CREATIVITYin Education

Educators from across the world ruefully agree that the way a curriculum is currently set-up actually stifles creativity, instead of giving students space to grow and explore possibilities. Even though educators have often valued creativity conceptually, many are not able to encourage it in real life due to various reasons.

Though creativity is a vast and subjective topic, there is now some data available around its impact and importance. Findings of an Adobe survey in India, ‘State of Creativity in Education’ reveal that 71% of educators strongly felt that they should be creative regardless of the subject they teach, 69% felt hamstrung by an education system that is not geared towards creativity and 89% of educators felt that technology and digital tools play an important role in fostering creativity among students.

In the last decade, the world has seen the ‘creative economy’ rise in terms of growth of creative industries like new media, design, visual arts and flms. India has witnessed phenomenal growth in its creative exports in the last ten years and this spurt in growth looks set to continue unabated— a clear indication that creativity is helping to create more jobs in the country.

A recent study by the Martin Prosperity Institute also shows that technology is one of the three key pillars that support the development of a creative economy in India. The study unearths a strong link between technological capability and creativity, highlighting that technology, connectivity, education and access are critical in cultivating creative individuals. The good news is that today’s generation of students want to make a difference in the world. They also want to do it their way, using the tools of the connected world they have grown up in. The emergence of new technologies, growth in social media usage and access to internet are creating an exciting environment to educate students and encourage their creativity. But the worrying reality is that these students do not get the required guidance as educators/teachers themselves are concerned about their own skill levels and ability to use technology to facilitate the teaching or education process. They are currently under pressure to acquire new skills in order to facilitate 21st century creative thinking in education and impart knowledge to students. They want to be empowered with platforms, resources and tools.

The need of the hour is to provide an engaging learning environment that supports learning on any device, any time, from any location. It is imperative to foster creative thinking, collaboration, and the development of digital skills. Students and educators should get access to affordable industry-leading tools for expressing ideas and telling their own stories. This will help students develop the skills to communicate in a variety of media and succeed in their professional careers. Schools need to reinvent themselves in the digital age and move away from conventional teaching.

To address tomorrow’s complex challenges, we must prepare today’s students to be creators and innovators. They must learn to take risks, to iterate, to problemsolve, and to see and explore new possibilities. Creativity isn’t just the domain for artists but is required to solve scientifc problems and to fuel the economies of the future. Creativity is no longer an elective for educators, students and the education organisations. It is a mandatory requirement for a successful future.