Creativity is more than an artistic skill; it involves thinking differently, collaborating, developing solutions and communicating in a way that connects with others. Leveraging creativity in the classroom helps students develop a deeper understanding and make cross-curricular connections. Creativity is also a valuable skill for the workforce across many fields. Recently, EdSurge podcast host Carl Hooker discussed with field experts how educators can foster creativity for college and career readiness.

What importance does creativity play when it comes to college and career pathways?

Whether high school graduates transition to college or a career, there is a good chance that they will tap into their creative skills. Tacy Trowbridge, the lead for global education thought leadership and advocacy at Adobe, references an analysis of 2 million resumes and 2 million job postings that revealed employers are widely looking for creative skills. In fact, says Trowbridge, “Ninety-eight percent of college placement officers think creative skills are essential for college and career success.”

Donna Caldwell, a senior solutions consultant for Adobe Education, says this is partly a result of the demand for innovation. “Employers don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like. But what they do know is that they need collaborators, storytellers and people with new ideas. And creativity is at the core of all of that.”

How can educators develop creativity in today’s students?

Are students of today really that different from those of previous generations? Research indicates that Generation Z students are technologically savvy and appreciate interdisciplinary, project-based learning experiences. Katie Fielding, an instructional technology coordinator at Arlington Public Schools in Virginia, sees that today’s students lean heavily into video and collaboration for deeper understanding, suggesting Gen Z learns best from working with other people.

Trowbridge adds that while 65 percent of students cite doing and creating as the most effective methods of learning, they don’t often have such classroom opportunities. So how can we adjust learning experiences to cultivate more creating?

For Caldwell, one strategy is to appreciate that students offer diverse backgrounds and talents. She supports students in exploring their gifts and interests through projects and encourages educators to start by substituting a traditional assignment with an opportunity to create. This can ignite creative confidence in students, where they shift from passive consumers to successful creators. And the results are impressive: integrating creativity leads to better student outcomes.

Read the full article about college and career readiness by Abbie Misha at EdSurge.