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Thinking Creatively About Creative Development


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I've just read this excellent thought provoking article. My first thoughts as I read it were;

 

Great maths has been included in the 'category' of creativity. I'm not a particularly good mathematician, but I do love numbers in the context of 'playing around with them'. I like the number 8 just because of it's shape, the way it flows when written. I would have likd to have read more about the maths element of creativity.

 

I love the way this article has broadened the often narrow view of what creativity is defined as, yet on the other hand some of the 'definition' quotes are quite elloquantly and profoundly spoken. Showing that some people see creativity as more than just Art, Music and dance.

 

Another thought I had as I read it was that to me, one of the most important factors about 'being creative' is how individual it is, how it originates from thought, so the most important resource for creative development is the brain and the willingness of adults to 'open up' childrens minds by REALLY listening to childrens thoughts. I think we spend so much time on observing what children do and not enough time on the thinking processes behind what they are doing. How often do we ask a child and what do you think...............about an abstract subject that doesn't have a right or wrong answer.

 

 

I then thought about how the creative process is so flexible in a young childs mind, what I mean is their thought processes so often follow a different path to where we think it might be going, or it starts in a place we didn't expect it to. How often has a child said something to you and you've then said to a colleague, "Where did that come from", because it was either a very profound thought or what they've said is totally out of context to what you were thinking.

 

The ideas a child has follows an infinitive path, one thought feeding off of the other, we see this sometimes when a child does a painting or creates a model, for example we think the painting we are observing is going to be a house and garden, then the 'people' are added and then it becomes abstract with some parts of it from the childs experiences, black is added for night time, then some parts what they then think could be in the now dark night and a rocket then alien is added etc etc. With stamina, resources and time a childs painting could go on for ever........to infinity.

 

I then thought, how creativity becomes different for adults. f we just look at art, how many adults during a 'normal' day take time out to create something artistically? Yes, as the article says, we adults do use creative thought for problem solving, communicating ( I was praised today for a creative email I sent which made clear my message), responding spontaneously with the children.....I'm finding it difficult to think of other ways adults are creative....hmmmm making meals ( or is this now a process with an expected end product, thus a chore).

 

So, I've rambled my thoughts now on not the whole article but parts that evoked thoughts that I wanted to share and I have two questions.

 

1/ What 'creative' thing/act did you do today?

 

2/ Has there ever been a time when you've created something that you didn't expect to when you started. In other words you explored without having an end goal, but achieved something you remember and have repeated since.

 

 

My answers are;

 

1/ I've created this post.

 

2/ In my early days of childcare training (1983) our tutor gave us students some art resources, paint paper, etc etc etc, I started just 'playing around' with 'stuff', not having anything in mind. I then decided to fold the paper, squirt lines of paint straight from the bottles onto one side, near the centre, in a vertical fashion. I then folded the paper and chose what was then called an afro comb, and combed the paper from centre to edge. When I opened it up the result was, if I say so myself, fantastic. The colours all intermingled with each other, looking like a feathery texture. Each time I did it there was a different result, not one looking the same (although similar) each time I unfolded the paper the result would provoke a 'wow' response.

So, in a sense I created a painting technique that I've often repeated just for the feeling of when the paper is unfolded.

(attached pics)

The 'idea' came from my knowledge of butterfly prints, but the creativity was from 'playing around' with this knowledge, plus exploring the use of tools for different purposes.

This is a good example of why children should be able to take 'resources' to any part of the setting, and not have ther 'use' confined to set areas. :o

 

I look forward to reading your thoughts, answers to my queries. xD

 

Peggy

post-3604-1226098950_thumb.jpg

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I love reading your posts Peggy I find them thought provoking as well as knowledgeable and find myself quoting things you have said at work. Thank you for another intriguing question and in answer;

My creative thing from today (which as you can see from the time is actually yesterday) is the completion of a cardigan I've been knitting. I love to knit, it's my wind down time after the children are in bed and my husband is asleep on the settee!

Something I created unexpectedly happened a few years ago when my mum (a confectioner) was unable to complete a 21st cake for a friend's daughter and I stepped in to "give it a go". The design mum had chosen was quite intricate and I asked if I could alter things a little and the end result was a hat box with bows and stars that even mum said was "brill". I started off just hoping to be able to put the rolled icing on straight and found a new talent that I now use at least a couple of times per month. My next creation will be Pudsey for my birthday which this year falls on Children in Need day and which I will be sharing with the children at pre-school!

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Thanks Peggy very interesting :(

Embarking on my maths for degree I am often amused (not sure if thats the right word) at my maths teachers enthusiasm. He gets excited at the whole idea of number and the whole process and working of them. It is actually lovely to see :o and although I dont actually share his excitement i will admit i get pleasure from his (if you know what i mean)!!!

 

I could tell you i am not a creative person indeed im not good with my hands and havent any artistic flair but of course we know creativity isnt lucklily just about that. What I can do is 'tell a good story ' xD not a fib you understand :( but I am able to capture a group of children's imagination and take it as far as they want to and beyond.

 

As a teenager I once wrote a short story which turned into a whole book as a few of my peers begged me to write more eagerly waiting to read the next chapter!!!

 

Andrea

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Adbenaja, thanks for your kind words, credit for my thoughts must go to Martine for such a wonderful article. :(

Knitting, I could never master, maybe a bit too prescriptive for me, although I was inspired to knit one cardigan for my new born son, unfortunately it took me so long to me he had grown out of it before he could even wear it. xD :wacko:

Your cake experience sounds just like my 'art' one, just reading your comments made me feel that your experience provoked the same feelings of pride. :rolleyes:

 

Andreamay, Well, did you get the book published? if not, willing to share on here? As you say creativity is not just the 'arts', I too love storytelling, even more than reading books to children. :(

I am the worlds worse fibber, which isn't a bad thing is it. xD

 

ooh, I'm really looking forward to reading more responses, but don't forget to have a look at Martines article, to me 'children' are the pinnacle (spl) of creative beings. (how profound is that statement :o:( )

 

Peggy

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Wow Peggy!

 

You should visit schools and say all of that!

 

What have I done today that's creative? ..........ummmmm ......... lots of thoughts ......... quite an interesting swirly sape in my soup......but I'm afraid nothing much else. Been coming in and out of this site while trying to set targets onto paper for my whole class which I have to hand in on Monday!

 

My Son is currently creating a nice sound on the tambourine while inventing his own song in a very strange language. How nice to be so free with his thoughts !! Going to ask him what he was singing....wonder if he knows???

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Hello Pegg

I wondered where I can find this article - I think it would help me so much with my nvq 4

Your posts were very interesting - thanks

 

 

There are many great articles to read, you can find them by looking on the index box to the left of your screen (below 'The Forums' and above 'resources'.

 

If this doesn't help, here is the link members articles index

 

Good luck with your studies :o

 

Peggy

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Wow Peggy!

 

You should visit schools and say all of that!

 

What have I done today that's creative? ..........ummmmm ......... lots of thoughts ......... quite an interesting swirly sape in my soup......but I'm afraid nothing much else. Been coming in and out of this site while trying to set targets onto paper for my whole class which I have to hand in on Monday!

 

My Son is currently creating a nice sound on the tambourine while inventing his own song in a very strange language. How nice to be so free with his thoughts !! Going to ask him what he was singing....wonder if he knows???

 

 

Like you I find this site a great place to be whilst 'procrastinating' over a task or chore I should really be doing :o

 

Maybe one of your targets could be to 'voice' a thought. xD (and one for your staff, to 'listen' to a thought, without comment but with a facial expression that will enourage additional verbal thought :( )

 

Son's (or daughters) are great for distraction too, :wacko:

Does it matter 'what' he was singing, it's the how and joy of it that counts. :(xD . He may have already forgotten his 'singing train of thought' so if you 'listen' closely next song you will gain an insight to his thoughts that you would otherwise have missed, had you not listened. Sometimes we only know our thoughts as we have them, once they have been 'thought' they sometimes just 'disappear' into thin air. :rolleyes: :(. Adults can help 'catch those thoughts' and help children to remember them, but timing is sometimes crucial in this.

 

Peggy

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Peggy

Gosh it was a very long time ago and was in an excercise book it will be long gone now :(

I dont have the same romantic imagination well actually i have (comes from being married to the same man for 29 years!! xD and involves mr Darcy :o )but we wont go there!!! However perhaps one day when i have time!!!

Andrea

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Peggy

Gosh it was a very long time ago and was in an excercise book it will be long gone now :(

I dont have the same romantic imagination well actually i have (comes from being married to the same man for 29 years!! :( and involves mr Darcy :o )but we wont go there!!! However perhaps one day when i have time!!!

Andrea

 

 

Yes, time does impact on creativity, doesn't it. I too one day may 'write that book'. xD

 

Peggy

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thanks Peggy for pointing that out (and to Martine for writing it), Id not seen it before. Im one of those people with a foot definitely in the maths as creative camp,

Im rubbish at art music and all that stuff, but give me a problem to solve.. well enough said really. I remember writing about how algebra was essentially a creative process when I was studying years ago!

 

What have I done today to be creative? Ive pruned a very overgrown bush!!

 

Q2 requires more thought!

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Like you I find this site a great place to be whilst 'procrastinating' over a task or chore I should really be doing :o

- yes I am the world's greatest procrastinator!

 

Maybe one of your targets could be to 'voice' a thought. xD (and one for your staff, to 'listen' to a thought, without comment but with a facial expression that will enourage additional verbal thought :( )

- love it!

 

Son's (or daughters) are great for distraction too, :wacko:

Does it matter 'what' he was singing, it's the how and joy of it that counts. :(xD . He may have already forgotten his 'singing train of thought' so if you 'listen' closely next song you will gain an insight to his thoughts that you would otherwise have missed, had you not listened. Sometimes we only know our thoughts as we have them, once they have been 'thought' they sometimes just 'disappear' into thin air. :rolleyes: :(. Adults can help 'catch those thoughts' and help children to remember them, but timing is sometimes crucial in this.

- This is lovely and real 'food for thought'. I did ask my son what he had been singing - and his reply was to shrug his shoulders, look at me as though I was asking a really stupid question (which of course I was!!) and say "I dunno!"

 

Peggy

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sorry peggy didn't mean to write MY comments in with your quote like that. Was trying to be too clever . Now I'm going to try and edit - this will be intersting! :o

 

 

 

WOW - Done it!

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I spent most of yesterday at a Christmas Craft workshop and, boy was it fun? Came home feeling proud, the happiest I've been in ages, caught up with some old friends and made some new ones, sense of achievement doing things I've never done before..............

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  • 1 month later...

Happy New Year everyone and thank you Peggy just read this thread!

 

I feel sorry that there is so much pressure these days in education be it at pre school or school that practitioners do not feel they have the time or the right to be creativein their settings. I had never thought of myself as a creative person but as I get older and see my young colleagues tied to such initiatives as the national strategies I begin to feel very creative. With age comes the confidence to say 'Heh! wait a minute I don't think that will benefit the children!' or 'OK so how can I do this the way I know will be best for the children?'

 

Some years ago I was fortunate enough to go to a study week in Reggio Emilia and was amazed at the expectations and the attitudes to the children in these pre schools and ever since then I hold the children at the heart of all I do and again I can see just how creative their young minds are before our school system develops them into conforming human beings! sorry to sound so negative here but what i would love to see is more and more practitioners shouting out loud at the need to be creative as this is the major skill that todays 0 - 5 year olds will need in the future.

 

As for my own creativity I have started to make my own necklaces and the best thing is when you are fed up with one you can un-thread and rethrread in another design.

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Have just been reading the postings in this interesting discussion, and couldn't agree more about creative mathematics! Creativity is possible throughout the entire curriculum and we have found that this is especially so when young children are able to choose to use their own graphics - children's mathematical graphics - to represent their thinking.

 

You might be interested to see this article: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net/creat...mathematics.pdf

 

And for more details see: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net/index.htm

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Have just been reading the postings in this interesting discussion, and couldn't agree more about creative mathematics! Creativity is possible throughout the entire curriculum and we have found that this is especially so when young children are able to choose to use their own graphics - children's mathematical graphics - to represent their thinking.

 

You might be interested to see this article: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net/creat...mathematics.pdf

 

And for more details see: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net/index.htm

 

 

Hi MaulfreyW! Just to compliment you on your interesting article about creative mathematics - or rather the lack of it! In the wake of the Independent Review of Mathematics by Sir Peter Williams (June 2008) you are likely to become very well-read as we clamour to respond positively to his findings that children are rarely supported to make mathematical marks as ways to explore recording and that emergent 'maths graphics' are equally as important to mathematical thinking as 'emergent writing' is to literacy development but not recognised as such.

 

The research findings in your article will be of particular use to me because I am involved in the task of encouraging and persuading our Reception classes to undergo changes which are contextually identical to some of your research findings. The ladies concerned are rather resistant to the idea of including creative maths graphics in their core provision; preferring instead to carry on churning out the colouring in, writing on top of dots type of maths worksheets you mention in your article as a good way to prevent young children from understanding written maths.

 

We have already looked through the Williams recommendations as a team; but it didn't have the desired effect as a change agent. !

 

Like you I am a new user (think this might be my 4th post) - but the exchange of information is such an asset to my work/role already. Perhaps your article will swing it for me. Wish me luck!

 

Happy new year.

 

Fingertips

 

 

despite agreeing to take a more creative approach to mathematics;

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Thanks for your kind comments!

 

I think it is really difficult for Reception teachers at the moment, since there are pressures and demands coming at them from all sides! The outcome is that they often feel pressurized and stressed as they strive to keep up. Change can be challenging and sometimes (with so much changing around us in education) people like to keep with what they know.

 

In her article Martine wrote: 'These processes involved in creation do not necessarily develop into the final making of a creation, but more often than not, the process itself is the most important thing' - something we have said is also true for children's mathematical graphics. I'm adding a link to an article showing some of the positive outcomes of creativity in early 'written' maths: http://www.childrens-mathematics.net/artic...ch_uncovers.pdf :o

 

I wonder if some of the teachers and practitoners you work with might be encouraged to join in discussions on this website (as a starting point)? Best of all is when teachers choose to start making some small changes in the way they work because they can see the benefits for the children (but I know there's no short-cut to achieving this)!

 

And yes ! Wishing you good luck!

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