Many studies have shown that mental development in childhood is much greater and progresses much faster than in adolescence or adulthood. Considering it as a fact that the pre-school age is of the utmost importance for both areas of promotion, then in this period the child should also be offered quite “special offers”.
The preschool age gives the child space and time for spontaneous activities. Spontaneous activities, as opposed to reactive behaviors, form the basis of creativity.
If we really want to use preschool for the child, we need a creative environment, with creative kids and creative educators. Above all, we need creativity-promoting methods, such as the training of the senses and educators, who can wait and observe and leave time for their own discoveries.
The creative educator:
A creative educator will be creative in his overall personality. All factors that determine creativity must exist with him; he has to master various creative techniques and working methods; he must practice a style of education that evokes and promotes creative behavior. In order to really get creative, the educator has to go through a development process; he has to educate himself without overriding the intention to become creative.
One goal of the educator must be to achieve inner freedom, open-mindedness and the desire to change the pedagogical and didactic routine attitudes. Not only the children, but also the educator will gain more enjoyment in the work, it will come to an excellent mutual motivation.
If the teacher wants to train his or her own creativity, brainstorming (according to Osborn) is a good option. Likewise, he should practice in the art of meditation and thus internalize his own perceptions. Then he also finds other educational approaches.
The “creative environment”:
The extent to which creativity can be encouraged depends heavily on the environment in which the child lives, plays, experiences. In a “poor” world, without impulses and suggestions, neither the promotion of intelligence nor creativity is possible. It is therefore up to parents and educators to prepare and shape the environment for the child. For example, Maria Montessori assigns a very special function in her writings of the “Prepared Environment”. She sees the basics of “work” in the environment and the materials provided.
How should and could a creativity promoting environment for the child looks like?
· It should be supported by the principle of freedom: freedom in the choice of space, in the choice of material, in the choice of the necessary technical aids, in the choice of activities in general.
· In practice, this means for the educator: restriction of pros and cons, provision of a variety of material and the appropriate tools. A child-friendly environment must be created that is oriented to the needs of the child and is not a small adult world.
· Most of the materials are perfect. What else can the child do? It puts the parts together. Would not it be worth trying to also offer “unfinished” material?
· All materials available to the child should be stimulating, open to possibilities, changeable; they should be diverted from the child (from the point of view of the adult), they should have a creative character, be freely available. The questions about the material and the usage permit can block many a child and prevent creative activities.
Everything that is newly created by the child must find room and recognition in its environment.
Obstacles to Intelligence and Creativity Promotion
A number of causes can prevent or delay normal development of intelligence and creativity. Although there are various ways of compensation, total compensation can rarely be achieved.
Educational goals and parenting styles:
We live in a meritocracy. Every person is anxious to achieve certain goals. This starts already in the kindergarten. Within a week, a certain number of worksheets have to be mastered. It lacks the peace and the time to really creative doing. The sequel we find in school. With regard to the numerus clausus, academic achievement has become even more important. In the subsequent professional life, the pressure to perform continues.
The result of the work is given too great importance. So man is forced to do more in the opinion of others and to renounce his self-development.
Educational goals and expectations, where the only aspirational value is seen in performance and material goods, have a negative effect on creativity.
Mocking attitude – lack of recognition:
If the child has poor self-esteem, some of the creative effort is already blocked. Added to this is the lack of recognition by the educator or the group. This makes creative, spontaneous development impossible. This increases even more when the child experiences defeats. It has failures, has repeatedly given wrong answers, came too late with its contribution, was mocked or laughed at, was dismissed with an ironic answer … If truly creative personalities are constantly confronted with such forms of behavior, a reduction in creativity will be unstoppable Especially since the creative person is very sensitive.
Overemphasis on Success – Great Rewards:
The educator often rewards himself if he believes he has successfully promoted “his” children. So he only accepts contributions and suggestions that are necessary to achieve his desired goal. He narrows himself and transfers this behavior to the children.
“An over-emphasis on success derives the energies from the creative process and focuses them on results, perhaps also on some status symbols or on the only instrumentally valuable goals that could have been achieved.” Such overemphasis hinders the creative power because it tends to distort the creative process.
Fear – hostilities:
Fear as a creativity-inhibiting factor is rarely considered. This is because the educator often fails to notice that the child is “afraid” of him. Out of pressure and severity – both are often inevitable – fear only develops too easily. It is not the fear that the child might do something wrong, it is the fear of the educator. Antipathies play an important role. Even if the adult thinks he can not show any antipathy to the child, the child feels it. Especially hostilities, misunderstandings, ambiguities, unspoken things are very oppressive, narrow and blockade.
Exaggerated pursuit of security:
Creative solution methods always carry a certain risk in themselves. There is a risk of temporarily losing ground under your feet. Procedures and results can not be accurately predicted. First comes the experiment, and it means in a sense: wait and see what happens. In general, this means giving up on safety in favor of creativity. If it is not possible to renounce this security, then this has a logical effect on creativity. The need for security exists with every individual, and a minimum of it is necessary. But there must always be the courage to dare a “jump into the cold water”.
Intellectual disability as an obstacle to the promotion of intelligence and creativity?
If we start from the fact that the promotion of intelligence and creativity is closely related, we would now have to assume that in the case of mental disability the child would not be able to receive support in the two areas or only insofar as the child is capable of being educated ,
Intelligence is limited in these cases. Some things can only be practiced mechanically. Routine everyday activities dominate the disabled child, but it also degrades when the corresponding training subsides.
The situation in my opinion is different with the field of creativity. When evaluating creative problem solving and creative intelligence activities, and highlighting only the work outcomes, it could be said that mental retardation inhibits intelligence and creativity development. However, creativity in the mentally handicapped child must be seen quite differently. The success and purpose of creative actions should not be emphasized; Creativity has meaning only for its own sake. So the child enjoys creative doing, may also see in his doing a performance, but in a completely different sense than we do. Let’s look at work products from arts and crafts workshops for mentally handicapped children and adolescents, ie free work, which are not trained and routinely performed, they have a very special form of originality for us. This may lie in their purposelessness and our attitude to the creative field. Works that inspire us have that It certainly makes a lot of fun for the child, such as the use of color, tone … etc. It is also, in a way, proud that his work is recognized by the adult, but it can not do its “abilities” estimated.
An intellectual disability of the child is therefore only a limited obstacle to creative development and expressiveness.