How does creativity manifest itself in the experience of an infant?
Teachers in one of our infant classrooms observed the children's joyful explorations of new materials, new spaces, and new people. As they observed and documented, the concept of creativity - what is it? how do we tap into? how do children view it? - became a central focus for the contextual curriculum taking place in the classroom.
Why is fostering creativity important
Once children start elementary school they don't have as many opportunities to be creative at school as they are slowly taught to do things a certain way. If children believe they need to do things in a certain way, it stifles their ability to think for themselves and be innovative. Given these obstacles, how do we help children recognize that creativity is an innate quality within them so they keep wondering, exploring and innovating; having enjoyment of experiences, confidence in trying new things and in ways others perhaps would not think of; and approaching life with a more open mind, more skills to approach any situation in life, and the ability to find joy in the simple things. Creativity is is at the heart of all that will drive them down the road. -Compilation of reflections from parents
As we engage alongside children in contextual curriculum, teachers develop research questions based on their observations of the children. Together, along with the children and families, educators developed these questions to guide the experiences they offered back to the children:
Educators defined creativity in the following ways...
Being creative doesn't just mean working with "art" materials. Creativity is broader and encompasses so much more; such as how we engage and communicate with people, how we solve problems, etc...
The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.
Creativity is the ability to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
Infancy is the most creative time in a human’s life! Creativity is embedded in everything young children do. They try new things, act on original ideas, recognize and observe creative acts by others, problem solve, and build relationships all day every day.
We compiled all of our research from readings, the Internet and families into a word cloud that generates a visual image of the words that appeared most frequently...
Resources related to "creativity" & "the creative process"
The resources below help us to learn more about the meaning of creativity and to inform ourselves about what has already been written and researched on the topic of creativity and infants.
Do Schools Kill Creativity - Sir Ken Robinson
Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and
Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education
Your Elusive Creative Genius - Elizabeth Gilbert
Tapping into our Parent Community
"Creativity is at the heart of all that will drive them down the road." - Room 2 Parent
Families shared their thoughts on the following questions - What comes to mind when you think of creativity? What does creativity mean to you?
CLICK HERE to view these responses
Families participated in a survey, designed to gather more specific information on the topic of infants and creativity, as well as to provoke families to discover their own creative capacities.
CLICK HERE to view the responses from the survey