To answer this question firstly we should answer what is the definition

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To answer this question firstly we should answer, what is the definition of creativity? Many theorists have debated what exactly is creativity, most agree that the process involves a number of components, most commonly: imagination; originality (the ability to come up with ideas and products that are new and unusual); productivity (the ability to generate a variety of different ideas through divergent thinking [aimed at generating fresh views and novel solutions]); problem solving (application of knowledge and imagination to a given situation); the ability to produce an outcome of value and worth. Where definitions differ greatly is on how much creativity is nature (what we are born with) or nurture (something that can be learnt).Hal Gregersen (2013) states that the answer is both. Studies have taken genetically identical twins that were separated at birth, who grow up in different family environments and tested their creativity when they became adults. The results showed that about one-third of creativity skills come from genetics (DNA), but the other two-thirds come from the world we grow up in and the world we work in. The adults around them, with their constraints and beliefs, will have impacted on the outcome of their creativity skills too.Creativity is often associated with the more ‘creative’ subjects, such as art and music, but in actual fact creativity is not subject specific. Creativity is a way of approaching problem solving that can be exercised in all different areas of learning. Play is strongly featured as a key component in many of the discussions about creativity in young children. Imaginative play (especially role play) and free choice of activities would seem to be key components of the early childhood setting in relation to creativity. Both play and creativity require imagination, insight, problem solving, divergent thinking, the ability to experience emotion and to make choices. This does not mean that all play involves creativity, for example if every part of the play is provided by purposely made (usually plastic) parts which can only be used in one way, these do not inspire imagination or divergent thinking – a plastic carrot can only ever be a carrot, where as a building block could become any part of the meal or ingredient in pretend cooking. For creativity to flourish in an education setting, it is necessary for learners to be actively involved in the process of their own learning, i.e. they need to be involved in the ideas stage, thinking of what is needed and choosing materials they think will work, rather than ‘we are making…. and here is the equipment to make it’. This approach will then lend itself nicely to the child being more able to evaluate and access the activity throughout, and at the end of the process. This way of working is usually evident in good early years settings (e.g. nurseries and childminders) up to reception, but sadly and somewhat understandably, is lost in the more structured setting of the English education system.Other factors that should be given consideration are the child’s physical environment (as offered by the early years setting), e.g. the size and layout of the room, the outdoor space, the quality of the equipment and materials, and access to varied and new environments (outings); and whether the children are given sufficient and sustained periods of time in which to develop their creative projects.It is argued that teachers should show an interest in children’s creative potential and encourage children to construct their own personal interpretations of knowledge and events. Some children may need to learn to stand up for their own ideas, especially when these do not conform to those of the rest of the group. But they also need to lean discretion, so they can judge when it is appropriate to be divergent and original; and when it is appropriate to conform. Adults can act as supporters and coaches, facilitators and models of creativity for child, but they also have the potential to stifle opportunities for creativity by being overly instructive or controlling of the situation; discouraging fantasy; by having low expectations about what young children are able to achieve; by focusing on literacy and numeracy; and by trying to meet the needs of the whole class or group rather than encouraging the individual. Interestingly, Swedish children are not required to start school there until they are 6 or 7 years old, much later than those living in England, thus giving their children more years to be creative and setting a good grounding before being constrained by the educational system and the more focused adult led learning. A Lewis found in her visit to Swedish pre-schools that there was very little labelling in the environment to promote literacy and numeracy, but rather the children had easy access to the things they needed (drinks, waterproofs, coats and wellington boots) and large amounts of unrestricted floor space, giving them the room needed to plan their own space and play freely, instead of the floor space being cluttered with storage and furniture as is often the case in English settings. A Lewis (2010) concluded by reflecting on her visits saying, ‘I have thought considerably about my title as ‘teacher’ and whether it has been misunderstood (by so many) and instead I should be thinking of myself as facilitator of young children’s learning’. An ex-mindee of mine has gone, with his parents, live in Sweden for 2 years, he at 3 years old is having a wonderful time. The preschool he attends has more outside space than inside, he can climb the trees within the grounds (they get told how far they are allowed to climb), many preschools, I’m sure, in England would see a tree as a risk and have it removed. In addition, his mum showed me pictures (sent to her from preschool) of him using an electric sewing machine to make a gift for Mother’s Day, and of him hammering nails into wood to make a creation. Children are happy when they are being allowed to be creative and are playing in a way that suits them at that moment in time, happy children learn much faster than those disengaged with their learning environment.