Re: Decreased Creativity in Young Children?

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Deborah Gilbert (
Sun, 24 Aug 1997 14:49:50 -0600 (MDT)

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> I'm a Kindergarten Teacher, where as you may suspect, A LOT of
>hands-on Arts
>& Crafts activities take place. Having been a kgn. teacher for awhile, I've
>observed the lessening of creativity, and original thinking, in young
>children. To me, this is due in great part, to the increased "visual"
>learning stimulation (TV, Videos, Computer games, etc.) and ready-made "toys"
>of today's lifestyle .

Which is all the more reason why when we get these young children in our
classrooms, we should not fill their creative spaces with ready made
patterns, etc. I have seen too many teachers give young students, sheets
of paper with an outline of some sort on it, and instructed them to color
it, cut it out , assemble it and then we end up with a class full of the
*same* thing that we can decorate with!! But that does not encourage
creativity, although some may argue that "well, the children are allowed to
color however they want to."

It's hard being a kindergarten art teacher and being able to stand far
enough back to allow the students to explore their own creativity, without
contributing to their already large story of symbols. I try to teach them
to see the shapes that things are made of, to cut shapes on their own with
no lines using only the magic square from which all geometric shapes come ,
I spend time helping them see that their arms do not come out of the sides
of their heads, we do lots of magic color games with the primary colors of
tempera, we do alot of experimenting with different textures that we can
see with our fingers and with our hands.... etc. I firmly believe that if
students are going to learn to make art, they must first learn how to see,
so a lot of that kindergarten year is spend *not* in production but in
process, in learning, in seeing and discovering. I understand that means
there will not always be nice things to decorate for when parents come
around and yet I have managed to get many incredible things from those
little guys - from stichery decorated treasure bags after a unit on Lucas
Samaras, to prints made using Scratchfoam after studying texture, positive
& negative image, and Albrecht Durer.


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