August 29, 2010

Is it possible to teach creativity and innovation?

In an essay written by Dan Willingham and Andrew Rotherham the following point was discussed in regard to 21st century skills and thinking:
"Another curricular challenge is that we don’t yet know how to teach self-direction, collaboration, creativity, and innovation the way we know how to teach long division. The plan of 21st century skills proponents seems to be to give students more experiences that will presumably develop these skills—for example, having them work in groups. But experience is not the same thing as practice. Experience means only that you use a skill; practice means that you try to improve by noticing what you are doing wrong and formulating strategies to do better. Practice also requires feedback, usually from someone more skilled than you are."

So how do we teach 21st century thinking in terms of collaboration, creativity, and innovation?  Is it as simple as removing the scaffolding that correlates with dependence?  Should we give them creative control and stop defining parameters?  What do you think?

1 comment:

Brandt Schneider said...

I think "21st century" skills need to get off the paper and into our daily practice. I agree that these skills are timeless, but never have they been more essential for survival.