Sep 25 2013

How to encourage your child’s creativity?

Creativity guru, Sir Ken Robinson has had more YouTube hits than most never mind that he is not the latest pop sensation but an expert on education. His YouTube video ‘Changing Paradigms’ is a critique of education systems around the world and how our antiquated pedagogies are failing children and preventing them from achieving their potential. He also addresses an oft avoided question – why and how do we and should we educate our children? Rather than considering these questions, politicians often hide behind the adages of ‘raising standards’, ‘better results’ and ‘getting back to basics’.

Sir Ken Robinson particularly laments the ways in which education stifles and kills the creativity of our children.

“Creative Light Bulb With Happy Family Drawing” by KROMKRATHOG. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Why is creativity important?

Describing creativity as the “process of having original ideas that have value”, Sir Ken Robinson considers it imperative for our economic and cultural future. We live in uncertain and unpredictable times. As the global economy has shuddered and groaned over the last few years, the employment market has changed, in some ways unrecognisably. Not only can we not predict the shifting sands beneath us in the distant future, but we cannot envisage the near future either. Today’s children will need to find ever more creative, entrepreneurial and resilient ways of making a living and being world citizens.

Can creativity be improved?

According to a study by Breakpoint into divergent thinking (a way of seeing multiple answers to a problem), cited by Ken Robinson, 98% of the children tested (at kindergarten age) were geniuses. However, ten years later this had diminished to 10%. Whilst divergent thinking is not the same thing as creativity, Sir Ken Robinson considers divergent thinking as an ‘essential capacity’ for creativity. Surely education should improve our innate talents and skills? Do we not acquire new abilities and progress as we go through life? The intimation in the Changing Paradigms video is that education and standardised testing have a lot to answer for in stunting the development of creativity in our children. However, it does not have to decline with age.  Just like the use of a muscle, creativity is a skill that needs to be honed and practised.

How can you encourage creativity in your children?

“Missile On Constellation”. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • - Remember, the possibilities are endless. There are multiple answers. Dare to dream…
  • - Role-play and free play are both fantastic to open up the imagination. If your children are struggling to come up with ideas for this you may want some props. A sheet and some chairs can create a super tent for a scenario – treasure to seek, a valiant rescue to exact, a mountain to conquer.
  • - Construction toys such as lego or building blocks without a set model to make. Leave it open ended. Perhaps the end result will be a cross between a helicopter and a boat which can only operate on the imaginary planet of Zog.
  • - Encourage risk taking and exploration. Not every exploration will result in a work of unparalleled ingenuity but this is the process of learning. Allow children to try mixing colours together to form that leaf shade of green and encourage them to reflect on how successful it was. How could it be improved? What other colours could you try? What would happen if…?
  • - Praise effort rather than an innate ability. Encourage the process rather than the end result.
  • - Ask open ended questions such as ‘What would happen if…?’ ‘How else could we solve this problem?’ ‘Tell me what might happen next?’ ‘Why do you think that?’
  • - Boost confidence. A child cannot maximise his or her creative potential if he/she doesn’t have the confidence to “have a go” or dare to think differently.
  • - Provide a creative environment which includes light and space as well as allowing children to independently choose and dictate their line of investigation. Let activities be messy in a set “area” and make sure that children help to clear up afterwards.
  • - Let children direct outings. Get them to choose a museum. Ask them what they would like to find out about and how they might do it. Scaffold independence and allow them to take the lead.

“Plastic Building Blocks”. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

References

http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/publications/55502/55502.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U&noredirect=1

Comments

  • Kreativnost kod dece mora da se podstice raznim vrstama metoda koje koristimo da bi decu podstakli na razmisljanje o onome sto je predmet njihovog interesovanja , i sto ce drzati njihovu koncetraciju onoliko dugo koliko je potrebno da bi dete shvatilo na koji najbolji nacin se neki problem moze resiti .
    Sigurno da saveti o tome kako da deciju mastu prilagodimo onome sto stvarno treba da znaju o zivotu uopste ne treba da predstavlja problem onima koji brinu o pravilnom razvitku i odrastanju u kome nema mesta losim navikama i losem odnosu prema znanju koje deca usvajaju prvo od svojih roditelja pa dalje od svojih ucitelja , koji moraju imati u vidu brzinu prihvatanja onoga sto je potrebno da dete zna u odredjenom uzrastu za koje se vezuje ono sto mu se nudi .
    Normalno je da deci treba dati prostora da pored standardnih metoda ucenja prilagodi i usvoji ono sto nije deo skolskih aktivnosti kojima decu ucimo pravim vrednostima u zivotu i na taj nacin nadopunimo ono sto fali vec unapred utvrdjenom nacinu na koji dete prihvata ono sto mora znati kako bi moglo da se razvija u skladu sa svojim potrebama da ih iskoristi da prosiruje granice svog znanja na one oblasti koje se ne nalaze u standardizovanim nacinima ucenja koje smo usvojili kao polaznu osnovu onoga sto je deci potrebno kako bi u kasnijem dobu mogli lakse da donose odluke koje se ticu toga kako ce ziveti .
    Sigurno je da postoji mnogo raznih tehnika kojima se mogu razvijati detetova cula od najranijeg uzrasta i na taj nacin mozemo napredovati u sistemu obrazovanja da nove metode ne odbacujemo kao nesto sto moze stetno da utice na detetov razvoj , vec kao pomocno sredstvo vec poznatim nacinima na koje deca uzimaju ono sto im je potrebno da bi isli dalje kroz zivot bolje i lakse nego ikad pre , prilagodjavajuci svoje potrebe svojim stvarnim interesovanjima i mogucnostima kojima prosiruju vidike i perspektive njihovog razvoja .

  • Creativity in children must be encouraged to various kinds of methods that we use to encourage children to think about what the subject of their interest, and that will keep their concentration for as long as is necessary to make the child understand that the best way to solve a problem is .
    Certainly advice on how to adapt to children’s imagination to what you really need to know about life in general should not be a problem for those who worry about the proper development and growing up in a place where there are no bad habits and bad attitude towards the knowledge that children acquire first from their parents and away from our teachers, who have to bear in mind the speed of acceptance of what you need to know a child in a certain age, who are tied what was being offered.
    It is normal for children to be given space in addition to the standard methods of instruction adapt and adopt what is not part of school activities that teach kids real values ​​in life and thus supplement what is missing but a pre-determined manner in which the child accepts what he needs to know in order to could be developed in accordance with their needs to use them to extend the boundaries of their knowledge in those areas that are not in a standardized way of learning that we have adopted as the starting point of what the children need to at a later age are better able to make decisions that regarding how they will live.
    Certainly there are many different techniques that can develop baby’s senses from an early age, and in this way we can make progress in the education system that the new method does not reject as something that can have a negative impact on a child’s development, but as an aid already known ways in which children take what they need to go further in life better and easier than ever before, adapting to their needs to their real interests and abilities with expanded horizons and perspectives of their development.

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