The High Value Of Creativity 

As the world and technology evolve at a rapid rate, creativity is touted by thought leaders and business as an essential and high value skill for future-proofing successful careers.

Creativity allows us to stretch our imagination, to be flexible critical thinkers, making us better problem solvers and more adaptable to technological advances. In fact, creativity is key to success in nearly everything we do and goes well beyond artistic and musical expression. It’s an essential skill for science, maths, for social and emotional intelligence, and even contributes to our overall health and happiness.

Creativity is also an incredibly beneficial skill in uncertain times or restricted environments, forcing us to think outside of the square, explore new possibilities and try different approaches to problem solving.  

Assistant Head of Performing Arts, Jamie McCarney says encouraging creativity in our students involves creating the conditions for it to flourish. 

'Allowing our students to undertake processes where they can grow, make mistakes, learn from their errors and become self-motivated learners, looks to build the foundations for creative, critical, metacognitive thinkers with clear, engaging communication skills. 

They are able to reflect on and critique their own work and the work of others, to enhance and refine their own process and the end product. Undertaking the creative process builds empathy as it allows the learner to see from other perspectives. 

Stepping outside themselves allows their imagination to flourish, as the learner sees the unseen. 

Creative subjects in the Performing Arts explicitly imbeds the 21stCentury learning skills of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, which will prepare students to be active, imaginative global citizens. This means looking at the world and most importantly; their world, in new inventive ways, from a compassionate, problem solving perspective. Ultimately, this allows them to understand and further enhance the human experience. Engaging in these processes encourages students to undertake a reflective praxis, based around their own thinking and consider the best ways they learn and retain knowledge, allowing them to optimise and personalise their learning, giving them ultimate agency in their own education and outcomes.'

How to nurture creativity in your children

Encourage free play
Unstructured play is not only the best type of play for young children, it’s central to their learning and development. When they engage in free, unstructured play such as role-play, they open up their imagination. This often leads to play that’s creative, improvised and gives them the freedom to express themselves. It also gives them the chance to develop social skills, language and communication, build confidence and make mistakes without the fear of consequence.  

Set up a space for them to create
Giving your children access to interesting materials encourages a creative mindset. For younger kids, this could be anything from plain paper, boxes, pencils, to dress ups, building blocks, chalk or playdough. For older kids, this might include a journal and writing or drawing tools. All you need to do as parents is give them freedom to engage on their own and collaborate with them rather than managing them. Watch their imagination run wild as they take their own creative risks.

Embrace mistakes 
Creativity is the courage to not just make mistakes, but to also embrace them. As parents, encourage your children to see their mistakes as an essential part of the creative process – and life. Taking risks and exploring is how we learn. A willingness to make mistakes gives your children more freedom to try something new, rather than playing it safe and staying in their comfort zone. Be sure to praise their efforts, not just the results. It’s important to encourage value in the process and willingness to try. 

Encourage critical thinking
Critical thinking plays a key role in young children in how they process new information and how to best use it. Asking your children open-ended questions – what, how, why – is one of the easiest ways to get them to think outside the square. Try ‘What would happen if…?’ ‘How else could you solve it?’ ‘Why do you think that?’ and ‘How did you come up with this idea?’ By doing this, you’re helping your children develop a flexible mindset and dynamic thinking that can help them succeed both now and in the future.

We know that happy, high achievers are given lots of opportunities to discover their passion and express themselves, across all types of endeavours, from creative and academic to sports. Mentone Grammar’s appreciation for performing and visual arts is celebrated through our Creativity Centre, a state-of-the-art hub where our Students bring to life their outstanding works for our Community to enjoy. For more information on our Co-Curricular, Performing and Visual Arts programs, please click here.

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