What Is Creative Problem Solving and Why Is It Important?

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What Is Creative Problem Solving and Why Is It Important?

Numerous studies, including ones from the US Department of Education, World Economic Forum, and Bloomberg indicate that tomorrow’s jobs will demand “creative problem solving skills.” But what exactly are creative problem solving skills? And are they being taught effectively to the next generation who will face competition for jobs from automation? To learn more about creative problem solving in the classroom, Adobe conducted a new study to understand how educators and policymakers think about creative problem solving skills, how critical these skills are to future jobs, and how they are currently being nurtured in schools today.

We asked educators and policymakers to talk to us about creative problem solving based upon the following definition: “Creative Problem Solving is the process of redefining problems and opportunities, coming up with new, innovative responses and solutions, and then taking action.” We wanted to know how skills like independent learning, learning through success or failure, and working with diverse teams are critical to a students’ ability to succeed in the future workforce.

What we discovered was extremely illuminating. Three quarters of the educators surveyed believe that students need to develop these skills to protect their futures, as the professions that require creative problem solving are less likely to be impacted by automation. However, it isn’t just job-protection where creative problem solving makes a difference. Almost 90 percent of respondents believe students who excel at creative problem solving will have higher-earning job opportunities in the future, and 85 percent agreed that these same skills are in high demand by today’s employers for senior-level and higher-paying careers.

Knowing that 90 percent of educators believe creative problem solving should be integrated across all curricula, and that policymakers are in vehement agreement, it’s reasonable to assume that schools are already providing opportunities for students to develop these skills. Alarmingly though, this critical skillset is not emphasized enough in schools today due to the barriers educators face – from tight budgets and lack of resources to outdated testing requirements. Coupled with the fact that more than half of educators explain that they do not have the training or knowledge to help students develop creative problem solving skills, the challenge that educators and students face is vast.

Adobe believes that we need to support educators who are teaching creative problem solving, get technology into the hands of schools and students, and inspire young people to create. While technology alone is not the answer, it plays a key role. That is why Adobe is working to update its licensing models, so students – including those under the age of 13, consistent with U.S children’s privacy regulations – can access Creative Cloud in the classroom and at home using just their school I.D. to log in. This will reap benefits for the users, as the educators surveyed who use Creative Cloud in the classroom report that their students are more prepared for the jobs of the future.

Adobe is also constantly developing new storytelling tools like Spark, so students can easily create high quality, visually compelling reports, research papers, posters, writing assignments, presentations and so much more. Lastly, Adobe recognizes that it is critical to challenge students and encourage them to create and to have a positive social impact. That is why we created Project 1324, which works with emerging creatives and leading youth arts organizations around the world to showcase artists who create the art and change they want to see in their communities.

To read the full study findings, and to learn more about how Adobe is working to get much-needed technology into the hands of students and educators, support educators in teaching creative problem solving skills, and inspire students to create, please visit Creative Problem Solving.

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