вторник, 10 марта 2015 г.

How to "Measure" the Creativity of Child?

In 1919 Walt Disney was fired by the newspaper in which he worked. The formulation was following: "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas". Now it seems ridiculous: probably there is no adult or child who is unfamiliar with cartoon films and films of the studio Disney. This example testifies that a “superficial estimation” cannot define the creative potential which a concrete person has.
Now there is an accruing tendency that everybody talks about the lack of creativity of children, there are a lot of statements that the level of creativity is falling catastrophically and it is necessary to do something with it. In various discussions, in the comments to the previous post,  the use of tests in the educational system, technologies, employment of parents, etc. were named as the reasons for such circumstances. Certainly, all these problems exist, but there is one more blank. And it is necessary to pay attention to it.
From the position of sociology of childhood, it is necessary to emphasize, that the above-mentioned problems are STILL discussed through the prism of vision of adults: the adults argue what the children's creativity is, what the children's play is (play is indissolubly connected with creativity), how to "raise" the level of creativity and innovative thinking. But is it possible "to measure" how many and how does child play, how many and how he or she does dance, draw and sing?

Cartoon film "The mitten" (1967) .

Children are very different: some of them express the emotions and feelings, run and jump, shout and do something here and now. Such displays are often associated by adults with play and creativity. However, there are also children who can be silent and closed. But actually in their heads, they imagine "battles", in their minds the verses and new fantasies are appearing. The absence of external attributes does not mean the absence of imagination, play and creativity. With the great pleasure I recollect an old Soviet cartoon film in which the little girl played with the mitten, she imagined that this mitten is a small puppy: she fed it, she played with it, she walked with this "puppy". It was an animated cartoon which made a tremendous impression on the small spectators: it was so desirable for every child to play with the mitten - to make from the mitten a puppy or a kitten. Interestingly, does the child who is sitting in an armchair and ironing the mitten, make the due impression of play and creativity on the adults?
Or there is another example: the boy is walking, he is silent and does not pay attention to anything, it seems that absolutely nothing is interesting for him. When he was asked what has happened, the following answer was received: «Do not interfere with my thoughts, please, I think over, what I will build of cubes and how I will play when I come home». And, really, some minutes later the fascinating play and «the star wars of the Kinder surprises» were possible to observe.
Certainly, somebody can tell, that modern children are others, they live and grow up in a new technological reality. However beautiful film with special effects can inspire an imagination, the computer game can wake the desire to add and complete something, and the heard audio fairy tale about Ole-Lukoje can force the child to look at pictures with the ships very attentively and to dream, that suddenly he or she will be there.
Children's creativity allows children to study through free play to overcome fears, to dream, to solve problems and even to receive the desirable.
It is impossible to force the child to create, it is impossible to force a child to play (in the classical understanding of free play). It is possible to motivate, to praise. All the rest -  the freedom of the choice of the concrete small person.
But we shall return to the question how "to measure" children's creativity? The most important that we need at the present time - to involve sociology of childhood (with its developed techniques) to study the child not as «a black box», but to learn from the position of children what creativity is for them, what play is for children, and it is the chance for us — for adults - to understand how to communicate with small people and not to extinguish a creative spark.


1 комментарий:

  1. Sydney Gurewitz Clemens (Author & Independent Early Childhood Professional /San Francisco Bay Area) commented in Linkedin group "Experienced Early Childhood Consultants:
    "Why measure creativity or, say, love? I assumed, when I was teaching, that all children were creative and should be offered many media so they each could find ones that suited them. Then I provided daily access to these media and supported children being their own critics and cheerleaders. Ann's idea that observation is the best way is right, but I think we should extend and support and applaud creativity, not measure it".

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