a page from my first art journal(This post comes with a warning - I am going to get on my soapbox...)
As I have got older, I have realised the vital importance of creativity in my own life. However, the word 'creativity' has a difficulty in itself. Say it to people and they think of art, music or drama - the 'creative' subjects. A new report has just been published about creativity in education in the UK, called The Durham Report. For quite a few years, creativity in education has not been given the time and recognition it deserves. In the report (which I admit, I haven't read all of yet) there is a definition of creativity:
"Creativity: The capacity to imagine, conceive, express, or make something that was not there before."
Other definitions in the report are:
"Creative thinking: A process through which knowledge, intuition and skills are applied to imagine, express or make something novel or individual in its contexts. Creative thinking is present in all areas of life. It may appear spontaneous, but it can be underpinned by perseverance, experimentation, critical thinking and collaboration."
"Teaching for creativity: Explicitly using pedagogies and practices that cultivate creativity in young people. "
The gradual removal of creativity from the curriculum over the last ten years or so (since I was working with four and five year olds) has upset and bothered me enormously. I do feel that this has been a contributing factor to the huge increase in mental health issues affecting young people. (I do realise that there are many other contributing factors and that each person will have experienced many different causes).
I remember going to a school to help my husband with a puppet making day a few years ago and was told that we were part of a creativity week which happened every two years...at that point, I despaired for the children.
So, the point of this post? Well, with the publishing of this report, perhaps the curriculum makers will have the dawning realisation that we are all creative beings and we need to express this. Perhaps children will be encouraged to explore their creative ideas, which will be valuable and valued and perhaps this will benefit future generations too. I am feeling just that little bit more hopeful. We shall see.