Creators not consumers

“Creators not consumers” was the mantra when I first worked with Play.Train in the early 1990’s. What drove us was the wish to encourage young people to recognise and value their own abilities to create, make, do, sing, think and question. We wanted them to know that it was not there role in life to become passive consumers of other people’s thinking – the ones who made it onto TV – that there own minds were full of ideas.

I have just seen a similar phrase today in a report from a conference “Primary Curriculum Visions” October 2010 (notes from it available here). In a presentation by Professor Mick Waters looking at ways of ‘Approaching Knowledge’ at the top of the list is

“help children to see themselves as producers-not consumers of knowledge”

I believe that making , doing and exploring materials at a young age totally enhances a child’s confidence in their own abilities and awakens their own thirst for discovery.

Sadly with the demise of the UK’s play facilities, children could have few opportunities to do this outside of school. If they have to sit down in lessons, only get to work on  a small scale at table tops , only get to handle clay they make a uniform pot, then go home to play indoors or watch TV. Where then will this burning desire to discover the world be ignited?

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