Tag Archives: Creative thinking

Can one learn to be creative? New Straits Times Malaysia

By HAZLINA AZIZ
January 31, 2018 @ 9:31am

IN the next few years, more than three generations may be working side by side at the workplace. They are the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (also known as millennials) and Generation Z.

Gen Z, who were born after 1995, are beginning to appear in the workplace. By next year, Gen Z is expected to represent more than 20 per cent of the workforce.

Growing up in a world where the Internet, social media and mobile technology have always existed, they will bring their new technology and big ideas with them. It can be a significant challenge to prepare for the clash of these four generations.

Many organisations are still struggling to analyse the challenge that millennials pose in the workplace.

But, how different will Gen Z really be? A digitally innate generation of students, Gen Z have access to more information than the generations before them. Growing up in the age of technology provides them with more outlets and digital tools for exploration and expression.

So, they are said to be more curious, innovative and open-minded than past generations.

While they should be more advanced in searching for information and figuring things out on their own, they also expect everything to be available at any time and with low barriers of access. With Gen Z starting university and the first batch graduating soon, are the schools preparing them for their future? Is higher education ready for them?

A study done by Adobe that provides insight into Malaysian Gen Z students shows that they are feeling unprepared for the problems the “real world” face today, and want greater focus on creativity and hands-on learning in the classroom.

The study, “Gen Z in the Classroom: Creating the Future”, surveyed 250 Gen Z students between the ages of 11 and 17, and 100 teachers in Malaysia.

A similar study was also conducted in five Asia-Pacific (Apac) countries — Australia, India, Thailand, China and Korea. For Malaysia, they found 97 per cent of students and 100 per cent of teachers — the highest rating among five other countries — see creativity as essential to students’ future success.

Malaysian Gen Z students also have mixed emotions when it comes to their future after they finish schools.

According to the study, they feel “excited” and “curious”, but at the same time “nervous” or “worried”. Some are concerned that schools have not properly prepared them for the real world.

They believe that there are a variety of careers that require creativity. Ninety six per cent of students from this study believe their future careers would involve creativity.

Both students and teachers alike agree that Gen Z learn best through hands-on experience and wish that there is more focus on creativity. Students feel that classes focusing on computers and technology hone their creativity and will best prepare them for their future.

Developing creative people is an aim that most in education share; there have been growing calls to nurture and teach creativity from an early age in schools and universities.

The World Economic Forum predicts that creativity will rise from the 10th most sought-after skill in 2015 to the third in 2020.

But, what is creativity? It can seem that creativity is a natural gift for those who are lucky, for instance, great artists, musicians or entrepreneurs. Can one learn to be creative? Can we prime the mind for creative ideas to emerge?

Research has shown that creativity is a skill that can be taught, practised and developed. With imagination, we can be wired to be creative. Creative thinkers in any discipline are those who can tackle complex problems and develop innovative solutions.

Of course, this does not mean that you can teach one to be a genius. The techniques of teaching creativity are not going to turn a student into Einstein or Picasso.

It is more about encouraging day-to-day creative thinking that can make a student, and then later, as an adult, more productive.

Many educators claim to value creativity, but they do not always prioritise it. In some parts of the world, teaching creativity is already a necessary part of an undergraduate experience.

The International Centre for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College in New York is the world’s first university department of its type.

The term “makerspace” in education — probably still new in Malaysia’s education scene — is also the buzzword now to refer to physical spaces that support learning and doing, in a way that redefines traditional schooling. It provides hands-on experiences and encourages creative ways for students to design, experiment, build and invent.

How can creativity be cultivated in the classroom? The way Gen Z students consume and learn today is very different from past generations, hence, educators in Malaysia need to provide the right environment, updated tools and creative outlets to bring out the best in their students and foster innovative problem-solving skills the future workforce will need.

Education systems should focus less on the reproduction of information and more on critical thinking and problem solving. There are multiple solutions to open-ended and complex problems, a situation that the students will face as they pursue future careers.

Encouraging divergent instead of convergent thinking leads to solving problems that do not have one correct answer.

However, it is important to remember that teaching creativity does not mean that we should throw out the textbooks and exams while encouraging children to let their minds wander rather than concentrate in the classroom.

Children should not be given free rein for their imagination to run wild at the cost of understanding a subject. In encouraging creativity, I believe if you want to think outside the box, you must fully understand what is inside the box first.

hazlina@nst.com.my

Hazlina Aziz left her teaching career more than 20 years ago to take on different challenges beyond the conventional classroom. She is NSTP’s education editor for English language content.

https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/01/330504/can-one-learn-be-creative

Using Creativity in Problem Solving, what does that mean?

np_idea_516835_56C0D8.png

World Creativity and Innovation Day, April 21 has a purpose: to encourage people to use creativity in problem-solving to create a decent life for people on a sustainable planet.

np_problem_681889_56C0D8.pngWhat does that mean? How does one use creativity in problem-solving? How does one know if creativity has been used?

In a May 2017 post, I asked for input about this question.  Here’s one reply, from Dr. Fatou Lo Planchon, France/Senegal

Sustainable development is crucial for our society. Your initiative is a big step forward in this issue.The complex and multifaceted challenges associated with global change and sustainable development occur on various scales.

Achieving solutions to these challenges has fostered the multiplicity of decision making levels, and the plurality of financial and regulatory instruments. However the transition to proactive and sustainable solutions is still tricky because it implies various interacting factors and requires a holistic and creative mindset.

Adaptation and resilience to climate change, water and energy issues, to name a few, are primordial questions to answer.

Using creativity to solve these burning environmental issues means clarifying the issues at stake, involving a diversity of people, widening our perspectives, and stretching our thinking to shift paradigms and come to new ideas. To make this participative cross disciplinary collaboration happen, a climate that fosters idea exploration, trial and errors, and experimentations is needed.

Using creativity in problem solving means:

– Using a robust process to find new ideas, make better decisions, co-create and innovate.

– Combining periods of divergent and convergent thinking

– Deferring judgment, freewheeling, leapfrogging, focusing on a lot of ideas

As an environmental scientist, a doctor in climatology, and a creative facilitator, the role of creativity in solving environmental problems is a question I have to often answer, and keep on searching for new answers to.

Thank you, ​Dr. Planchon.

Feel free to add your comments here.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool available for people to use to review how they might have used creativity in problem-solving in the past?  My hunch is that many already do. Imagine everyone able to seize and use their creative power moving forward.

Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

There are startling parallels in the lives of Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. Their dedication to product quality and innovation transformed industries.

Lessons:

  • Don’t give up
  • Finding the right creative partner can be a force multiplier
  • Betting on new technologies ahead of the curve can be a strong differentiator
  • Perfectionism, if you can survive it, can create deep customer loyalty
  • Mashing up disciplines is new ways can transform industries

Read the blog post – First, you get to see Disney’s breakthrough Steamboat Willie animation and you’ll be exposed to good stories and examples to leverage as inspiration for your new WCIW – in 2017 and beyond.

Source: Five lessons Walt Disney and Steve Jobs can teach us about innovation | ZDNet

Research Shows Walking Actually Improves Creative Ability. Here’s How

Do you ever get a really good idea and then unconsciously begin pacing back and forth? Do you ever notice how, when this happens, the great ideas just keep on flowing?

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.collective-evolution.com

Don’t know what to do for World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 to 21? Why not just go for a walk?

See on Scoop.itCreativity and Learning Insights

Inventing Tool for Your World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21

People report feeling immediately stuck when faced with the opportunity to celebrate World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21. They say they don’t know what to do.

Brock Davis
Brock Davis

Using this Inventing Tool might help.  If you know its source, please pass it along.  It would be good to give credit to its creator.

Ignite Your Thinking

Consider each of the six categories, allow your thoughts to flow to a place of ‘can-do’ to experience what emerges.

It’s helpful to have a device to record your impressions.

Ready?

CREATE:  something totally new, a new capacity, a new culture, a new team, a new activity, a new strategy, a new skill, a new paradigm, a new habit, a new friend

ENHANCE/DEVELOP:  your capacities, your team, your organization, your potential, your efficiencies, your effectiveness, your resource conservation, your sense of humour, your connections with others, your sense of self worth

DELETE:  something that already exists, make it disappear totally for you, your family, your team, your organization, your community, your school, your friends, your association

IMPLEMENT: something to make a sustainable change in your life, your work, your organization, your relationships, your well being, your skill base, your competency, your status, your peace of mind, your outlook on life

KEEP:  something that you value, is your core business, is your reason for being, brings you joy, brings satisfaction, eliminates suffering, gives you energy, educates others, connects people, brings you peace

REDUCE:  something that annoys or irritates you, interferes with your sense of fairness, takes time away from important things for you, your team, your school, your community, your family

Hope this helps!

 

Design Thinking Exercise and Guide for WCIW

Are you looking for a 20-minute World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 activity?

This Ready-Set-Design activity from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum of the Smithsonian may fit the bill.  

This is a highly adaptable design challenge that can jump-start collaborative and creative thinking in any group. They say it is used  with kids’ groups at the Museum, for internal staff meetings, and even at industry conferences and summits they host. The activity is such a success with participants that they’ve received many requests for their how-to guide.

Source: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/2011/09/09/ready-set-design/

Using Pictionary to Study Creativity and the Brain

Researchers at Stanford are trying to see what parts of the brain underlie creativity.

Investigators at Stanford University have found a surprising link between creative problem-solving and heightened activity in the cerebellum, a structure located in the back of the brain and more typically thought of as the body’s movement-coordination center.

In designing the study, the researchers drew inspiration from the game Pictionary.

A new study is the first to directly implicate the cerebellum in the creative process. As for the brain’s higher-level executive-control centers? Not so much.

We found that activation of the brain’s executive-control centers — the parts of the brain that enable you to plan, organize and manage your activities — is negatively associated with creative task performance,” said Reiss, who holds the Howard C. Robbins Professorship in Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences.

Creativity is an incredibly valued human attribute in every single human endeavor, be it work or play,” he continued. “In art, science and business, creativity is the engine that drives progress. As a practicing psychiatrist, I even see its importance to interpersonal relationships. People who can think creatively and flexibly frequently have the best outcomes.”

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/05/researchers-tie-unexpected-brain-structures-to-creativity.html