Child’s Mind : Innovation
“Creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status” -Sir Ken Robinson.
Innovation is a key to making global change happen, solving problems and challenges across our society - the future belongs to the creative mind. Our children will be creating their world and they need to be empowered with the skills to make their world a better place.
Children are born with innate creative thinking skills, valuable skills that are lost along the way, but these are thinking skills that we can recognise, harness and help to embed into a child’s life long journey.
Design thinking is a valuable skill for all professionals regardless of particular discipline or task at hand. A better thinker will create better ideas and solutions across their personal life too. We can encourage our children to embrace their creativity with confidence.
What Is Design Thinking?
“Design thinking is an approach that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods for problem solving to meet people’s needs in a technologically feasible and commercially viable way. In other words, design thinking is human-centered innovation.” —Tim Brown, IDEO.
A ‘Beginner’s Mind’ or ‘Child’s Mind’ is a method utilised by designers during the design process to solve complex problems and for tackling challenges with a fresh uncluttered mind. Designers create new ideas or solutions that have value and help make them reality. Design thinking is about leveraging the tools, methods and principles of innovation, to apply to many different scenario’s.
Why a ‘Child’s Mind’?
Garr Reynolds explains the zen concept ‘Beginner’s Mind’: Like a child, one who approaches life with a beginner’s mind is fresh, enthusiastic, and open to the vast possibilities of ideas and solutions before them. A child does not know what is not possible and so is open to exploration, discovery, and experimentation.
If you approach tasks with the beginner’s mind, you can see things more clearly as they are, unburdened by your ﬁxed view, habits, or what conventional wisdom says it is (or should be). One who possesses a beginner’s mind is not burdened by old habits or obsessed about “the way things are done around here” or with the way things could have or should have been done. A beginner is open and receptive and is more inclined to say “why not?” or “let’s give it a shot,” rather than “it’s never been done” or “that’s not common.”
When you approach a new challenge as a true beginner (even if you are a seasoned adult), you need not be saddled with fear of failure or of making mistakes. If you approach problems with the “expert’s mind,” you are often blind to the possibilities. Your expert’s mind is bound by the past and is not interested in the new and different and un-tried. Your expert’s mind will say it can’t be done (or shouldn’t be done). Your beginner’s mind will say, “I wonder if this can be done?” If you approach a task with the beginner’s mind, you are not afraid of being wrong.
Making mistakes are a part of the creative process. Failures are a stepping stone to success, innovation depends on it. How can you be innovative without pushing beyond the limit of what’s possible.
Who can help?
We can all assist with directing a whole new generation of children’s playful creative skills to intersect with society in the future as they innovate and add value on a global scale. This value will apply across every sector of society, solving challenging problems in business, technology, culture, health, and the environment.
Education needs to keep up with our changing world. School learning systems are not set up to grow our children’s creative potential. Their creative abilities they begin life with are crushed under layers of standardised learning. There’s a lot of new thought and action taking place right now to try and shift the current educational paradigm away from nearly exclusive, standards-based learning to one that encourages creative, systems-thinking in children.
Lets nurture our children’s creative potential and provide tools for parents, educators and children alike to maintain their creative confidence. Maybe we can even look at our children and learn something from them. Recapture some of those creative skills we lost along the way, a way of thinking that once flourished for all of us in childhood.
Child’s Mind : Innovation
Focus: Pre-school 2-5 years and the time spent outside of school hours for 5+ years.
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