Students need creative problem-solving skills for the jobs of the future

School blackboard representing creative porblem-solving skills

97% of educators surveyed believed that students should learn skills related to creative problem-solving, while 74% thought that this skill would be necessary for the age of automation.

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According to numerous studies, automation will require a change in the educational focus so that students have an adequate adaptation to the jobs of the future. However, what skills will be needed to develop? Recent research emphasized the need for schools to begin to instill creative problem-solving skills.

Adobe, the design software company, conducted a survey aimed at educators, leaders and policymakers in which it revealed the need for schools to transform their teaching programs. 97% of educators surveyed believed that students should learn skills related to creative problem-solving, while 74% thought that this skill would be necessary for the age of automation.

What is creative problem-solving?

According to Adobe, based on educator’s answers, creative problem solving is the process of defining problems and opportunities, generating new and innovative responses, establishing solutions and then taking action. Furthermore, the study stressed that currently schools and educational programs have deficiencies in the development of this skill and highlighted the following eight abilities that need to be promoted:

  1. Independent learning.
  2. Learning through success and failure.
  3. Work within diverse teams.
  4. Self-expression and dialogue.
  5. Persistence, grit and entrepreneurial spirit.
  6. Accepting challenges and taking risks.
  7. Conflict management and argumentation.
  8. Innovative thinking.

More than half of educators believe that they do not have the tools and knowledge to inculcate the ability to solve problems creatively to their students. The research revealed that low school budgets, lack of training, limited availability of technology, lack of time and the obsolete educational policies are some of the reasons why this ability is not encouraged in classrooms.

What can schools do?

There is a consensus indicating that curricula should be reformed and it is essential that class time inculcate creative problem-solving skills. Also, the respondents considered that this change must originate from the school administration and the initiative of the governments.

Schools need more local control of curriculum and educator control over their teaching methods, providing training, professional development opportunities and allocating budget to ensure access to technology at school and at home.