IDEO’s David Kelley Discusses Creativity in Education
See the referenced article at: http://www.crosscurrentsradio.org/features.php?story_id=1638
Creativity & Innovation seem to be buzzwords today, not just in the world of design, but in education as well. Creativity and innovation have been identified as a key “21st century skills“. David Kelley of IDEO is a “design thinker” who is actively working in the realm of “creativity in education.”
IDEO is one of the most reputed design consultancies in the world today. They pioneered the idea of “design thinking” (as opposed to just “designing”) - an idea that has found applicability as an approach to problem solving in such diverse fields as aeronautics engineering, transporting organs, to streamlining the services of the British national health care system. IDEO founder David Kelley believes that design thinking can revive creativity in K through 12 education. His work with the K-12 lab at the D-School at Stanford University is testimony to his efforts to revolutionize school education.
In this brief interview, Kelley observes that all humans are born creative, but innate creativity in kids is lost somewhere in the process of education. Kelley is not alone in this belief – it is one also held by Sir Ken Robinson, and Mitch Resnick of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT Media Lab – the birthplace of LEGO Mindstorms and Scratch. Working with students & faculty from the Stanford University School of Education, Kelley is teaching kids (and teachers) at all levels of K-12 to actively come up with new ideas. In Kelley’s view, self-belief is important, and teachers and facilitators work to help kids believe that creativity can be “learned” and “mastered” and that they can get better and better at it as long as they have a framework for it and are mindful of it. “The willingness to take risks” is key.
Education literature defines creativity as “divergent thinking” and “problem finding” in addition to problem solving. Some of things we could do as parents is to urge our kids to think laterally, pose lots of questions, laud new approaches to doing things (however “silly” they may seem), encourage “possibility” thinking – even in the many day-to-day chores we do with our kids, and provide kids with ample opportunities to tinker and find problems (and then solve them ). It would also help if we ourselves could actively model spontaneity and creativity in many of the little things we do at home.