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Conference Proceeding

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Every child is born with a natural curiosity and fertile imagination. This innate ability and disposition is seldom clearly defined or understood, however. The literature abounds with speculation about the nature of creativity in people. Reference is made to a potpourri of words that conjure up what a creative individual/child would do or how he/she might behave (the ability to solve problems, generate ideas, think laterally, play imaginatively, design, make things, act spontaneously, fantasize, laugh). The instinct to identify and solve problems and do it creatively is often identified as a fundamental trait of being human, yet its core determinants remain an elusive phenomenon. Scientific and experiential knowledge about this elusive phenomenon is beginning to emerge. And, excitement about understanding and classifying it is mounting. Parents who have raised a family, for example, know firsthand that this creativity exists and that it varies in form from one child to another. It is also generally understood that curiosity and imagination changes over time from influences imposed by families and institutions. There is increasing evidence that creativity (lack of a universal definition and measurement procedure aside) declines into adolescence. Coincidently there is mounting pressure from governments around the world to ‘bottle’ this magic trait/disposition so more of its citizens can stimulate sagging economies, among other things. More knowledge about these influences is needed.


NORDFO Conference, Norway, September, 2012