Can creativity be taught?

Here are some ideas to help your students think outside the box

I recently attended a conference and enjoyed the sessions and topics ranging from professional-development strategies to the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). Throughout the day, one word that permeated discussions was “creativity,” and how this phenomenon is now one of the essential skills for success in future careers. Creativity is not a new term. We hear it often and we frequently tell our students to be creative and think “outside the box.” As teachers, we often include creativity as a required goal on our grading rubrics when assessing student presentations. Adding creativity lets students know that we expect more than content knowledge.

Growing up, I remember many opportunities to develop and show examples of creativity because the tools and resources to perform some tasks were not available. As children, we imagined other worlds, created our own games, designed areas to play, and solved mysteries on our own.

Creativity’s growing importance
As we look at future jobs and technological advancements, having creativity is essential in the workplace. Robots and AI will be able to handle many tasks, even replacing some types of jobs, but we will still need creative thinkers and designers to move ahead globally. As educators, how do we ensure that students learn this skill in our curriculums? Can creativity be taught? Why are some people more creative than others? If you tell students to be creative, do they even know what it means or where to begin?

(Next page: Ways to encourage creativity)

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