Has someone ever told you that you need to be more creative? I hear it all the time. We need students who will be creative problem-solvers. Makes sense, but, exactly how does one foster creativity? Is it something you’re just born with or can it be developed?
In our last blog post titled The Seven Survival Skills we looked at the information In Tony Wagner’s book The Global Achievement Gap where he argues that there are seven skills that business leaders see as necessary for success:
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
- Agility and Adaptability
- Initiative and Entrepreneurship
- Effective Oral and Written Communication
- Accessing and Analyzing Information
- Curiosity and Imagination
In Worthington Schools we are working diligently to increase critical thinking and problem solving as well as curiosity and imagination. Cindy Foley and Jennifer Lehe at the Columbus Museum of Art have been significant partners. Cindy and Jennifer have pushed the conversation in our region around teaching for creativity.
At the Columbus Museum of Art, they’re talking about creativity as the process of using imagination and critical thinking to generate new ideas that have value. Creativity is the ability to see things as if they could be different, and to take action based on that vision. It is what we need to realize change in our lives, in our communities, and in the world. The museum is helping us look at questions such as: What are the conditions in which creativity thrives? Conditions like flexible use of time, classrooms that feel like studios, supportive and collaborative relationships, intentional language. And, What are the dispositions that support the creative process? Dispositions like persistence, experimentation, play, curiosity, wonder. What can I as an educator do to support these conditions and dispositions? What can I do Monday and every day to foster creativity? I appreciate the museum because they understand that these are not simple questions, and classrooms are not simple places.
Jennifer Lehe produced a resource titled: “Things to do everyday to embed creativity in the classroom” It’s helping our teachers to take small steps everyday to help students grow into the creative problem-solvers who will be critical thinkers full of curiosity and imagination. Teaching these skills is an intentional process and in every Worthington classroom you should see evidence that we’re making progress.
- Trent Bowers, Superintendent