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KCI Core Principles in Action: Creativity

June 25, 2021

Albert Einstein once said:  “Creativity is intelligence having fun!”  Get yourself out of your routine and let the creativity flow!

We often wonder if creativity is a sign of intelligence. The answer is yes, and–  it requires thinking flexibly and necessitates the ability to shift and change your patterns of thinking. In fact, creativity is consistently listed among the top desired skills by employers. Creative intelligence refers to the ability to successfully deal with new and unusual situations by drawing on existing knowledge. The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination. Imagination is the beginning of creation, and, like any skill, it must be developed through regular practice. If you want creative workers or students, it is essential that you give them enough time to play and the patience to help the creative juices flow.

We associate creativity with artists and artistic endeavors, but creativity is in every field.  Steve Jobs said that “Creativity is just connecting things.  When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.  It seemed obvious to them after a while.” The divergent thinking required to both see these connections and then draw innovative solutions from them is the foundation of all human breakthroughs from mathematical theorems to medicinal cures to architectural marvels.  When we limit our definition of creativity to the realm of the aesthetic, we do ourselves a great disservice. The truth is that we are all naturally creative, and when we strengthen this skill and free ourselves from fixed mindsets, we open the possibility for incredible potential within each of us.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.

Creativity in Education

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.  Unfortunately, this concept is not often well-promoted by our education system. In order to promote and support creativity, educators and employers must be responsible for maintaining environments where it is okay to take risks and try new things. Failure that comes from genuine effort, should not only be tolerated, it should be celebrated. We learn by trying, failing, and trying again. Fear serves no purpose in this process.  

Creativity is the most important human resource. Without creativity, there would be no progress; we would just be repeating the same things over and over again. The World Economic Forum 2020 Future of Jobs report lists creativity within the top five skills for 2025, and “innovation” as the number one skill. Natural creativity is something which can’t be replicated by the latest digital technologies, even as  technology replicates some rote needs. 

Creativity Over Time

If we want to prepare for the future, we need to embrace the fact that machines and artificial intelligence will take care of many of our mindless labor tasks, freeing human ingenuity to take us to even greater heights. Creativity will be the foundation of this movement.

KCI works endlessly to stay connected to the most cutting edge efforts and research in this area. Together with our partners and community members, we embody the power of creativity for all learners. 

Embrace creativity in your own learning space!

creative engagement: teacher & student hand raised

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