What can parents, educators and mentors do to influence the development of the creative advantage in children from preschool through to secondary education?
There are many excellent parenting advice books and websites pointing to research that supports parenting and education practices that contribute to the development of children’s creativity. Whether it’s expressed through painting, making or leadership, every parent hopes their child will display some form of creativity. Children who are encouraged to think creatively also have higher self-esteem and intrinsic motivation.
Studies have confirmed that cultivating a children’s creative side does correlate with greater professional success later in life, whether or not the child goes into a typically creative profession. Psychologist and educator Ellis Paul Torrance, known as the ‘father of creativity’, developed a number of longitudinal studies dating back to the 1950s that followed children through to adulthood.
One study surveyed the creativity of four hundred children through a series of measures that found those with higher creativity scores as children, were more likely in adulthood to have more books published, artworks exhibited, songs composed, ad campaigns executed, research papers published, patents filed and lectures given. The correlation between childhood creativity and adult accomplishment was three times as strong as that between childhood IQ and adult accomplishment.
Nurturing creativity begins with valuing it, reflecting this in the choices we make that encourage self-expression and in how this is modelled in our actions through perspectives shared with children.
Both the book and online program 'The Creative Advantage Life Cycle: How to Nurture Creativity in Children' are founded on the premise that creativity is a learned skillset and can be enriched by neuroscience and psychology.
The resources cover the topics of
- Developing creative thinking skills through reading;
- Encouraging group creativity and creating child-centred environments;
- The role of mentors in assisting children to express their creativity and originality; and
- The power of play through cultivating classroom creativity.
It also assists to convert this research through a series of reflective activities that explore where you can have the most influence to create an advantage as parents, teachers and mentors when seeking preschool and primary schools for children, and when seeking a senior school experience.