NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ935011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
When Is Creativity? Intrinsic Motivation and Autonomy in Children's Artmaking
Jaquith, Diane B.
Art Education, v64 n1 p14-19 Jan 2011
The title of this article borrows loosely from the philosopher Nelson Goodman, whose classic essay "When is Art" addresses context and symbolic function. The discussion in this article concerns an entirely different matter: identifying moments when a learner's creativity is sparked in school art programs. The word "creativity" usually enters conversations with students, teachers, parents, and administrators as a generic term for children's overall artistic output. Now school systems are rapidly incorporating 21st-century skills into their curricula, including creativity skills. In order to implement these skills in classrooms, teachers need to know what is and what is not creative work. There is great joy in the surprises that emerge when learners direct their own artmaking. This is the gift found in teaching--to watch learners take control and become independent thinkers and doers. When is creativity "not" in school art programs? Creativity is not found in rote exercises and prescribed assignments. Creativity is compromised by external motivations that supply students with excessive information, reward closed systems, and place undue emphasis on grades and deadlines. Creativity can arise when students respond to visual culture around them, particularly when they can integrate meaningful connections with popular culture into their own work. Creativity abounds when a student thinks divergently, ponders, intuits, perceives, infers, plays, makes mistakes, and embraces ambiguity. Creativity in school art programs thrives when learners are intrinsically motivated and have full autonomy to problem find and solve, defer, revise, redirect, and work at their own pace. In this article, the author lists some strategies that can help encourage creativity during art class. (Contains 7 figures.)
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A