Creativity is a highly valued trait in today’s society. In fact, many tertiary institutions, and even employers, expect applicants to not just be able to do the job well, but to also bring new perspectives. This is why most schools have embraced the values of “STEAM,” otherwise known as Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, which is designed to provide a well-rounded education for children.
While the factual side of STEAM lays the foundations for many traditional “hard skills,” it is the creative thinking honed by the Arts that builds “soft skills” and allows for innovative problem-solving.
The creative process was celebrated at the recent International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) Primary Drama Festival, which was hosted at GEMS (Singapore).
This year’s festival, themed “City in the Sky”, saw theatre practitioners such as Mhairi MacInnes, Keriann O’Rourke, Rob Russell and Francois Zanini sharing their expertise with 93 students from five international schools in Singapore.
Students were required to be at the core of the creative process, which gave them room to explore, make mistakes and have fun. They were introduced to a wide range of interactive activities such as experimenting with elastics to make buildings, bridges and doors with their bodies, using hula hoops as seatbelts and more. They also honed their storytelling craft by using their voices and movements to enhance their delivery, and frequent feedback was given to help sharpen their intent and direction.
By bringing together a diverse group of children, each participant was challenged to be open-minded, thoughtful and cooperative in his or her approach towards each other.
Experts at GEMS (Singapore) also believe that raising creative children should also begin at home.
Start by asking your kids questions beginning with “What if…?” or “What changes would you make to…?” You can also work with your kids to make games out of every day household objects, and to encourage them to recycle junk into new objects.
In a world where so many things are already prepared for us, it is imperative to nurture creativity in your children – and keep it going beyond the early years.
From The Finder Kids (Vol. 20), September 2017
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