Research

Report: Creative Problem Solving Should Be Emphasized More in Schools

Eighty-five percent of educators and policymakers in the United States say they think creative problem solving is a very important skill for students to learn in school, according to a new survey from Adobe. At the same time, 84 percent of educators and and 68 percent of policymakers surveyed said that there is not enough emphasis on creative problem solving in American education.

The findings come from U.S. responses to a recent global survey conducted by Adobe. Coverage of the international results, released in January, are available here.

Other key findings of the U.S. survey include:

  • Both educators and policymakers and influencers said at a rate of 75 percent that professions requiring creative problem solving are less likely to be impacted by automation;
  • About nine in 10 of each group said that students who excel at creative problem solving will have higher paying job opportunities;
  • 90 percent of educators and 85 percent of policymakers and influencers said that creative problem solving skills are demanded of those with senior level or higher paying jobs;
  • 87 percent of educators, comprising 84 percent of educators teaching students in grades 6-12 and 91 percent of higher education instructors surveyed, said that creative problem solving should be integrated across all areas of the curriculum, and 74 percent of policymakers and influencers agreed;
  • Only 22 percent of teachers surveyed and 28 percent of influencers and policymakers said that creative problem solving often plays a role in most curricula;
  • The five most commonly cited barriers to nurturing creative problem solving were lack of time to create (84 percent), outdated standardized testing requirements (81 percent), lack of access to software in student homes (79 percent), lack of training on new software for educators (78 percent) and lack of access to hardware in students homes (74 percent);
  • 47 percent of educators said they do not have access to the tools they need to nurture creative problem solving, with grade 6-12 teachers more likely to report a lack, at 54 percent, than higher ed teachers, at 40 percent;
  • 46 percent of teachers said they don't have the knowledge or skills to nurture creative problem solving, with grade 6-12 teachers again more likely to report as much at 54 percent, versus 38 percent for higher ed teachers; and
  • National education policies are also seen as a barrier, with 80 percent of educators saying they mostly hurt their ability to nurture creative problem solving and 61 percent of policymakers and influencers agreeing.

For the full report, including global, U.S., U.K. and German versions, visit cps.adobeeducate.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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