Wanted: Creativity in the Classroom

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, he cited the importance of having a creative and competitive workforce to propel America to greater heights.

But there’s another reality at work here, namely that many of our young students today feel ill prepared to reach that level. According to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges innovation aptitudes among young learners, students roundly felt that they either don’t know much about math, science and technology fields or that they are not getting the instruction they should.

I was particularly intrigued by a statistic that showed that 80 percent of survey respondents said they’d be interested in courses that would help them “become more inventive and creative.”

That’s both encouraging and disappointing. It’s encouraging that our students recognize the importance of creativity.  It’s disappointing that so many don’t think the curriculum they have available now fails to help them be inventive and creative.

President Obama correctly identified the need. Now it’s up to educational professionals to deliver.

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