Education Key to Fostering Innovation and Creativity

Yellow keys

© Aleksandr Ugorenkov |

Technology continues to change how we access and consume information.

But are we equipping our students to filter, analyze and synthesize information from multiple streams? Achieving such digital literacy will ground 21st century students for success in work and life.

A closely related need for a changing world is preparing students to analyze and solve problems in creative and innovative ways. 

Change agents
Educator Tony Wagner tackles the subject of fostering creativity in young people in an essay in the April 13, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal.

A fellow at Harvard and former teacher, he has written a new book titled “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.”

Few have the innate gifts of a genius like Steve Jobs. Yet each of us has the potential to contribute in an innovative way in whatever field we decide to pursue.

The key is education.

Unfortunately, Wagner points out most schools today lack programs designed to prepare students as future innovators.

The course
What would a curriculum designed to foster innovation include? For Wagner, important program elements are hands-on classes and giving students permission to fail.

While a “handful” of schools have implemented such elements, Wagner acknowledges that achieving such change will take time.

So what if you want to give your child the innovator’s advantage now?

Parental guidance can also have a big impact says Wagner, who shares insights from the parents of today’s brilliant innovators.

You’ll find Wagner’s thoughtful ideas on how schools might prepare students to become innovators as well as three key pieces of advice from parents who’ve fostered their children’s growth as innovators here. (The readers’ comments are also enlightening.)

Do you believe education has an important role in fostering innovation?

You might also enjoy How To Use Design Thinking To Become A Creative Problem-Solver.

About creativeconsiderations

Christine Sullivan is a communications strategist with expertise in communications planning, writing and content development, and executive communications. She can be reached at
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