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Reaching Standards And Beyond In Kindergarten

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Reaching Standards And Beyond In Kindergarten

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Creativity plays a very crucial role in children’s development and this is the main reason as to why all educational syllabi in early childhood development institutions incorporate it effectively. It is necessary to avail the best learning environment for children to grow emotionally, socially, physically, creatively and intellectually in these institutions and even at home. Through play for instance, children grow to be more creative (Ewing eta l, 2012). Early childhood education emphasizes on the need for children to be involved in learning different creative abilities by the use of play. A child’s creative abilities can be explored via their ideas, curiosity to particular issues and their feelings towards arts, music and dance, imaginative play and even movement. Most children at all ages are always happy when expressing their ideas via sounds, colours, different shapes, role-playing among others(Feeney et al, 2013). Creativity among children can thus be developed through involving them in activities which enable them to share their individual ideas, feelings and even thoughts.
The first role of creativity in children’s development is that it helps them to develop fluency, an aspect that makes them to be good problem-solvers in their own environment (Ewing eta l, 2012). Fluency plays an important in problem-solving and decision making and it is one of the main pillars of divergent thinking. Fluency refers to one’s ability to produce and/or create a lot of ideas around a particular area of interest (Stupples, 2014). Creativity through role play, sports and general play among children helps them generate a lot of ideas and as they grow, they understand the need and appropriateness to alternative choices in life (Howe & Bruno, 2010).  Fluency also enables children to be confident in their undertakings and decisions as they can generate a lot of solutions to a particular problem (Feeney et al, 2013). Fluency can be developed through the use of the media and other materials. Media exploration and the use of materials like toys among children bring about cognitive, social and physical problem solving abilities. The children’s reaction to the media, photos, toys and even three-dimensional objects play an important role in developing these skills. Toys such as building blocks and even particular TV program characters can enable a child develop their own individual creative instincts (Ewing eta l, 2012). The children’s creativity in regard to the media makes it very crucial a child’s development towards being perfect problem-solvers in the society. Provision of proper toys for children’s play activities enables them to develop positive building skills including role play.
Creativity plays an important role in children’s development as they grow to be able to generate original and unique ideas through creative imagination brought about by imaginative play. Originality is also another pillar of a divergent mind and it is very significant in an individual’s life more so if they develop it at a young age. Originality in creative imagination among children involves on their response and/or reaction to dance, music, role-play, art, narrations among others (Feeney et al, 2013). Imaginative writing or drawing characters with originality goes a long way in the development of children’s creativity. For children, dealing with varying colours and painting of pictures of various characters helps build the children’s mind and improve their ability to try using different colour variations. Therefore, creative arts play a significant role in the creative development of children (Michalopoulou, 2014). Originality and perfection in writing skills among children is also developed through involvement of children in the creation of replicas of written symbols, objects, and characters.

Another role of creativity in children’s development is that it enables a child to be flexible emotionally, intellectually, physically and even socially. This is because the children develop a trend of creating ideas particularly from a variety of categories of thought. Emotional creativity as one of the different aspects of creative development also grows among children due to flexibility in thoughts as a result of play. Emotional creativity is the level of the extent to which a child responds to their environment, including the objects and/or the people they interact with. Knowing well that children usually respond differently and flexibly from one another in regard to what they touch, see or hear, it is important to enable them develop creativity in order to effectively communicate their feelings emotionally(Ewing eta l, 2012). While flexibility reduces the tendency of rigidness among children, emotional development which is a result of creativity influences development in social skills. These children are also flexible and interact easily with their fellow age-mates. They also are likely to enjoy people acceptance in any given society.
Further, creativity increases a child’s knowledge and understanding of phenomena in their surroundings. It is paramount to support a child’s understanding of the world through providing opportunities and tools necessary to do so. Children should be exposed to people, animals and even plants and to creatively interact with them (Feeney et al, 2013). Their actions and response towards environment will always depend on their creativity that results from their prior interaction with the environmental elements. Provision of materials such as toys of environmental phenomena for children to play with, gives them an opportunity to not only appreciate their environment continually, but also to trigger a positive attitude towards the environment. Participation in creative music and dance is one way of making children differentiate sounds both in music and their immediate environment. A child who is exposed to various musical tones and dance patterns can be able to adapt them quickly and mime them and sing songs from their memory easily. As a result, such a child is likely to grow very ample creative instincts from a young age.
Current Perspectives on the Role and Importance of Creativity in Early Childhood Education
Currently, there are different perspectives particularly on the role of creativity/creative arts in early childhood education.  One of the perspectives on the role of creativity in early childhood education is the developmental perspective which emphasizes the regularities in physical and/or psychosocial development among children during early childhood and their vulnerabilities or dependencies at such a formative phase of their lives (Eckhoff, 2011). According to this perspective therefore, there is need for creativity in their curriculum to enable them grow both physically and psychosocially. Creativity thus can provide them with the ability to cope with their vulnerabilities and grow to be independent in some aspects that may not need any parental interventions. Policy makers that decide to scrap off creative arts in schools in favour of main subjects thus deny the young children to attain independence in their activities.
The second perspective on the role and the importance of creativity in the early childhood education is the political and economic perspective. Creativity’s role and importance can be looked at from both political and economic perspective which is informed by different principles of development (Feeney et al, 2013). These development principles translate into both social and educational interventions, which are however underpinned by different economic models of the human capital. Creativity in early childhood education is crucial to the economy and the society both in the short and long run.  It is evident that investing in boosting creativity in schools not only leads to the emergence of skilled and talented individuals in the long-run but also leads to the development of ideas that can be harnessed for economic gains to a country.
Further, the role and importance of creativity in early childhood education can be looked at from a human-rights-based perspective.  This perspective mainly reframes the different conventional approaches to research policies, theories and practice in the ways which fully respect the dignity of young children, their rights and what they are entitled to, and particularly their capacities to participate in their own individual development (Eckhoff, 2011). The human-rights based perspective also considers the need for young children to be given chance to take part in programs geared towards helping them. In this regard, there is need for creative arts to be included in the early childhood curriculum as a right for children to explore their own talents and development socially, emotionally, intellectually and even physically.
The Importance of Including Creativity across All Areas of an Early Childhood Curriculum
Curriculum developers in different countries emphasize on the need to include creative arts in the Early Childhood Curriculum due to its vast importance in an individual learner’s life. In general the creative arts emphasize on the process of teaching kids to be creative in the current world that has progressive and product-driven trends in that the methodology used to reach a particular destination is also significant as the destination itself (Ewing eta l, 2012). Just like intelligence, research indicates that creativity is rare, inherent, intuitive but cannot be taught; as the creative works are very awesome and yet not easily attainable. Even so, giving children opportunities to be able to practice and grow their creativity, helps them become stronger and more natural in performing their skills later (Michalopoulou, 2014). This opportunity to explore and nurture creativity can only be achieved through official incorporation of creative arts in early childhood curriculum in schools around the world.
One importance of including creativity in all areas of the early childhood curriculum is that first it will help in the transmission; promotion and preservation of a country’s culture (Santrock, 2011).  Creative activities that children can take part in are mostly in regard to culture such as music and dance. This culture can only be passed on from generation to the other through allowing chance for children and even adults to practice it on such platforms. Secondly, creativity enables learners at an early age to critically think and imaginatively develop ways of designing or making processes and products in different fields (Santrock, 2011). Including creativity in the early childhood curriculum will thus help provide chances for learners to be able to respond to questions on different processes and/or processes that they actively take part in (Eckhoff, 2011). This is because creative arts are able to inculcate uniqueness and originality of a learner’s mind making them to embrace each and every domain of life and even of the knowledge that they have been exposed to. These domains of life and/or knowledge include but not limited to intellectual, psychological, artistic, social, physical and spiritual aspects (Feeney et al, 2013). Considering that creativity affects every class on people in the society, it is important to include it in the curriculum so as to reach the rich, the poor, literate and illiterate people in the society with its benefits.
Thirdly, it is important to include creativity in all areas of the early childhood curriculum because creative arts provide different avenues for children to enjoy self-expression, engage in obtaining visual knowledge and in the ability to distinguish between beautiful phenomena and the unpleasant ones(Feeney et al, 2013). This helps individuals to make the right choices in any given situation. In relation to this, creativity in the curriculum provides the medium for both imaginative thinking and creative thinking which are crucial in adapting positively to the dynamic local and even global environment including the need to sustain it.
Further, incorporating creativity in all areas of early childhood development enables learners to develop the skills and the aptitudes to acquire new information and prepare them for further training and education in the future. Creative arts help some students to develop their future careers at a young age such as painting, music and dance among others (Ewing eta l, 2012).  While these careers are serious professions, it is common that only a few individuals grow up to take them up as professional courses. It is thus important according to Stupples (2014), to provide a good foundation in creativity knowing well that some of the activities will emerge to have a long term impact to the lives and professions of the learners.
Inclusion therefore this discussion emphasizes that creative arts engage the children’s imagination and include for instance; art, drama, music, art and puppetry among others. According to the discussion, creativity in these areas stimulates children to develop their abilities in every domain and thus must be incorporate in the early childhood curriculum.  While creative arts seen to be less important and frequently cut off from syllabi especially when educational funds are low, they are crucial in cultivating children’s imaginations. They also help in the physical, mental and even emotional development of children. Therefore, it remains important to strive towards integrating more chances for children participate in creativity as a foundation for their future success.
Eckhoff, A. (2011). Creativity in the Early Childhood Classroom: Perspectives of Preservice Teachers. Journal Of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 32(3), 240-255.
Ewing, R., Upton, A., & Blanchett, C. (2012). Creative arts in the lives of young children. Camberwell, Victoria (Austra?lia): ACER Press.
Feeney, S., Moravcik, E., & Nolte, S. (2013). Who am I in the lives of children?. Boston: Pearson.
Howe, N., & Bruno, A. (2010). Sibling Pretend Play in Early and Middle Childhood: The Role of Creativity and Maternal Context. Early Education & Development, 21(6), 940-962.
Jacobs, G., & Crowley, K. (2010). Reaching standards and beyond in kindergarten. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.
Lanigan, J. (2010). Family Child Care Providers’ Perspectives Regarding Effective Professional Development and Their Role in the Child Care System: A Qualitative Study. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(6), 399-409.
Leggett, N. (2017). Early Childhood Creativity: Challenging Educators in Their Role to Intentionally Develop Creative Thinking in Children. Early Childhood Education Journal.
Machado, J. (2007). Early childhood experiences in language arts (1st ed.). Clifton Park, N.Y.: Thomson Delmar Learning.
Martlew, J., & Grogan, D. (2013). Reach for the Stars! Creative engagement with young children. Early Child Development And Care, 183(8), 1029-1041.
Michalopoulou, A. (2014). Creativity Expressed through Drawings in Early Childhood Education. International Journal Of Education, 6(2), 69.
Rankin, C., & Brock, A. (2012). Library services for children and young adults. London: Facet.
Ray, K., & Glover, M. (2008). Already ready. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Santrock, J. (2011). Essentials of life-span development (1st ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Stupples, P. (2014). Creative contributions: The role of the arts and the cultural sector in development. Progress In Development Studies, 14(2), 115-130.

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