Teaching for creativity

Posted on February 24, 2020

Why do we have such a focus on teaching for creativity?

The World Economic Forum regularly runs articles about skills for the workforce. A few years ago (in 2017), they surveyed 350 executives across nine industries in 15 of the world’s biggest economies to find out what the top 10 skills will be needed for the workforce in 2020.

It won’t surprise you, particularly if you work in the corporate world, but all the skills are “soft skills”. Many of the top 10 were skills that define a person of character. For example: “having a service orientation”, or, actively seeking ways to help others; “people management”, being able to motivate others; and, “emotional intelligence”.

The top three skills on the list were: 

At number 3: Creativity. In 2015, creativity was ranked tenth on the list. It is now amongst the top three skills employers will seek. I suspect it will go to the number two or even the number one spot in the next few years. 

At number 2: Critical thinking. As automation increases, the need for humans who can employ logic and reasoning will increase. 

At number 1: Complex problem solving.

The top three skills are essentially interlinked. The problems the world faces are increasingly complex and will require incredible levels of ingenuity, the ability to see opportunities, to think creatively, and come up with ethical ideas that can be scaled.

I fear that mainstream education hasn’t really kept pace with the needs of the people. A truly valuable education is one that not only imparts knowledge, but also develops skills and supports everyone’s natural ability to think creatively.

This is why at St Paul’s we have such a focus on a holistic education. An education that not only develops people of character but also cultivates everyone’s natural tendency for creativity so they can see solutions to complex problems.

Dr Paul Browning

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