To me, creativity is the freedom to ask questions, make connections, see meaning and possibilities, have ideas and then put them into action or make them real in the world. It’s not just – and sometimes not even – about the arts and artists. Everyone can be creative; it’s a human attribute and drive. And most things can be approached creatively or not: design, maths, cooking, writing, running a meeting or running our lives. It’s a process, one of our deepest and best, and where we allow it, it makes learning and doing more interesting, real and joyful. And that in turn makes for the best results.
For this creative process to happen in learning and in play, it partly just needs adults – with our targets and learning outcomes – to stop getting so much in the way of what children would naturally do really well.
Allowing more space and freedom for creativity brings risk, excitement, exploration, questioning and discovery to what they do. It fosters a greater sense of agency, responsibility, understanding and the desire to want to try and try again until something is right. It means learning and play become an on-going adventure, rather than a closed down road towards a set of targets.
More than that, it means children can learn well whilst finding out what they love, what they are good at and becoming who they really are in life. It means we develop creative thinkers with ideas and self-confidence.
It means society, the economy and the world will benefit from the adults these children become.