The academic curricula and the education system as a whole does little to expand innovation and creativity in kids, the system is riddled with rot learning and mere memorisation of facts. Encouraging children to engage in activities they love, and answering their questions as well as pushing their cognitive boundaries beyond classroom learning is imperative, this responsibility must be shouldered by both parents and teachers at school, because it works best in tandem.
Parents are the primary and formidable socialisation agents in a child’s life and are instrumental in shaping their values, beliefs and ideals. Therefore, parents can also be a major contributing factor in motivating their child towards innovation and creative thinking.
INNOVATIVE THINKING put simply is thinking out of the box. Innovation is off the beaten track, it is more than just novel ideas, it involves curiosity, questioning rather than blindly wrapping your thinking around a belief, thinking-rethinking, analysing and comprehending. Young minds are the sharpest in grasping and processing concepts readily, therefore their minds require proper sculpting and chiselling with skills and knowledge, eventually filling them with potential for revolutions and resolutions.
It gives them a unique approach to solve problems, critical thinking and self-esteem. Further innovative thinking helps in their holistic development, where they prepare to face challenges both inside and outside of the classroom.
HOW IS INNOVATIVE THINKING IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN
Innovation and creation gives a deeper understanding of ideas & concepts, find novel solutions for problems and altogether provides a different lens to view things. Its’ crucial to develop an educational set up that fosters creativity in children and take them beyond the ambit of classrooms.
Some of the benefits of creativity and innovation is mentioned below-
Expressing opinions - it helps in building confidence that makes children express their opinions assertively in ways that are unique and amusing. It also helps in emotional development (EQ) of the child, enabling him to connect better and realise their aspirations.
Start of a successful career - by moving away from a rigid traditional curricula to a more flexible one we enable children to look out for wide variety of fields of study and choose the one that suits their interest and capabilities best. Vocational training, experimental learning are some among the others that inculcates innovation in kids. Real life learning patterns yields better understanding and implementation of the theories in real world happenings.
Makes children happy - it makes study enjoyable and relatable. Instead of mugging up plain theories children get a chance to actually witness and be a part of the phenomena, ensuring interactive approach to the course and ultimately a more fulfilling learning.
HOW PARENTS CAN INSTIL INNOVATIVE THINKING IN THEIR CHILD
1. Show examples to spark ideas
Feeding the mind with good creative food is crucial for creative output. Present the children with inspirational examples, unique projects to give them a sense of what’s possible, how to get started, approach the idea and deal with its challenges. Showing specimens that motivates, so that it ignites passion and curiosity in them to go and search about more and more ideas and their limits.
2. Furnish them with materials
Children are immensely influenced by materials, tools around them. Access to these resources is vital to push their thinking into the imaginations realm. New tech like 3D printers, computers and even drying materials, colours, books, diaries encourages them to use and understand its functions.
But don’t forget the traditional materials or the everyday available resources like newspapers, cardboard, colour papers, and others. These things have heir own space. Other things like LEGO bricks, popsicle sticks, fabrics, markers, glue gun, duct tape should be provided to stretch their thinking and giving greater opportunities.
3. Emphasise the process and not products
A happy engaging learning process is by far the most valuable. Do not put your entire attention on the end result, it induces the children to focus only on final product and not the process.
Success and failure is immaterial here, experimentation and trying is invaluable. Failure should not be viewed as a disappointment but instead as a chance of redoing and learning.
4. Get involved
Many children want to share ideas and participate in projects, but are not sure how. You can play the role of a role model, helping children find other co-workers. Parents and mentors are sometimes heavily involved in children's creative activities, telling children what to do or holding a keyboard to show them how to fix a problem; some parents and counsellors do not participate at all. There is a fun area in between, where adults and kids build real collaborations on projects. When both parties are committed to working together, there is much for everyone to achieve.
5. Ask questions and share your reflections
Performing the task is as important as reflecting upon how the process is unfolding. Encourage them to question and seek the answers themselves, it helps in creating self awareness. For eg, ask question like ‘why do you want to try it this way?, what interest you the most in the topic ?’ , or what Is your opinion on the matter’. Questions like these helps them to delve deeper into their tasks and reflect on their true potential, needs and desires.
Share your own reflections as well, shun the reluctance and open up to them, speak to them about your insights about the topic, don’t shy away from accepting that you’re confused or unaware of certain things, so that they understand them as natural emotions and not as something negative. Don’t run into making them perfectionists but try to make them human by encouraging them to accept their flaws and carry on with it.
Conversations, indeed, is the key in all relationships.