Creative intelligence can be a superpower to thrive in the future

The ability to think out-of-the-box and develop innovative solutions will help students navigate through the increasingly complex world, writes Saurabh Saxena

September 17 dmanewsdesk Famous psychologist Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence breaks down intelligence into three categories – analytical, creative, and practical. It defines creative intelligence as the capacity to encounter a novel problem and devise a new and unique solution. Creative intelligence helps people look at things for what they can be instead of what they are.

Try answering this question from an Amazon interview: How would you solve problems if you were from Mars? Do not know where to begin? Do not know what could be the right answer? There is no right answer here. But, you can come up with an imaginative answer by using your creative intelligence. Children are more suited than adults to answer such questions because they are intrinsically more creative. A NASA study found that 98% of 5-year-old children fell into the “genius category of imagination”, but this number dropped to 12% for 15-year-olds and to 2% for adults.

Creative intelligence is often misunderstood because of the word ‘creative’ in it. We mistake creativity as something associated with the arts such as painting or design. You can be creative in physics or plumbing, in data analysis or dentistry, in science or software development.

According to an IBM survey of more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, chief executives believe that more than rigour, management discipline, or even vision, the ability to successfully navigate through a complex world will require creativity. Approaching a problem from a fresh perspective and thinking of solutions in any domain requires one to exercise creative intelligence.

When we allow our creativity to play freely with other skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and a host of other social-emotional skills, what we see is creative intelligence at play.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining grounds to simulate all of human intelligence. To ensure that students are ready to succeed in an ambiguous future, we need to focus on preserving and developing their creative intelligence. It is the new superpower they will need to thrive in an uncertain future.

The recently launched National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) acknowledged the dire need for the development of the creative potential of each individual. It also noted creativity as the cornerstone of learning and stated that one of its aims is to bring creativity and innovativeness in the learning process to prepare students for the life outside classrooms.

One of the fundamental principles guiding the NEP was “recognizing, identifying, and fostering the unique capabilities of each student, by sensitising teachers as well as parents to promote each student’s holistic development in both academic and non-academic spheres.”

Students must be encouraged to pursue their inherent interests by doing various projects with friends. They should have an opportunity to dabble in different domains and understand how the real world demands the integration of knowledge from various fields. For instance, a game designer may integrate the knowledge of design, storytelling, animation and computer programming to create a game. It takes not only a multidisciplinary approach to learning but also an imaginative mindset to be able to do so.

(The author is founder of Uable, an online life-skills development platform)

Source: Education times