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In his book, The Element, Sir Ken Robinson, whose recent death has been mourned by countless educators, wrote: “Being in your element is not only about aptitude. It’s about passion: it is about loving what you do…tapping into your natural energy and your most authentic self.” Robinson urged adults to nurture creativity as a way to help children connect with their innate passions.
John Rosenow, in his book, Living Long and Living Well, also writes about the importance of nurturing children’s creative instincts from an early age. He tells the stories of accomplished people from a wide range of professions, all of whom were encouraged as children to follow their unique interests. He writes this of world-renowned painter Georgia O’Keeffe’s mother, Ida:
“There is one aspect of Ida’s parenting approach that today’s over-eager parents would do well to emulate: While she made sure that her daughters had painting and drawing lessons, she ‘neither encouraged nor discouraged her daughters, thereby teaching them that their art was their own, and that they should aim for excellence only because they wanted to.’ Georgia obviously wanted to. And her mother supported her.”
In an article that is part of an Out of the Box Training Kit, “Sparking Imagination,” author Karen Stephens writes about the importance of play in supporting children’s imaginations and creativity:
“At a brisk pace, research findings focused on children's play are finally reaching the light of day in popular media. No longer left sitting in archives of academic journals, the benefits of play to lifelong success have been touted in radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. It gives early childhood professionals a powerful, credible advocacy tool to use with parents and community leaders as we strive to put children's play back into the heart of early childhood curriculum.”
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