Creativity In educational environments creative learning and creativity can have a variety of meanings. Creativity consists of traditional creative arts and the development of imagination and imaginative play, such as role play and small world play. Creativity is about helping children to find ways to express themselves through a range of arts and crafts, such as crafts e. g. sewing, drawing and painting, design, music and creative movement e. g. dance.
Creativity is about exploring emotions and expressions, therefore, the focus of creativity in this sense is only partially about producing an end product and is more about enjoying and learning from the process. Creativity in this context, links to the Creative Development area of learning both in the EYFS in England and the Foundation Phase in Whales. Creative Learning Creative learning is about helping children develop imaginative thinking through an exploration of materials/objects and problem-solving skills, such as construction and ICT.
It is also about giving children opportunities to make connections between different areas and to relate to them. Some creative learning activities may be goal orientated for example making a den. The den is the goal but the children will be exploring the different materials to use for a roof or planning out how to support the roof, therefore, they will be practicing their problem-solving skills. Theoretical approaches Up to press there are several different theoretical approaches that aim to explain creativity and creative learning.
It can be a complicated area because being creative involves many processes. Cognitive theories Cognitive theories involve the ways in which children and young people make associations and connections between things. They focus on the way in which the brain processes information. Some theorists such as Robert Sternberg and Howard Gardener, argue that being able to make new connections and create a drawing from them is a type of intelligence.
In our own children’s settings cognitive theories suggest that professionals need to provide plenty of first hand experiences and opportunities for children so that they can develop knowledge and draw on their own views and experiences. Nature or nurture Nature versus nurture is a debate in the area of psychology. In terms of children’s creativity, some think children are born naturally creative, for example having a gift for music or having a creative personality. This is known as the “nature” theory. Others believe creativity is something that can be taught. This is known as the “nurture” theory.