|A 2010 poll carried out by IBM of 1500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency of the future.’ Considering this powerful comment came from the leaders of the world’s biggest global corporations, helping boost creativity-related educational opportunities in your school or college would perhaps be a great place to start!
Creativity is critical
Knighted for services to education, Sir Ken Robinson an author, speaker and international advisor wrote an article for The Guardian about the importance of making time for creativity in education – across all spectrums of learning. His definition of creativity is: ‘the process of having original ideas that have value’ and as he explained: “Creativity is not a linear process in which you have to learn all the necessary skills before you get started. When students are motivated to learn, they naturally acquire the skills they need to get the work done.”
A few years before this he spoke in a very inspiring TED TALK about the ideal education system being one that fosters more creativity for young children. He noted that children who started school in 2012 will be retiring in 2065, but that nobody knows what life will look like. Exercising their creative muscles now will better equip them to solve dilemmas in the future that we perhaps can’t even yet imagine – therefore a further reason why creativity is so critical for young students.
Bring creativity to your school
You, too, can bring creativity to life in your school or classroom. Here’s how you could begin:
- Share Caine’s idea. Watch this short film Caine’s Arcade it’s about 9 year old Caine Monroy who spent his 2011 summer holidays building a cardboard amusement arcade (within his Dad’s spare car parts shop) with the aim of selling tickets to make some pocket money. Struck by his creativity, Nirvan Mullick, a local filmmaker made a film about Caine’s idea that has since inspired hundreds of schools across the world to implement a creativity curriculum. Use this story to help provide context at a School Staff, Governor or PTA meeting on the value of creativity and its impact on our children’s futures.
- Talk it up. Show Caine’s story in the classroom and send home a link to the video and additional information about adopting a creativity curriculum at school. Distribute coloured pencils to get children excited about the models and games they will create for their own arcade. Send a blank notebook home with them so that they can start brainstorming and drawing right away.
Who would have thought one young boy in LA would have inspired a filmmaker and a world of teachers and students? All it took was an idea.
Make creativity the key
Caine’s Arcade is one way among many to bring creativity into your school. There are many options, though all of them begin with building support. After all, if creativity is going to become a more significant part of the curriculum, you’ll need support to make those changes.
Start discussions with parents, teachers and support staff about the benefits that come with creativity. Remind everyone that creativity encourages unique approaches to problem-solving. Additional support could be garnered by working with a not for profit organisation such as Creativity, Culture & Education that works internationally to unlock the creativity of young people in and out of formal education.
Once you’ve built up momentum you can start to plan an event that reinforces creativity.
- Do some local advertising. Banners in school, libraries, leisure centres and around the community work well to promote events for kids. Give the event a little extra oomph by partnering with a local supermarket or business in your area who could lend a little support too.
- Integrate creativity. Devote some time a few weeks before the event to incorporate brainstorming time into the school day. Regardless of the kind of creative venture you decide on, allocating time for students to come up with ideas in a team setting. You can take this a step further by asking your students to present their ideas to the rest of their class.
- Celebrate it. When the ‘big day’ arrives, reward participating students with printed T-Shirts to further bolster team spirit and camaraderie among them.
Creativity shouldn’t be the missing piece; make creativity the key instead and let the future be filled with the creative leaders that the global business leaders regard as fundamental for the future.
Sources / Further Reading
IBM 2010 Global CEO Study: Creativity Selected as Most Crucial Factor for Future Success. IBM Newsroom. 18.05.2010
To encourage creativity, Mr Gove, you must first understand what it is. The Guardian. 17.05.2013.
Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity. Video on TED.com. June 2006.
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution. Video on Ted.com. May 2010.
Creativity, Culture & Education