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Creativity Killers

a selection from ExchangeEveryDay

March 25, 2010
I always view problems as opportunities in work clothes. Henry Kaiser

In The Creative Spirit (Plume, 1993), a book based on a PBS series on creativity, authors Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman, and Michael Ray point out these common ways adults discourage creativity in children:

  • Surveillance - Hovering over kids, making them feel that they're constantly being watched while they are working . . . under constant observation, the risk-taking, creative urge goes underground and hides.
  • Evaluation - When we constantly make kids worry about how they are doing, they ignore satisfaction with their accomplishments.
  • Rewards - The excessive use of prizes . . . deprives a child of the in trinsic pleasure of creative activity.
  • Competition - Putting kids in a win-lose situation, where only one person can come out on top . . . negates the process [that] children progress at their own rates.
  • Over-control - Constantly telling kid how to do things . . . often leaves children feeling like their originality is a mistake and any exploration a waste of time.
  • Restricting choice - Telling children which activities they should engage in instead of letting them follow where their curiosity and passion lead . . . again restricts active exploration and experimentation that might lead to creative discovery and production.
  • Pressure - Establishing grandiose expectations for a child's performance . . . often ends up instilling aversion for a subject or activity. . . . Unreasonably high expectations often pressure children to perform and conform within strictly prescribed guidelines, and, again, deter experimentation, exploration, and innovation. Grandiose expectations are often beyond children's developmental capabilities.

Exchange Curriculum Resources

Exchange has packaged seven of its most popular curriculum resources into a single "Curriculum Tool Kit" and is offering the entire set at a 33% discount & mdash; separately these resources would cost $166, but we are offering the entire Curriculum Tool Kit for only $112. Resources in the kit include:
Beginnings Workshops Book #4 - Curriculum: Brain Research, Math, Science
Beginnings Workshops Book #5 - Curriculum: Art, Music, Movement, Drama
Hearing Everyone's Voice: Educating Young Children for Peace and a Democratic Community
Connecting: Friendship in the Lives of Young Children
More Than Numbers: Mathematical Thinking in the Early Years
Out of the Box Training Kits (printed version): "Recognizing the Essentials of Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum," and "How Children Build Their Understanding of Numbers"
ExchangeEveryDay is a free service of Exchange Magazine. View this article online at ChildCareExchange.com.

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