By Tacy Trowbridge, global lead, Education Programs, Adobe
Numerous studies indicate that tomorrow’s jobs will demand “creative problem-solving skills.” But what exactly are these skills? And are they being taught effectively to the next generation – a group facing a massive shift in job requirements as workplace automation becomes more prevalent?
To learn more about creative problem solving in the classroom, Adobe conducted a study to understand how UK educators and policymakers perceive creative problem-solving capabilities, including how critical these skills are to future jobs, and how they are being nurtured in schools today.
While creative problem-solving can be defined as using creativity to develop new ideas and solutions to problems, there are a multitude of individual skills that can fall under this umbrella. Our research identified independent learning, learning through success and failure and taking risks as three of the most valuable creative problem-solving skills for students to be taught in schools.
More than three quarters of the educators surveyed believed that students need to develop these skills to protect their futures, as the professions that require creative problem-solving are less likely to be impacted by automation. However, it isn’t just job protection where creative problem-solving makes a difference. Nine in 10 educators believe students that excel at creative problem solving will have higher-earning job opportunities in the future; 90 percent agreed that these same skills are in high demand by today’s employers for senior-level and higher-paying careers.
Knowing that 92 percent of educators believe creative problem-solving should be integrated across all curricula, and that policymakers are in vehement agreement, it’s reasonable to assume that schools are already providing opportunities for students to develop these skills. Alarmingly though, this critical skillset is not emphasised enough in schools today due to the barriers educators face – from tight budgets and lack of resources to outdated testing requirements. Coupled with the fact that more than half of educators believe that they do not have the training or knowledge to help students develop creative problem-solving skills, and it’s easy to perceive that the challenge that educators and students face is vast.
At Adobe, we believe that we should support educators that are teaching creative problem-solving, getting the right technology into the hands of schools and students to inspire young people to create. While technology alone is not the answer, it plays a key role. That is why Adobe is working to update its licensing models so students can access Creative Cloud both in the classroom and at home using their school ID to log in.
Adobe is also constantly developing new storytelling tools like Spark, and will made Spark Premium free to all educational institutions in April, so students can easily create high-quality, visually compelling reports, research papers, posters, writing assignments, presentations and so much more.
Regardless of what age students are, it is crucial that we do all we can to nurture these important skills, helping to equip students with the tools they need to succeed and thrive in later life.
This article was sponsored by Adobe.