The acquisition of creative problem solving as a skill is crucial for the future of our world; specifically in order to embrace the future hope rather than despair.

Creativity is an advanced thinking skill and can be defined as the ability to find new and useful solutions. In previous articles on this website the concept is explained in depth. A crucial point is that it is fortunately not an ability that is reserved for a privileged few, but involves skills that can be acquired.

A paradox is that although creative thinking is a crucial skill for survival and prosperity, it is in general not acknowledged, learnt and applied adequately.

Unfortunately our schooling system largely excludes the deliberate teaching and development of creativity. Some of these creative competencies include questioning and idea generation.  The focus is mainly on a standardised curriculum, a heavy emphasis on authority and conformity, rote memorisation and eventually standardised exams.

A few years ago Kyung Hee Kim at the college of William and Mary in the US discovered that this neglect resulted in a significant decline in the creativity test scores of children of children since 1990.

The result of this is that the majority enterprises have employees most of whom do not realise their creative potential. It is like having a state-of-the-art DIY tool and not knowing it; let alone becoming skilled at using it.

The solution is not so complex and unattainable.  Finding a mentor in the field or starting to read on the topic may get the process. Your newly acquired expertise could be syphoned down to learners and children. The main goal for you and them are the abilities to think of extraordinary questions to problems as well as unique solutions.

  • How much disciplined learning have you been exposed to in terms of creative thinking?
  • Think of examples where you have imparted such knowledge to children?
  • What are your ideas of implementing the idea of including creative thinking in your daily life?