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Reach for the stars! Creative engagement with young children

Martlew, Joan and Grogan, Deirdre (2013) Reach for the stars! Creative engagement with young children. Early Child Development and Care. ISSN 0300-4430

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Abstract

Creativity is an area of great interest in the current context within the UK. It is fundamental to successful learning however somehow education removes our artistic and creative abilities and affects the development of important skills such as problem solving. This paper builds on the initial findings of an evaluation report conducted by a university research team, assessing the impact of Starcatchers, an organisation developing performing arts experiences for children aged 12 weeks to 4 years. It focuses on an analysis of the engagement of these young children and suggests that active engagement in creative experiences promote a sense of self-worth in young children, supporting children’s health and well-being and may help to combat the effects of social disadvantage experienced by many young children and their families in the current cultural and social context within Scotland, indicating lessons for implementing effective artists in residence programmes to develop children’s creativity in future.