Early Childhood Creativity: Challenging Educators in Their Role to Intentionally Develop Creative Thinking in Children

Abstract

Creativity is a topic of wide global interest, often discussed in fields such as education, psychology and business (Runco, Divergent thinking and creative potential, Hampton Press, New York, 2013; Yoruk and Runco, Journal for Neurocognitive Research 56:1–16, 2014). However, the relationship of pedagogical practices in early childhood education and care (ECEC) as it applies to the development of creative thought processes of young children is a relatively new area for investigation. This paper presents recent research that examines the role of the educator as an intentional teacher within Australian early learning environments and investigates the relationship of this role to children’s developing creativity. Theoretically informed by Vygotsky’s sociocultural constructivist approach (Vygotsky, Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1930, 1978) and neo-Vygotskian theories on creativity (John-Steiner and Moran, Educational Psychologist 31:191–206, 2012), this paper explores some of the beliefs and understandings of educators on creativity. Furthermore, this paper exposes some of the misconceptions of educators about children’s creative thinking as they engage in play-based learning activities. The evidence from this Australian study suggests that the role of the educator is pivotal in assisting children in the early development of creative thinking thus challenging their role as educators.

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Leggett, N. Early Childhood Creativity: Challenging Educators in Their Role to Intentionally Develop Creative Thinking in Children. Early Childhood Educ J 45, 845–853 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-016-0836-4

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Keywords

  • Creativity
  • Creative thinking
  • Intentional teaching
  • Early childhood
  • Play