Developing Young Children's Creativity
Possibility Thinking in the Early Years

Paper: 978 1 85856 679 5 / $41.95
Published: December 2016  

Publisher: Trentham Books
186 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
figures & tables
This book vividly illustrates how Anna Craft’s concept of "possibility thinking"--shifting from "what is" to "what might be"--is at the heart of creativity. It traces the verbal and non-verbal communication, collaboration and identity development of three children as they use art and craft through their first three years in school.

Through the engaging words and actions of the self-named Rosie Runner, Hot Wheels and Box Boy, readers are led through the immersive worlds of young children. Educators in early years settings and primary schools, creative arts playworkers and social studies researchers will see how they can observe, document, foster and assess creativity in their own settings and enhance their own pedagogical practice.

Table of Contents:
1. Introducing the Communicating Possibilities Project
2. Possibility Thinking
3. The emergence of question-posing and question-responding in the nursery classroom
4. When does collaboration begin?
5. Transitions and transformations: Rosie Runner – from artist to writer
6. Transitions and transformations: Once a Box Boy always a Box Boy
7. Transitions and transformations: Hot Wheels – challenging perspectives, from replicator to original creator
8. The spider story
9. Recognizing differences: What children can do together
10. Pedagogy of possibilities: Developing a role
11. Observing, documenting and assessing creativity
12. Advocating for creative futures

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Reviews & Endorsements:
"This book is an inspiring read. It brings together theory and practice in a very accessible way, especially through the ethnographic case studies of children's creative learning journeys. It will be of use to students and teachers by helping them to understand why creativity is important but especially through showing how it can motivate and enhance young children's minds."
- Iram Siraj, Professor of Early Childhood Education, UCL Institute of Education
"In this fascinating scholarly account of young children’s emergent creativity as artist communicators, Linda McConnon reveals the potency of children’s possibility thinking as they move from accepting ‘what is’ to exploring ‘what might be’. The closely documented case studies of Rosie Runner, Hot Wheels and Box Boy as they playfully engage in individual, collaborative and communal activities are a particular delight. This book makes a rich new contribution to our understanding of collaborative artistic relationships in the early years. It also offers expert professional guidance on how to nurture children’s possibility thinking, enrich their imaginations and bring art to life."
- Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education, The Open University