ERIC Number: EJ868183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Can Movement Promote Creativity?
Young Children, v64 n4 p60-61 Jul 2009
Creativity can be an elusive concept. It may be misunderstood and difficult to define, but it is clearly necessary, particularly in a world so rapidly changing. Creative people are those who can imagine. This means they can imagine solutions to problems and challenges faced. They can also imagine what it is like to be someone or something else--that is, they possess empathy. They can imagine answers to the question, What if . . . ? They can plan full and satisfying futures. Although all children engage in creative thinking, they aren't likely to continue thinking creatively if their ideas are discouraged and they are continually told there is only one correct answer to any question (which, sadly, is what many types of testing teach them). Movement activities that require children merely to imitate the teacher do not foster creativity. When children are presented with a challenge, such as "Show me how crooked you can be," chances are that no two responses will be alike. Divergent thinking, one of the cognitive skills required for creativity, is enhanced through problem-solving challenges that allow for various responses. In addition, when the different responses received are validated, children realize that it's OK to find their own individual solutions and to not have to compete with one another. Their confidence grows, and they continue to take greater creative risks. Creative movement activities foster imagination. To replicate the movement of a turtle, children must imagine the slowness of that animal. To move as though they are sad, they must call to mind a time when they weren't happy. To achieve a certain group shape or an act of balance, they must first envision it. Movement exploration, then, is an effective teaching method. Because it results in a variety of responses to each challenge presented, it is an example of divergent problem solving. In this article, the author offers some suggestions on how to present children with challenges.
Descriptors: Motor Reactions, Creativity, Creative Thinking, Empathy, Risk, Teacher Expectations of Students, Feedback (Response), Teacher Effectiveness, Teaching Methods, Problem Solving
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://journal.naeyc.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A