ERIC Number: ED389474
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Encouraging Creativity in Early Childhood Classrooms. ERIC Digest.
Edwards, Carolyn Pope; Springate, Kay Wright
This digest considers teacher- and child-initiated strategies for enhancing young children's self-expression and creativity. When teachers think about art and creative activities for children, it is important for them to consider that young children: (1) are developmentally capable of classroom experiences which call for (and practice) higher level thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; (2) need to express ideas through different expressive avenues and symbolic media; (3) learn through meaningful activities in which different subject areas are integrated; and (4) benefit from in-depth exploration and long-term projects. Given what is known about young children's learning and their competence to express their visions of themselves, classrooms and classroom activities can be modified in several ways to support children's emerging creativity. First, class schedules should provide children with unhurried time to explore. Children should not be artificially rotated from one activity to another. Second, children's work spaces should inspire them. Children's work is fostered by a space that has natural light, harmonious colors, and comfortable work areas. Third, teachers can provide children with wonderful collections of resource materials that might be bought, found, or recycled. Fourth, the classroom atmosphere should reflect the adults' encouragement and acceptance of mistakes, risk-taking, innovation, and uniqueness, along with a certain amount of mess, noise, and freedom. In order to create such a climate, teachers must give themselves permission to try artistic activity. Finally, teachers can provide occasions for intense encounters between children and their inner or outer world. Children's best work involves such encounters. (BC)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.