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Canning, N. (2013) "Where's the Bear? Over There!"--Creative Thinking and Imagination in Den Making (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This small scale research project examines opportunities for creative thinking and imagination through den making in a rural private day nursery with its own woodland area on the borders of England and Wales in the UK. The research is underpinned by sociocultural theory and is an ethnographic study of non-participant observations of children aged between three and four years old and early years practitioners involved in supporting their play. The focus is on children's creative play in peer social groups and examines the way in which children explore their environment and utilise their play space and resources to sustain imagination and creativity. The research considers how the environment and den-making context provides opportunities for possibility thinking [Craft, A. (2001). "Little c creativity." In A. Craft, B. Jeffrey, & M. Liebling (Eds.), "Creativity in education" (pp. 45-61). London: Continuum], where children are encouraged to explore "what if?" questions. The research explores the way in which an outdoor environment can support flexible opportunities and resources where children are able to engage in imaginative and creative play, develop their communication skills and build relationships with other children and adults. The research considers children's fascination with the story "bears in the wood" and how early years practitioners facilitated their creative thinking and imagination.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
183
Page/s:
1042-1053
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Free play
  • Outdoor play
  • Peers play
  • Playful learning
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Construction play
Relevant age group/s:

Goodliff, G. (2013) Spirituality Expressed in Creative Learning: Young Children's Imagining Play as Space for Mediating Their Spirituality (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Historically underpinning principles of the English curriculum framework for children from birth to five years explicitly acknowledged a spiritual dimension to children's uniqueness and well-being. Yet spirituality receives scant reference in the discourse of creative learning and teaching. This paper considers the relationship of spirituality to creativity and argues for a greater attentiveness to children's spirituality in early childhood education that acknowledges its presence in expression of children's thinking, creating and imagining. Located within an interpretive paradigm, this ethnographic study of children aged two and three years in a day nursery in England, explores how they express spirituality. A hermeneutic approach underpins the analysis and interpretation of the data. Findings reveal how in imaginative play, most often recognised in the early years curriculum as part of creative development, young children show a capacity for expressing meaning-making and negotiating identity, key dimensions of the spiritual in childhood.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
183
Page/s:
1054-1071
Synonyms:
  • Creativity
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Pretend play
  • Qualitative methodology
Relevant age group/s: