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Art Education - Creativity

Art teachers, and teachers of many other disciplines, proclaim the nurturing of creativity as a principal component of their jobs. But definitions of creativity may vary considerably and what one individual sees as a creative exercise may seem to another to be rote learning of the simplest sort. In order to foster genuine creativity an art teacher must understand what creativity is and then develop the setting, attitudes, pedagogical style, and opportunities for children to develop their creativity. Although creativity is considered important in many subject areas--from learning to write to learning mathematics--it is often seen as the particular goal of art classes. But this does not mean that merely placing paint pot and paper in front of a child will nurture her/his latent creativity. In this discussion a definition of creativity is followed by an outline of various factors, largely under the art teacher's control, that are prerequisites for fostering creativity: the proper setting; students who are not inhibited by fear of freedom; a teaching style that blends acceptance, seriousness toward art productions, a sense of fun, and the absence of a desire to dictate acceptable outcomes; and, the time and materials for making art.

There are many different definitions of creativity. Even among arts educators who are "anxious to promote creativity in those [they] teach" because they believe that "all children are inherently creative and, moreover, [that] to be so is somehow good for us and for society," the concept is, perhaps, "the most overused and least understood" (Burton 14). Thus the ability of teachers or schools to nurture creativity will depend largely on how they conceive of it. It is best, therefore, to define creativity in an active, open-ended fashion, as Wright does:

Creativity involves responding to different situations flexibly, seeing afresh, enjoying, taking risks with a medium, using imagination, showing ...

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Art Education - Creativity. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:18, May 26, 2020, from