21st Century Skills-Ch. 3

 In Trilling and Fadel’s book 21st Century Skills,  they identify and describe many of the 21st century skills needed by our students.  In chapter 3 they focused on learning and innovation skills.

In thinking about our 21st century learning expectations, we align closely in this area when it comes to critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication, but in our learning expectations we do not include creativity and innovation.

“Given the 21st century demands to continously innovate new services, better processes, and improved products for the world’s global economy, and for the creative knowledge work required in more and more of the world’s better-paying jobs, it should come as no surprise that creativity and innovation are very high on the list of 21st century skills.

In fact, many believe that our current Knowledge Age is quickly giving way to an Innovation Age, where the ability to solve problems in new ways (like the greening of energy use), to invent new technologies (liek bio- and nanotechnology) or create the next killer application of existing technologies (like efficient and affordable electric cars and solar panels), or even to discover new branches of knowledge and invent entirely new industries, will all be highly prized

Creativity and innovation can be nurtured by learning enviornments that foster questioning, patience, openness to fresh ideas, high levels of trust, and learning from mistakes and failures.  They can be developed, like many other skills, through practice over time.  Though there is no accepted universal test for creativey and innovation skills, hundreds of instruments and assessment tools exist, each one measuring different aspects of creativity in a specific field, from math and music to writing and robotics.

One of the most effective ways to develop creative skill is through design challenge projects in which students must invent solutions to real-world problems, ”  (pp. 56-58).

Discussion Questions:  Please share with your colleauges ways that you integrate both creativity and innovation into your lessons.  Also, should these skills be included in our school 21st century learning skills?

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