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What have we learned about the development of creativity throughout the lifespan? The rich and comprehensive review by Bornstein (Chapter 4) captures the complexity of creativity within a developmental framework. How do we integrate the constructs and empirical findings in the field of creativity with developmental approaches? Understanding the development of creativity requires perspectives from different disciplines and a number of different investigative approaches, which this Handbook has provided. Here, we highlight some areas of consensus and implications for the future.
The school-age years are an important period for the development of creativity. Children 6–12 years of age must learn to balance creative thinking with the conventional demands of parents, schools, and society. The development of components of creative thinking should be focused on in research. Divergent thinking is one component that is a valid indicator of creative potential. Much of the research on the developmental trajectory of divergent thinking has found contradictory results. Moderators such as type of task and culture are factors to take into account. Pretend play is also a common form of creative activity during these years that includes many of the components of creativity. Implications of research findings are discussed.
The focus of this Handbook is on the development, nurturance, and enhancement of creative processes and creative achievement across the lifespan. What do we currently know about the development of creativity? How can we develop the processes important for creative thinking, and how can we help individuals translate that creative potential into creative achievement throughout their lives? We are pleased that leading scholars and researchers in the field agreed to contribute to the Handbook and share their perspectives. There are 25 chapters addressing a variety of topics in the area. This Handbook provides a review of each area, including current research findings, consensus in the literature, best practices in each area, and key questions for future research. In addition, many chapters raise provocative questions that point the way for future consideration and research.
Pretend play is indeed a microcosm of creative processes. With pretend play, we can observe the fundamental components of creativity. Pretend play is one arena in which we can identify the basic essentials of the creative process and learn about the development of the interaction of these processes. Pretend play is the expression of self-generated thought that includes divergent thinking, object substitution, symbolism, fantasy, affect themes, and narrative development. In play, children switch back and forth between spontaneous idea generation and the more controlled logic of the narrative. This chapter reviews the theories of play and creativity, and the correlational, longitudinal, and experimental research literature. The development of creative processes in play is discussed. Pretend play can be used as a measure of creativity. Suggestions for future investigation are offered.
This handbook focuses on the development and nurturance of creativity across the lifespan, from early childhood to adolescence, adulthood, and later life. It answers the question: how can we help individuals turn their creative potential into achievement? Each chapter examines various contexts in which creativity exists, including school, workplace, community spaces, and family life. It covers various modalities for fostering creativity such as play, storytelling, explicit training procedures, shifting of attitudes about creative capacity, and many others. The authors review research findings across disciplines, encompassing the work of psychologists, educators, neuroscientists, and creators themselves, to describe the best practices for fostering creativity at each stage of development.
Pretend play is a creative act. There are many similarities between the components of a creative act and pretend play. This chapter reviews the similarities in these processes and the research evidence for the link between play and creativity. There are many different profiles of pretend play abilities in children, just as there are many profiles of creative abilities in adults. Children express and practice with these different processes in play, according to their interests and talents. An important question is whether play facilitates the development of these creative processes or simply reflects them. We review the current evidence, discuss methodological issues, and make suggestions for future research. As we develop pretend play intervention protocols that enhance creativity, it is crucial that we disseminate information to parents, schools, and childcare providers. Making these protocols, games, or apps easily available and easy to integrate into daily life at home and school is important.