Kids need to innovate
Innovation in the workplace is a hot topic, and it doesn’t mean achieving some massive, world-changing breakthrough. Rather, many fields prize the ability to solve problems every day and come up with new ways to do something better. It’s how people grow in their work and make their way up the ladder. We don’t have to actually teach little kids how to do this – they are wired to do it. Research has shown convincingly that they function as “little scientists” who know how to generate hypotheses, test them out, and revise their thinking to solve problems. Toddlers have all those 21st century abilities to engage in critical thinking, problem solving, and divergent thinking to come up with and refine innovative approaches to whatever they are trying to do. They just need the space and the opportunity to do so, and that goes for kids of any age. Kids need to learn how to think like a mathematician and not just memorize everything. They should develop their own voices as speakers and writers. They should be fostered to understand that there aren’t that many “right and wrong” answers to complex problems, but rather opportunities to innovate. Sure, teach them the basics of cooking and follow recipes. But also teach them how to improvise off of that, both to come up with innovative takes on the tried and true and to know – like every chef does – how to take what you have in the refrigerator and turn it into a meal.
April 07, 2020