Children, Art and the Future of the Mediterranean

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Creativity and Children

Why is creativity an issue when children are innately creative? The influence of certain developmental stages in the creative lives of children and adults is well documented in the creativity literature (Runco & Charles, 1997; Runco, 1995; Sternburg & Lubart, 1995). Within this body of data, a so-called “fourth grade slump” has been documented across cultures (Torrance, 1968). Briefly, these data indicate that when children begin school, their level of creativity is evident and often flourishing. By the time they reach the fourth grade however, they are more conforming, less likely to take risks, and less playful or spontaneous than in earlier years. This trend in behavior continues throughout the school years and into adulthood. ICAF addresses the “fourth grade slump” through a special arts program for the world’s children.3

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