Child education historian and author Linda Stott, who has spent nearly 40 years studying how children learn, has a theory on why we think children are so different.
She says children are far more prone to imagination than adults and we tend to think they have it all figured out.
“The story is that children don’t know how to do this,” she says.
“They’re not prepared to be challenged.
So the first time they start telling the story, they’re thinking they’ve got it all planned out.
They don’t want to have to be creative.”
But Stott believes that the more we can instill in children the sense of responsibility for their own learning, the more they’ll be able to trust their own abilities and will be more likely to follow through on their ideas.
“Children will trust their ideas because they’re not going to have the kind of fear and doubt that adults do about children,” she explains.
“It’s a lot easier for children to believe that if they do well, then they’ll have a good life.
And they’re going to be a lot more motivated.”
As Stott explains, the first lesson children learn about their own capacity for creativity is that they have the capacity to do anything.
And while it may not be easy, she says it is possible.
“Once you start to develop this belief in yourself, you’ll start to think in a more positive way.” “
She says kids will also learn that it’s possible to create something that can make a difference to the world. “
Once you start to develop this belief in yourself, you’ll start to think in a more positive way.”
She says kids will also learn that it’s possible to create something that can make a difference to the world.
“I think that’s probably the most important thing to learn early in life is that you can do something,” she adds.
“If you can, you can change the world.”
For the children, it’s also about the future.
“For them, it was important for me to be able the future, so I learned to think about what I could be in the future,” says Emily, now 8.
“Because I’m just a little bit older now, I just didn’t know that I was going to live a happy life.”
Stott says she was inspired to write The Art of Children by her own children.
She describes how the book helped her develop the belief that kids can be very different from adults and it made her think about the difference that can be made between children and adults.
“All of these kids are so much more resilient than the adults I grew up with.
And it was like, this is the way they’re able to cope, they can cope with things.
They’ve just got this capacity to just be different.”
She hopes the book will help others think about how to help children develop the capacity for imagination.
For Emily, the book has inspired her to create art in the hope of giving other children an outlet for their creativity.
“You can’t get out of your mind.
It’s really difficult.
So this is just something that I’m hoping will help people to learn to think for themselves.”