All Million Little programs are grounded in research and theory. Additionally, Million Little conducts its own research so our participants and partnership programs can move towards empowerment and sustainability, taking Million Little’s approach and individualize even further as their process emerges.
Million Little’s research projects enable us to not only offer resources to those who work with children, families, and communities but also inform our own practice and methodologies. Million Little’s research teams include staff and scholars from various disciplines.
Research on creativity was conducted at multiple locations in 2013-2014. Below are the findings of this research, briefly:
In this research, art materials were used as tools to foster creative abilities and skills in the children. It is important to understand that art in itself is not a creative experience. How one uses art (materials) determines whether the activity fosters creativity in the process. Furthermore, the research findings show that regardless of physical and cognitive disadvantages, socio-economic differences, or traumatic life experiences, creative potential exists in all people and that cognitive skills and abilities that are associated with creativity can be learned and nurtured at any stage of life.
The following were observed and nurtured in the children during this research:
When the children engaged in activities that they truly loved, their long-term memories improved. This research finding indicates that love holds the key to accelerating such cognitive development.
When the children were encouraged to investigate and experience the materials in new and personally meaningful ways, it created opportunities for them to develop problem-solving skills through the process of exploration.
In a caring environment where the children’s voices were heard and their ideas were taken seriously, the children replicated and shared the same kind of love and care for others.
In an environment where the children’s choices and ideas were respected, their desire to communicate and collaborate with others manifested. As a result, many forms of communication flourished and developed – speaking, writing, listening, and creating.
Where the children’s explorations were encouraged and challenges were seen as new possibilities, the children took more risks, building resiliency through the process of trial-and error.
Making choices, discovering new abilities and potential through exploration, and building connections through meaningful experiences all cultivated the children’s confidence, which was transmitted into other parts of their lives.
The Power of Creativity: A Way of Life and its Potential for Social Change: 2013-2014
Creative Expression as Individual Culture: 2016-present
Mindful Creativity as a Means Towards Empathy and Compassion: pending
The Impact of Transformative Environments and Creativity on Self-Concept and Expression: 2017- present
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