In case you need convincing…

Creative thinking deserves a much higher priority in education curricula, according to college-educated professionals surveyed in new research by Adobe. The U.S. study, Creativity and Education: Why it Matters, sheds new light on the role of creativity in career success and the growing belief that creativity is not just a personality trait, but a learned skill.

Creativity Should be Taught as a Course

Based on the study, 85% percent of respondents agree creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their career, and 68% of respondents believe creativity is a skill that can be learned. Nearly three-quarters (71%) say creative thinking should be “taught as a class – like math or science.”

The research is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 full-time salaried workers ages 25 and older with at least a four-year college degree.

Creativity is Key to Career Success 

Almost nine out of 10 professionals overwhelmingly agree that creativity is required for economic growth, and is valuable to society (96%). Additionally, 78% say it is important in their career. Yet, 32% don’t feel comfortable thinking creatively in their career, and a large majority (78%) wishes they had more creative ability. When asked to define creativity, the majority of respondents (66%) say they associate creative thinking with “thinking out of the box,” or “the ability to come up with innovative ideas.”

Education Concerns

The study points to a growing awareness – especially among professionals – that creativity and creative thinking deserve a bigger role in education. Ninety-one percent agree there is more to preparing for success in school than learning subjects, and 82% wish they had more exposure to creative thinking as students.

Fifty-seven percent of professionals believed creativity would be important to their career while they were in college, compared to the 78% who believe it is important to their career now. Seventy-two percent say they were more focused on course subject material when they were in school than on creative thinking.

Among education majors, 75% viewed creative thinking as important to their career while they were in college and 48% say it currently has a place in their career.

Interestingly, science (69%) and math (59%) ranked nearly as high as traditional creative subjects like art (79%), music (76%), and drama (65%) in contributing to creative thinking. Read the full report here

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