28 Ağustos 2011 Pazar

Improving Creativity Development by Applying Art Activities in the Middle Childhood

The main purpose of this work is to focus on the relationship between of children’s creativity development and art activities. To describe this relationship, at first I will focus on the definition of the creativity and after focus on the importance of the creativity for children. Finally, I will point out why the term “ART” is important for children’s creativity development. I will support my paper with an experimental study’s conclusion.

                  I. Introduction
                  The children may be different from the adults because of children’s developmental level and their unbiased & flexible thinking way. Because their minds are so open to see, realize, recognize and understand the world; they have a desire to learn about many things which are happening around them. During this learning process, they will be probably affected positively or negatively according to the events in their macro & micro system. What a child is doing, with whom he/she is together, about what he/she is learning are so important that all these factors will affect their physical, social, emotional, language or cognitive developments. For instance, if there is to be a war in the neighbor country, because of the news which is related to that war on TV, their psychological development will be damaged. If one of their friends is to give them a present for their birthday; because of the changing of their feelings positively, their socio-emotional development will be affected positively. If a child can find possibilities to move-run-jump freely, his/her physical development will improve. These examples can be multiplied. The point which I try to explain is that the activities which are done around the children are impressive for children’s developmental progress.

               Undoubtedly, all developmental areas of the children are important. Their developmental process will be current not only in their childhood period but also in their future life. Their physical, social, emotional, language or cognitive developments are so necessary for children that without one of them, the developmental process cannot be completed. However, it can be claimed that a child’s creativity and intellectual development has a different importance on his/her maturity process. Why they are so important, I will try to explain in the following paragraphs in this paper. Firstly, it may be necessary to know the meaning of “the creativity”.

               II. What is “creativity”?
About the meaning of the creativity, there are many definitions which are made by many thinkers. Some people view it as a gift from God, an unconscious phenomenon of nature without control; some people think it is a controlled process and stress the importance of knowledge and the ability of conscious analogical reasoning on creativity. While the concept of "creativity" has been widely researched for over fifty years, disagreement remains among researchers as to what creativity is and how it develops (Lynch & Harris, 2001). Some researchers maintain that creativity involves fluency and flexibility of thinking, originality, perceptiveness of problems, and the ability to redefine and elaborate (Meador, 1997). Others point to personality attributes that make one more creative, including tolerance for uncertainty, willingness to overcome obstacles, openness to growth, possession of personal motivation, acceptance of sensible risk-taking, wanting to be recognized, and willingness to strive for such recognition (Lynch & Harris, 2001). Perhaps creativity is, as Daniel Boorstin (1992) suggests, "the most illusive, complex, and mysterious of all human processes." In all, we can conclude that creativity is a complex concept influenced by many factors including motivation, personality, circumstance, and thinking skills (Meador, 1997).

               III. Why is “creativity” important for the children?
Research has shown that the cultivation of creativity is a key component of programs and strategies to produce positive outcomes for youth. Programs that teach children creative problem-solving skills help them to become successful adults who can question the accuracy of information and put information to constructive use (Todd & Shinzato, 1999). Moreover, student involvement in creative activities (such as performing arts and group activities) has been found to reduce drop out rates and to improve student motivation (Sautter, 1994). Mental health practitioners have also discovered that creative activities can serve to safeguard children from stress (Honig, 2000). Creative thinking allows both young people and adults to “avoid boredom, resolve personal conflict, cope with increasing consumer choice, accept complexity and ambiguity, make independent judgments, use leisure time constructively, and adjust to the rapid development of new knowledge” (Strom, 2000, p. 59). Furthermore, for societies to prosper in the midst of rapid scientific and technological advancement, people need to be inventive and flexible (Cropley, 1992). Therefore, it is important for adolescents to be creative thinkers in order to keep up with today's accelerating social and technological developments (Fryer, 1996).
               Unquestioned, there may be more ways than one to improve children creative development. Everyone has the ability to be creative, however various factors may influence creativity (Boshoff & Rensburg, 2004). Among those various factos, I want to focus on the “ART”. There is no clear and unambiguous answer to the question, "Why is art important to society?", simply because there is no clear definition of the term “ART”. There are a lot of areas of expertise and hobbies that can be included under art; like literature, music, painting, sculpting, and many more; and it is interesting to note that these are all areas that require some form of creative output from the artist and I have seen thanks to my poor life experiences and knowledge that children love these art activities.

               IV. Why is “ART” important for children’s creativity development?
Children love art because it’s fun and provides them with authentic self-expression, but how important is art to a child’s healthy development? Children’s art is many things to many people. To a parent, art is a display of a child’s imagination. To an educator, it’s a teaching tool. To a psychologist, art is a way to understand a child’s mind. To a grandparent, it’s a way to feel connected. To a librarian, it’s a way to enhance book knowledge. To a child, art is a way to have fun, make decisions, and express choices.
rt activities may help children in all areas of development. Although the arts often are considered synonyms with creativity, recent research in the cognitive and neurosciences focuses on an increased understanding of the role emotion in creativity, cognition, learning, and decision-making (Tracie, Kellam, Cramond &Crowder, 2010). Child care providers should plan creative activities with the child’s overall development in mind.
When child care providers offer art activities, they are supporting children's large and small muscle development, as well as their eye-hand coordination. Using markers and paint brushes helps children practice the fine motor control they will need for writing later on. So, their physical development will be improved.
               When children work together in the art area, they learn to share, to interact with others, to be responsible for cleanup, and to put materials away. These are positive and important changes for social learning. So, their social development will be improved.
               Through creative art, children may be able to represent experiences that they cannot verbalize. They may draw pictures out of proportion, exaggerating things that are important to them. When we value children’s creativity, we help them feel valued as people, raising their self-esteem. So, their emotional development will be improved.
               To sum up, art activities can help children in all areas of development. Among these developments, I want to focus on the children’s creativity, cognitive, imagination and experimentation development. There are many reasons why the arts are an important factor in the development of children’s full potential (Jeanneret, 2008). Young children can learn the names of colors and shapes through creative art activities. They find out what happens when they mix two primary colors together and get a secondary color. Sending older children outside to carefully examine a tree, feel its bark, and study the shape and color of its leaves, and then asking them to draw or paint trees helps them develop observational skills needed for science. Furthermore, children’s active imaginations can take form through art. For example, Ali wonders what will happen if he uses three paintbrushes at one time. He asks his teacher to help him tie a rubber band around three paintbrushes. Through active experimentation, he invents a new way to paint. Although tying three paintbrushes together may not be earthshaking, Ali is learning skills that could help him invent something new, like a car that runs on solar power or a cure for cancer, when he grows up.

               V. An Experimental Study’s Analyzing
               The ‘Night Owl’ Learning Style of Art Students: Creativity and Daily Rhythm
               This study surveyed 230 art students and 251 management students and examined if there existed any cross-disciplinary differences in terms of self-confidence of creative ability, preferences of a particular time for creativity art tasks, and routine patterns for daily activities such as getting up, going to bed and working (Sy-Chyi & Jin-Yuan, 2008). The main purpose of this study is the comparing the differences between art and management college students in creativity and routine activities and argued that people in highly creative practices.
               Overall, the art students show more confidence in their creative ability in general, and also rate themselves higher than the management students in terms of fluency, flexibility and originality of creativity (Sy-Chyi & Jin-Yuan, 2008). As for the ability to imagine and expose detail to the stimuli, there was no significant difference across the two disciplines.

               This study tried to describe and make comparisons on self-perceived creativity ability and daily routine activities between art and management college students. The results can be summarised as follows: (Sy-Chyi & Jin-Yuan, 2008).
1. Art students have more confidence in their creative ability than management students.
2. About 57.7 per cent of art students feel more creative after midnight, about twice the percentage of management students (29.2 per cent). There is also a significant difference between the two groups in the self-perceived most creative time of day, indicating that creativity timing varies among students across different disciplines.

               VI. Conclusion
               All developmental areas of children have significant importance and creativity improving has so. For children’s creativity development, art applications will be an appropriate way. Because: Art stimulates both sides of the brain; there are studies that show that children, who make art, read better and get better grades in science and mathematics; children learn by using their senses and art is ideal in this process; art stimulates perception; art teaches children that to think openly & there is more than one solution for a problem & to share and reflect on their work of art and learn something about the world they live in; art nourishes the human soul; art is valuable all by itself.

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