May 24th, 2010 by Administrator in Education

I recently came across a publication from The Conference Board entitled, “Ready to Innovate,” summarizing findings from a national study of Arts Educators and Business Executives assessing the importance of creativity in the school curriculum as it pertains to graduates entering the workforce.  The study was jointly sponsored with American for the Arts and the American Association of School Administrators in 2007.  A few statistics:

  • U. S. employers rate creativity/innovation among the top five skills that will increase in importance over the next five years.
  • 85% of employers concerned with hiring creative people can’t find the applicants they seek.
  • Of the items in an interview that best demonstrate creativity, 1) problem-identification or articulation and problem solving, 2) the ability to identify new patterns of behavior or new combination of actions, and 3) integration of knowledge across different disciplines, ranked among the highest traits employers look for.
  • Employers and school superintendents rank self-employed work and arts  study among the top two experiences that contribute to creative development.
  • Three quarters of school superintendents indicated that 12 creativity-promoting educational activities were supported by their high schools.  Only 3 activities were part of the required curriculum.
  • Employers identified 7 such activities as important for their employees, but only 1 in 10 employers provide all seven as training options for their employees.

Obviously, business and education are not on the same page and need to coordinate their training needs with educational focus.  Likewise, the general public should begin to embrace educational electives as far more essential and required as currently perceived.

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