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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 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; • independence; • tolerance for unclear situations; COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL