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Creativity, Innovation, and Design Studio: Creativity

Importance of Creativity

Educational organizations find it increasingly critical to develop creativity in their students. Innovation has been designated as one of the core skills students need in the 21st century. However, higher education is not as effective at developing these skills in students as it could be. Berland (2012) surveyed 1,000 adult working college graduates in the United States and found that 78% felt creativity to be important to their current career, and 82% wished they had more exposure to creative thinking in school. In addition, 88% felt creativity should be integrated into university curricula, with 71% thinking it should be a class in itself.

There is a critical need to teach and foster basic creative thinking among today’s students, but of particular importance is the need to develop abilities to engage in interdisciplinary collaborative innovation (see example of an innovative course at Worcester Polytechnic Institute). This is because:

  • The problems our graduates will face are typically too large to be solved as individuals.
  • For this reason, collaboration is becoming the norm in many industries.
  • Increasingly, employees are asked to collaborate with team members from a diverse array of disciplines, requiring people to understand how to communicate and work with these various disciplines.