What Young Children Give to Their Learning, Making Education Work to Sustain a Community and its Culture

This research explores how young children's creativity can be supported by adults, who often live in a more routine and adult-structured world.

The policies and administration of early education and support for social development constantly need re-defining, or re-inspiring, by taking into account the perspective of a young child. They must acknowlege the intuitive abilites and values, and growing initiatives that are present in the child from birth and that motivate learning. Innate impulses of human imagination, with strong aesthetic and moral feelings, make sharing of experience and building of meaningful memories possible for a young person. They also determine the suffering that follows if they are not respected. Economists advise that this creativity of early childhood as a resource in itself - government and business, policymakers and managers need to understand what healthy and confident young human beings, if they are treated fairly, will contribute to future industry, prosperity and well-being in society (Heymann et al. 2006; Sinclair 2007; RAND Corporation 2008). Well-trained and experienced teachers of young children are also major contributors to social and cultural health of the community. They know, in practice, what inventive and helpful intelligence children have to offer. Unfortunately this creativity of young children is often outside the imagination of those who are preoccupied with managing the complex artefacts and routine structures of the adult world, and who deal with the problems of adult society and its employments.

[This paper was first published in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal,  Vol 19, No. 2, June 2011]