Is Keeping the “End in Mind” stifling Innovation and Creativity of Students
The uploaded article discusses the processes leading from initial idea to the adoption in society. I will be discussing the need for process skills as critical to a prosperous future.
I am reminded time and again how important that problem solving, using creative insight in conjunction with technology is to the success of businesses. Moreover, it is increasingly demonstrate how important these (and others of course) are to economic success.
As this article points out, innovation is a “process” not and end. That too often society mythologizes the individual inventor in the garage instead of the multiple steps, which includes failures, setbacks and so on.
Where am I going with this? Well, in the conventional way of teaching, we teach with the “end in mind.” The “end” is too often marks and grades that will help to be competitive in the world of work. And I think the elephant in the room is the cult of the “grade or GPA.” I cannot count the number of times that I have discussed with my students how important the Learning Skills are on a report card, or interim report. In other words, the process skills (as I will call them) that demonstrate his/her ability to progress with his/her work. Yes, mastery of curriculum is necessary, nevertheless, when students get into higher education they are going to have to demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively, pick up the slack of a coworker and show initiative. Additionally, they are going to be expected to be a solid problem solver and innovate to be a valuable member of the company team. These are all processes not immediate rewards in the form of marks.
Will students be prepared for this brave new world?
32 Innovations That Will Change Your Tomorrow – Interactive Feature – NYTimes.com.