Creativity Expressed through Drawings in Early Childhood Education

By Michalopoulou, Aikaterini | International Journal of Education, April 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Creativity Expressed through Drawings in Early Childhood Education


Michalopoulou, Aikaterini, International Journal of Education


Abstract

In our research we formulated the hypothesis that children create different meanings at their drawings through pictures of art and that these meanings are more original when the stimulus is a picture of art that belongs to the abstract art. The research was conducted with 28 children aged 4.5 to 6.5 attending two early childhood classes in Volos, Greece. Our study involved asking children to study paintings and create opportunities for them to express their ideas through drawings. In their drawings, children in a way try to imitate the way that the picture of art is designed, but at the same time they are creative by thinking of new ideas and ways of doing things. The tools used were three pictures of art. The purpose of the study was to use these particular works of art as an opportunity for each young child to express his creativity within the school setting.

Keywords: creativity, art, pictures, drawings, early childhood

1. Introduction

1.1 Towards a definition of creativity

Creativity, a complex and slippery concept, has multiple meanings but an established, precise and universally accepted definition does not exist (Prentice, 2000). Creativity is an attribute possessed only by man, and is ranked at the highest level on the scale of behaviour. Numerous definitions have been offered of the concept of creativity, some of which we refer to below: Creativity is the capacity to keep producing new, original and useful ideas. It is not solely a matter of imagination, rather it is a form of imagination inextricably linked with our intentions and endeavours. Creativity is the original solution of various problems, and real artistic and scientific creation. Torrance (1966) defines creativity as a process of becoming sensitive to problems, deficiencies, gaps in knowledge, missing elements, disharmonies, and so on, as an activity of the mind which generates a new idea or discovers a new way of understanding. Moreover, Osborn (1965) believes that creativity is an achievement characterised by originality, adaptability and fullness or completion. Prentice (2000) considers that creativity involves imaginative and inventive ways of thinking and doing, as a result of which something new comes into being. Creativity is that form of imagination which looks forward, foresees, feeds, supplements, plans, covers, resolves, advances, does something new.

Sillamy (1991) defines creativity as the natural tendency to create which exists, potentially, in all persons and at all ages; it requires favourable conditions to manifest itself, and is highly dependent on the socio-cultural level of the individual. In the view of A. Beaudot (1976), creativity is not the mere juxtaposition of dissimilar elements but their dynamic organization in new combinations, some precise and defined, some more indefinite, but all bearing the personal stamp of the creator. According to Guilford (1967), each creation is the 'product' of the bringing together, transformation and reorganization of pre-existing components. No one can create without prior experience. No discovery is ever made in a void, or from a void.

The French pedagogue Debesse (1974) claims that the pre-school child express his creativity through drawing, modelling, dance, speech. The same term is used by the same pedagogue to indicate the activity of the young child when he creates something and expresses himself. The deictic definition of creativity consists in the identification of specific cases, i.e. individuals who are generally regarded as being creative, and from whom we can construct a general concept of creativity (The Open University, 1987). We might confine ourselves, then, to the adjective 'creative'. Alberti (1986) believed a creative individual is a person who organizes his experiences, his cognitive development and his expressive manifestations of various kinds (verbal, practical, visual, etc.) using forms, methods, rhythms which cannot be reconciled with or do not converge with conventional or predetermined, 'ordinary' models, yet for all that are still satisfactory. …

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