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Early Childhood Education and Creative Learning Essay

1. Analyse the differences between creative learning and creativity. Creativity and creative learning are highlighted by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework as being a significant aspect in the holistic development of young children. Children need to have the opportunities to respond in an individual and personal way, make choices and follow new ideas uninhibited by adult expectations. Many people believe creative learning and creativity are the same but in fact they are very different.

Creative learning is about how children are actively involved in their own learning and their ability to make choices and decisions. Ofstead states that among professionals, creative learning is seen as questioning and challenging, making connections and seeing relationships, envisaging what might be, exploring ideas, keeping options open and reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes. (Ofstead 2010) Creativity however is about seeing things in a new way and using your imagination.

Being creative is strongly linked to play and by allowing children to explore and express themselves through a variety of media or materials including, dance, music, craft, drawing, painting and role play, children are able to produce original outcomes in a variety of ways. The National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (NACCCE) defines creativity as “imagination, fashioned so as to produce outcomes which are original and of value” (NACCCE, 1999) and believes all people have the capacity and democratic right, to be creative in all aspects of life.

2. Explain current theoretical approaches to creativity and creative learning in early childhood. Western society has for many years supported the idea of nurturing children’s creativity to enhance early childhood education, inspired by Swiss philosopher Jean-Jaccques Rousseau’s ‘Romantic’ view first voiced in the eighteenth century that acknowledged children’s curiosity and capacity to make new ideas and meanings. In 1999, Gopnik, Meltzoff and Kuhl supported this theory with revolutionised ideas on the human mind and childhood.

They believed that babies are born with the ability to make connections to the world around them and with this desire to explore is born curiosity, in turn developing our creativity. However, Woolf and Belloli (2005) state that children also need a supportive environment and the opportunities in which to develop the skills required to support their creativity. Adults should encourage children, provide new materials, such as stories, music and dance in order to explore and offer interest and praise to promote self value and a feeling of achievement.

More contemporary theories support Woolf and Belloli’s ideas, such as the Effective Provision of Preschool Education Project (EPPE) 2004, which emphasises the importance of adult supported play. Interaction and acknowledgement during play is significant, for it is the process and not the final outcome that is central to creative learning. It is also believed that creativity and creative learning support holistic development in the early years, improving overall outcomes especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

By developing a child’s innate curiosity and creativity, practitioners are able to build on current skills and expand opportunities. The Thomas Coram Children’s Centre in Camden, London focuses on the Every Child Matters Agenda and the importance of creativity in the early years and shows from a study conducted in 2009, that 90% of the cohort of children who left that year, reached or exceeded expectations for their age, although only 56% were reaching expectations on entry to the centre.

Studies have emphasised the importance of developing creative practice in the early years setting and fostering creativity directly from the child, encouraging a child’s ideas and promoting the possibilities. Jeffrey and Craft (2010) believe this practice to be ‘learner inclusive’ by providing young children with the means and resources to demonstrate their own unique skills, initiating their own ideas and developing their own perception of the world around them. 3.

Critically analyse how creativity and creative learning can support young children’s emotional, social, intellectual, communication and physical development. Creativity and Creative learning can be delivered across the whole curriculum and can support each of the Early Learning Foundation Stage’s six areas of development: Personal; Social and Emotional; Communication, Language and Literacy; Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy; Knowledge and Understanding of the World; Physical Development (Gross motor and fine motor) and Creative Development.

All these areas must be delivered through a balance of child initiated and adult led activities and are all equally significant in the holistic development of young children. Personal, Social and Emotional Supports development through the process of selecting and using activities and resources independently and in taking turns and sharing equipment during imaginative play. Communication, Language and Literacy: Supports development through the listening to and the use of language, both through written and spoken.

Uses this to communicate in play and in learning by talking about what they are doing and communicating with others. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy: Supports development through developing mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems and learning new concepts. Knowledge and Understanding of the World: Supports development through the use of senses and the investigation of objects and materials. Physical: Supports development through the use of handling tools, objects, construction and malleable materials, developing dexterity, had and eye co-ordination and general fine motor skills.

Creative: Supports development through expressing and communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings, through imaginative play, designing, making, music and song, drawing and painting. Pompts aesthetic awareness and appreciation of shape, patterns, relationships and composition. Bibliography * www. hoddereducation. co. uk/SiteImages/f3/f3966925-d0a6-4 * www. educationstudies. org. uk/materials/comptonf4. pdf * www. ofsted. gov. uk/resources/learning-creative-approaches-raise-standards.


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