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Author Bio: Leah Hinton is the chief educator at TechSpaghetti and a Digital arts teacher at an international Baccalaureate school. Support her Indiegogo campaiagn here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/techspaghetti-the-young-innovator-s-toolkit/x/7756976
The reason behind this changing paradigm is as simple as it is daunting – our children will come into an age that we can barely yet conceive of. We cannot predict what knowledge or “hard” skills we need to equip them with, so creativity and communication through digital media will become the most valuable skills in an increasingly complex and digital future.
And this should not come as a revelation. A 2012 US survey of 1,000 college educated professionals found that 82% of respondents wished they had more exposure to creative thinking as students and 9/10 of them believed creative thinking is important for future economic prosperity. Similarly, a 2010 IBM report of 1500 CEOs saw them highlight creative problem solving as the most necessary skill to navigate the social and economic challenges of the future. So when should we start nurturing creativity?
Children are inherently creative. You’ve heard it before, or perhaps witnessed it first-hand. Most likely you were impressed by one of your own child’s latest toy concoctions – sticking an army man on a dinosaur never quite occurred to you. Or maybe it was your 2nd grade student’s most recent drama performance.
The key is focus. We need to harness this innate creativity into structured and productive activities. A fortnightly arts class in school is not enough. We know that children are inherently creative, but we need to guide them through productive learning engagements that help them focus their ideas in a logical, sequential and practical way.