Supporting early childhood professionals worldwide in
their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults.
By Lella GandiniGo to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6
"Creative? Me? No way!"
"Creativity is a gift - you either have it or you don't."
"I'm not at all creative, I can't even draw a line, I'm not the one to help children be creative."
"Sure it would be nice to do creative activities with the children, but there's limited money for art materials."
Educators like these hold a passive concept of creativity. For them, creativity is equated only with artistic expression, a mere accessory to the learning experience. Children in their classrooms are not encouraged to venture into their own ideas - to explore, to experiment, to risk.
But there is another, well-researched (Hendrick) definition that, when applied, can transform early childhood classrooms into exciting, stimulating workshops where busy minds are engaged in
problem-solving. By this definition, creativity is the production of novel thoughts, solutions, and/or products based on previous experience and knowledge. It follows directlythat:
_ Creativity can emerge both from the process and from the results of children's learning experiences.
_ Novel thoughts, solutions, and products can be brought forth by different types of learning, not only when children are provided with art materials.
_ When children are working to express themselves and to represent the world around them, creativity can be fostered by supporting their own ways to explore, to inquire, and to be active with their hands and bodies.
In many schools and centers for young children, in the United States as well as in other countries, I have seen the results of a good integration of learning and creativity; I have observed the sense of joy and self-esteem that children gain through this integrated experience. These feelings of joy and self-esteem reverberate throughout the environment and affect all people connected with the school.
Among the common elements present in these learning places are:
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