Developing Innovative Minds is Vital for Future Ready Students

 

How do we prepare our students for the 21st century?

THIS IS A QUESTION THAT EDUCATORS HAVE ASKED FOR YEARS. TEACHING CONTENT NO LONGER SETS OUR STUDENTS UP FOR SUCCESS. MANY OF THE JOBS OUR GRADUATES CAN GET NOW WILL NO LONGER EXIST IN A NUMBER OF YEARS. OF COURSE, TEACHING THE BASICS IS IMPORTANT AND WE MUST TEACH THE BASICS IN THE CONTEXT OF DEVELOPING INNOVATIVE MINDS.

The reality is, we must change the emphasis from teaching content to teaching skills. We must prioritize teaching essential skills such as,

CRITICAL THINKING

CREATIVITY

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

NEGOTIATION

COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY

COMPLEX PROBLEM SOLVING

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT

COORDINATING WITH OTHERS

JUDGEMENT AND DECISION MAKING

SERVICE ORIENTATION

Essential skills include soft skills or social and emotional learning (SEL) as they are vital for students to be able to work well on teams, to ask questions and to find the problems.

After finding the problems, students need to be able to solve problems…complex problems. That requires being innovative which is a skill set that involves creative process learning (CPL.) CPL requires a series of steps such as imagining and developing an idea, experimenting with materials, numbers, words, movement, music, actions seeking possible answers while being open to possibilities. Then, receiving input and feedback, refining, testing and receiving more feedback. Practicing this cycle is how we develop innovative minds.

As educators, we must prioritize innovation to prepare our students for their world. More and more businesses are realizing that to be relevant in a first world country, they need to be innovative. Engineers are among others in business who are seeking training to build their “creative muscle.” They are coming to The Atlantic Centre for Creativity to learn to be innovative. To be current and cutting edge as a first world society we best embrace a broader attitude about the significance of creativity, such as The Atlantic Centre for Creativity’s philosophy. It is spot on.

It is ideal to learn SEL and develop one’s creative muscle when young and in the formative years. The best way I have found to train in creativity is through the arts. Teaching in and through the arts gives students opportunities to grow in the skills they need to succeed now and in their future work places.

“Our study provides more evidence that the arts are absolutely needed in schools…” says Mariale Hardiman, vice dean of academic affairs for the School of Education at the Johns Hopkins University and the study’s first author. 

Work places are struggling with graduates who have not learned SEL skills. These skills can be taught inside the CPL methodology. CPL is the key to developing innovative minds and we can teach embedding SEL. It is imperative that we teach our teacher candidates through CPL so they can learn to develop future students who can be innovative while employing strong people skills in the workplace.

This logo is a simple visual for the work I do in schools and in teacher training. That is where one's creative muscle is developed, which develops innovative minds. What is more, this is done inside the school curriculum.