“Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.” Sir Ken Robinson
So often we think of creativity as the fine arts-music, art, drama-and, certainly, these endeavors are creative as participants use their mediums to interpret, challenge and reimagine the world in which we live, however, creativity is much more than the creation of art; it is in part the essence of combining”…seemingly unrelated ideas into something new…” (Daniel Pink, 2006). To this end, students think and problem-solve creatively when they create new and worthwhile ideas; elaborate, refine, analyze, and evaluate their own ideas; demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand real world limits to adopting new ideas.
Innovation has been the life-blood of the American experience, creating the world’s strongest economy and the highest standard of living. Major economic powers around the world are biding to enhance innovation and discovery. “China is now focusing on how to unleash more creative, innovative juices among its youth” (Thomas Freidman, 2007).
To address the issue of creative problem-solving, we are engaged in professional learning focusing on student work that requires inquiry and value beyond school. The High School STEM program is experimenting with design challenges to develop solutions using science, technology, engineering and mathematics to solve real-world problems. Creative problem-solving is the most challenging issue we face; it’s just not in the DNA of American education today.