Developing Creativity in Young Children by Implementation of Open Ended Activities in the USA and in China

Abstract

This qualitative case study aims to analyze whether there are differences in creativity in preschool children growing up in China and in the U.S. by exploring how children used symbols in the creation of artwork. The context of this research includes early childhood education in China and America, theories of childhood development and creativity, and the development of symbolic thinking in young children. The instruments for collecting data included classroom observations, open-ended interviews and the children’s artwork. The research findings offer important information about cross-cultural investigations into creativity. First, the study found that children's artwork demonstrates varied and unique expression patterns and can be interpreted in connection with children's thoughts. Second, the study indicated that environment has a significant influence on how children produce art. As a result of the findings, the research suggests that in order to better promote creativity and imagination in children, teachers and parents should give them more opportunities to observe the outside world. Moreover, through a comparison of American and Chinese teaching strategies in connection with art, it can be concluded that educators should balance children’s natural talents and instincts with professional guidance and instruction.