From a young age, education should provide us with the knowledge to help us unlock our next achievements. For example, solving an equation to find the missing number or analyzing a sentence to know how to write it correctly.
However, teaching such knowledge should be flexible, at least not in a world as complex as ours. In this world, creativity is essential for the knowledge we acquire to be helpful. That is to say. They help us to solve problems. That is why, when looking for themes for educational projects, we should never leave aside such a fundamental issue as creativity.
Education to inspire
Beyond helping us solve problems, creativity is the key to inspirational education. An educational approach is highlighted by experts such as Ken Robinson, as stated in the Future Trends Forum Report on Education for the 21st century. According to Robinson, education must serve as a tool to bring out the talent that we all have inside us but is different in each of us.
In this sense, the current education system wastes this talent by not giving creativity the importance it deserves. For the expert, imagination should enjoy the same status as knowing how to read and write as a method for dealing with uncertainty and helping to solve problems. A creativity that is easily observable in children and that, little by little, they lose because of the culture of fear of mistakes.
The remedy to this situation is simple: the education of the future must foster creative capacity from the earliest years, especially in the school environment. An endeavor that has already been successfully carried out by some educational institutions, such as the Tokyo International School with its Relevant Learning Model, devised by Patrick Newell, founder and director of the Tokyo International School and expert of the Future Trends Forum.
An innovative model
The model implemented at Tokyo International School discards textbooks and uses six basic themes for educational projects related to understanding and solving global problems or innovation and design. Students investigate a problem posed to them based on questions. To find the answers, students use different research methods and creatively present what they have learned to others.
This is a method in which the level of engagement and motivation of the students is very high regardless of what they are learning and what they want to be an essay writer or designer. Creativity allows students to discover their talents and extend them further. Exposing a young child’s brain to multiple experiences enables them to create connections that, in turn, make it easier for them to create many things.
The extensive practice and exploration of different approaches in an environment foster confidence that truly nurtures a learner’s talents. Putting learning into practice is the best way to shape a way of thinking that will make life much easier for learners as they grow up.
“The most effective way to establish connections in the brain is to create things because that transforms a vision of the future into something tangible,” says Patrick. In other words, getting to work helps us bring ideas down to earth and make them worthwhile. That is why it is so convenient to practice it.
Not only that: but by exercising their creativity as a team, students foster a potent tool: collective creative intelligence. It’s a type of intelligence that constantly aligns humans and nature with the tools of technology to allow us to do whatever we want together,
The role of technology
Technology is a great support when it comes to putting inspirational, creativity-based education into practice. In the case of Tokyo International School, its middle school students had a laptop computer in their hands as early as 2004. In addition, the school’s students have a technology design lab to unleash their creativity.
Technology has allowed us to learn in ways we had never dreamed of. In this context, artificial intelligence is emerging, a technology that, according to the expert, will change reality over the next ten years.
Soft skills come into play
Creativity must be present in the education of the future and in the selection of subjects for educational projects. However, it will only be able to achieve a little independently. It is necessary to cultivate other qualities that allow students to make the most of it. This is where social and emotional skills come into play.
When these skills are high, we tend to shine in other areas. The way we feel is what often drives our success. Our creativity increases when our confidence is boosted and we feel safe and open to experiencing new things.
In this sense, the triangle between academic success, emotional development, and creativity works wonders, in the expert’s opinion.
And how do we evaluate all this?
In an educational system in which concepts as abstract as creativity or personal development come into play, it may seem challenging to consider evaluating students. However, doing so is as easy as observing the results. However, they will not be recorded on a test sheet but in a digital file. In the case of Tokyo International School, in the digital portfolios of its students.
They are the assessment tool of the present but also of the future. We go beyond saying how good we are – as was done in the 20th century – to show how good we are through our digital portfolios.
These documents capture more than what a student works to remember, what they have managed to do effectively. This is a thought that is now commonplace among many recruiters, who would rather see a portfolio of a candidate’s previous work than evaluate their resume.