking, which enables learner construction of knowledge. Primary six is the last class in primary education, the onset of formal operational thought characterized by thinking that involves deductive logic and abstract reasoning during the adolescent period of development. Thus, these pupils need opportunities to develop their creative capacity, which will in turn enable them to solve emerging personal/societal problems. Moreover, the identification of high ability children at this grade was eased by long period of teacher observation, and continuous assessment records. The independent variables in this study are mind mapping, synectics and gender; while the dependent measures are whole brain learning and creative production. Thus, the researcher focused on the effect of mind mapping and synectics on whole brain learning and creative production of high ability pupils. This research work is restricted to application of mind mapping and synectics, and was evaluated using the Creative Productivity Test Battery (visual synthesis, product improvement task, unusual uses task, imaginative stories and poem composition), and Whole Brain Self-Report Questionnaire. On the other hand, the training programmes were infused into English Composition content area of primary six English Studies curriculum. This is because English Composition requires creative and essay writings, and are adaptable to the independent variables under study. Research Questions The following research questions were formulated to guide this study: 1. What is the difference in the whole brain learning mean scores of high ability pupils exposed to training in mind mapping and those not exposed? 2. What is the difference in the whole brain learning mean scores of high ability pupils exposed to training in synectics and those not exposed? 3. What is the difference in the creative production mean scores of high ability pupils exposed to training in mind mapping and those not exposed? 4. What is the difference in the creative production mean scores of high ability pupils exposed to training in synectics and those not exposed? 15 5. What is the influence of gender on the whole brain learning mean scores of high ability pupils? 6. What is the influence of gender on the creative production mean scores of high ability pupils? 7. What is the difference in the brain dominance percentage scores of high ability pupils? Hypotheses The following hypotheses formulated to guide the study were tested at 0.05 probability level. Ho1 Training in mind mapping strategy has no significant effect on high ability pupils’ whole brain learning as measured by their mean scores on Whole Brain Self- Report Questionnaire. Ho2 Training in synectics technique has no significant effect on high ability pupils’ whole brain learning as measured by their mean scores on Whole Brain Self- Report Questionnaire. Ho3 Training in mind mapping strategy has no significant effect on high ability pupils’ creative production as measured by their mean scores on Creative Productivity Test Battery (CPTB). Ho4 Training in synectics technique has no significant effect on high ability pupils’ creative production as measured by their mean scores on Creative Productivity Test Battery (CPTB). Ho5 Gender has no significant influence on whole brain learning of high ability pupils as measured by their mean scores on Whole Brain Self-Report Questionnaire. Ho6 Gender has no significant influence on creative production of high ability pupils as measured by their mean scores on Creative Productivity Test Battery. Ho7 There is no significant interaction effect of mind mapping, synectics and gender on whole brain learning of high ability pupils as measured by their mean scores on Whole Brain Self-Report Questionnaire. Ho8 There is no significant interaction effect of mind mapping, synectics and gender on creative production of high ability pupils as measured by their mean scores on Creative Productivity Test Battery.