AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe study aimed to identify Early Childhood Studies students’ perceptions of, and confidence in, their own creativity, in an East Midlands university in England; and the influence of practical, creative activities on their practice with children. The study was qualitative in nature, framed within the interpretative paradigm and based on a first year Play and Creativity module which includes practical creative activity and the development of skills to enhance confidence. The key role of the practitioner in supporting children’s creativity has been highlighted (Craft 2002, Wright 2010) alongside the need for skills and confidence in practitioners. (Aubrey and Dahl 2013, Chien and Hui 2010) A study group of 25 was opportunity sampled from the full cohort of 90. Students completed questionnaires at the beginning and end of the module, alongside self- reflection sheets after five practical activities. Results were coded and analysed thematically. The study complied with the institution’s ethical procedures and participation was voluntary. Students were free to withdraw at any point. The results indicated improvement in students’ confidence in their own creativity and their ability to apply the skills developed within their practice. Students developed a wider understanding of the nature of creativity, including the importance of the environment, resources and opportunities for children to explore . The module supported students’ professional skills, including, team working, listening skills, collaboration and the importance of reflection on practice. The study concluded that practical activities within the module should continue to form part of the Early Childhood Studies Degree programme.
CitationYates, E. and Twigg, E. (2016) 'Developing creativity in early childhood studies students.' Presented at the Early Childhood Ireland Conference, Croke Park Dublin, Ireland, 31st August - 3rd September