Creating the future
If there was a year to put a spotlight on innovation and creativity, 2020 has been it. Entrepreneurial activity has risen, with more information-sharing businesses needing to pivot and/or find new solutions to remain viable. For our students, the OECD Future of Education 2030, describes this ability to ‘create value’, or creativity as a ‘Transformative Competency’.
Creating new value means innovating to shape better lives, such as creating new jobs, businesses and services, and developing new knowledge, insights, ideas, techniques, strategies and solutions, and applying them to problems both old and new. When learners create new value, they question the status quo, collaborate with others and try to think “outside the box”.
While STEM subjects have attracted a lot of focus recently, I believe that in preparing students for the future, it is crucial that schools also value creative thinking, and provide opportunities to foster it.
Most overtly, creativity is nurtured in Design Technology, Creative and Performing Arts. We recently revised programs to ensure all students were exposed to these areas, at the very least in Year 7 and 8 in ‘rotations’. Here they will learn design thinking and have the space to interpret, analyse, devise and construct, as well as authentically collaborating and enhancing communication skills.
With creativity now seen as the most challenging of cognitive skills [see the revised Blooms Taxonomy image above] and recognised as one the essential 4Cs of 21st century learning, we encourage students to pursue these subjects as electives. The thinking skills and techniques learned here will be transferred to all areas of study, not least STEM. And hopefully, make all our lives more rewarding - who hasn’t felt the loss of months without art galleries, cinema, live music performances and theatre, just to name a few aspects that enrich us?
As we launch our new Strategic Plan 2021-2025, we have made a commitment (to continue to) ‘renew our curriculum to offer internationally minded, evidence-based programs that are responsive to our changing world’ and to ‘inspire and grow our students through bespoke experiences’. I am therefore pleased to announce that there are a great many ideas on the drawing board. The Design Technology, Creative and Performing Arts departments are leading the way, to offer short-term interdisciplinary programs that draw upon a range of knowledge and skills in an engaging context.
Specific programs for this term are:
Year 7 students
Drawn to the Light: Visual and Performing Arts
Sphero Obstacle challenge: Geography, Maths, Design and Technology
Race around Canberra: Teamwork, Life skills
Year 8 students - Gossan Hill exploration program
Year 9 students - our Worn Soles empathy and global crisis program.
In the next year, we will be developing more of these opportunities, for all year groups, as we seek to inspire our students to help them thrive in an uncertain future. The upcoming Celebration evening will showcase the superb creative talents of our students, and be an opportunity for you to view the fruits of the inaugural ‘Drawn to the Light’ interdisciplinary program.
Earp, J., 2020. Australia’s Largest Teacher Survey On Enterprise Education. [online] Australian Council for Educational Research - ACER. Available at: <https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/australias-largest-teacher-survey-on-enterprise-education> [Accessed 4 November 2020].
Gann, D. and Dodgson, M., 2020. How Universities And Entrepreneurs Can Help End The COVID-19 Crisis. [online] World Economic Forum. Available at: <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/how-an-entrepreneurial-approach-can-help-end-the-covid-19-crisis/> [Accessed 2 November 2020].
Russell, D. and Trevitt, J., 2020. Researching Education: Five Further Readings On Creative Thinking. [online] Australian Council for Educational Research - ACER. Available at: <https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/researching-education-five-further-readings-on-creative-thinking> [Accessed 15 November 2020].
Theeducatoronline.com. 2020. Creativity A Core Competency Across All Disciplines – Study. [online] Available at: <https://www.theeducatoronline.com/k12/news/creativity-a-core-competency-across-all-disciplines--study/272488> [Accessed 4 November 2020].
Theeducatoronline.com. 2020. Creativity Key To Preparing Kids For Future – Study. [online] Available at: <https://www.theeducatoronline.com/k12/news/creativity-key-to-preparing-kids-for-future--study/273861> [Accessed 4 November 2020].
Wipo.int. 2020. Global Innovation Index 2020 - Australia. [online] Available at: <https://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_gii_2020/au.pdf> [Accessed 4 November 2020].