TEACHER’S CREATIVITY ON EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN MUSHIN LG, LAGOS STATE
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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Creativity in adults is highly valued in our society. Personal creativity contributes to inventiveness, innovation, social and cultural change as well as political development and economic progression. The creator is an innovator, a problem solver, an entrepreneur, an artist. Creative people have rapid and effective responses that help them to achieve their life goals and allow them to enjoy the journey. Creativity is both a skill set and a unique and individual personality structure that is developed throughout childhood and fine tuned in adolescence and adulthood. Education has a key role to play in its development. Positive creativity-inspiring experiences at every stage of the educational journey are needed. This is
especially true in both early childhood and the infant primary classes. Educators who rise to the creativity challenge will be well rewarded in rich teaching experiences and the joy of seeing children reach their creative potential in supportive and integrated learning systems.
Children develop thinking and sensory learning through engagement with creative activities and that it is essential that they are offered an opportunity to engage with their creativity in the early stages of their education (Chapman, 2008). Arnold (2011) and Bruce (2012) agree with this line of thought, implying that it is engagement with creative activities that promotes children’s developing abilities to think of new ideas, express them, identify issues and problem solve. Donahoe and Gaynor (2007) believe that activities that enhance creativity and imagination are what lead to children embracing divergent forms of thinking that in turn leads them to innovation through the processing of unique ideas and experiences.
In her contribution, Robinson (2001) argues that we do not grow into creativity, that it is present in early childhood and we are educated out of it. From all of these viewpoints, it is evident that engaging creativity in children is essentially an important milestone in the development of creative thinkers and innovators in adult life. Marzollo and Lloyd (2012) believe that if creativity is not engaged with during the naturally creative childhood years that it is not something that can then be developed in later life. Bamford (2005) and Burke (2005) both write that the pleasure factor in creativity or children’s enjoyment of the creative experience is a key component in their learning and in the nurturing of their innate creative abilities with their desire to engage more and more with creativity and thus become more and more creative.
With our awareness of children’s natural creative ability, it then becomes crucial to engage them with creative teachers who would help them in their expression of this creativity and their social, mental and academic development through the different domains of learning. Therefore, this study assesses the influence of teachers’ creativity in early childhood development.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The educational system has been criticized in many quarters for being too rigid and not giving room for creativity in teaching methodology and pedagogy. Inflexibility in adherence to laid down rules in teaching and learning in our educational institutions has been looked down upon has hampering creativity in learners and even in teachers.
For instance, Naiman and Markovik in their 2009 study found the creativity ratings of early childhood teachers to be disturbingly poor. The researchers tested the teachers on improvisation, teaching innovation and integration, class control and child engagement. A similar result was obtained by Bales (2012) who concluded that early childhood teachers are too rigid and that the leadership of the schools should relax the pedagogy thereby allowing teachers to be more creative. Bales also found in his research that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ creativity and that of the children.
If more progress is to be made in the arts, sciences and the world of commerce, creativity would undoubtedly be an important facilitating instrument, or else our society would continue to develop only at a crawling pace; and this creativity would need to fostered in individuals from their early years, through the hands of capable teachers.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to assess the influence of teachers’ creativity in early childhood development using the survey research design. Specifically, this study aims to:
- Assess the influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s cognitive development
- Examine the influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s social development
- Examine the influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s emotional development
The following research questions will be answered in the course of this study:
- Is there an influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s cognitive development?
- Is there an influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s social development?
- Is there an influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s emotional development?
The following research hypotheses will be tested in the course of this study:
- There is no influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s cognitive development
- There is no influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s social development
- There is no influence of teacher’s creativity on children’s emotional development
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This scope of this study covers the influence of teachers’ creativity on Early Childhood Development in Mushin local Government. It is delimited to 50 early childhood education teachers.
- The influence of teachers’ creativity on Early childhood development
- The descriptive survey research method.
- Use of questionnaire
- 50 Early Childhood teachers in Bariga Local Government
- Chi-square statistical tool.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be a vital source of empirical findings to stakeholders in the field of Early Childhood Education on the importance of creativity as expressed in the teaching and learning process. It would highlight creativity in teachers and how these teachers can utilize it to influence the development of children in their care.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Creativity: a tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others and facilitating teaching and learning.
- Early Childhood Development: Advancement of children in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning.
- Early Childhood Education: University education given to undergraduates that pertains to the formal education of children before they begin primary education.
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