8 Introduction Creative Development
Can you imagine a world without creativity and self-expression—not just in the
arts, but in science, business and industry, education, and life itself?
Can you honestly say you do not find some creativity in each toddler you
work with—or that you do not know at least one adult who has lost the ability
to express himself or herself creatively or otherwise? Where does creativity
go from the time we are toddlers to the time we become adults? Is that loss of
potential a result of a society and an educational system that fail to emphasize
creativity and individuality?
Why is creativity important? There are a lot of reasons. However, for young
children, creativity means there is no one right answer. This enhances their
sense of mastery, which in turn promotes their self-esteem and helps them real-
ize they can indeed have some effect on their environment.
Teresa M. Amabile reported that the key personality traits of highly creative
people, if not naturally occurring, can be developed in childhood. These traits
include • self-discipline about work;
• perseverance even when frustrated;
• tolerance for unclear situations;