Why creative thinking might be our strongest asset

How can we develop a more creative approach to problem-solving?

Developing a creative mindset is more important than ever before, not just for our students, but for educators as well. The advancement of technology, the connectedness of society, and the innovations that are taking place on a regular basis all point to creative thinking as a key asset in the digital age.

So how do we develop a more creative approach to problem-solving? As a designer and educator, I’ve observed a set of principles that can lead to some rather creative approaches to doing things.

When developing your own creative thought process or nurturing it in your students, the first step is to debunk the myth that being creative is what you do, more than how you think. The tenets of this myth say that being good at art, music, or cooking is what makes someone “creative.” In reality, these are merely expressions of the creative process. To develop creative expression, we must spend more time discussing the above ideas with students to help them get over the first, and sometimes biggest, obstacle to creativity—developing a creativity mindset.

We need time and space to explore
How did Edison invent the light bulb? How did Musk create a rocket? How did Mrs. Smith, a fourth-grade teacher, create a classroom that made learning contagious? Whether you’re trying to solve a communal challenge or develop the perfect learning space for students, those involved in coming up with unconventional ideas, aka “innovation,” need the time and space to explore.

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