Teaching Kids to be Business Savvy, Sydney Morning Herald
As someone who has created my own business, I found the above article very interesting. I never planned to start my own business when I left school. I imagined I’d be working for someone else, and for a time, I was.
However, when I was at uni studying graphic design, one of the subjects I hated the most (only because it made me THINK!) was creative problem solving. That subject is the one I have gotten the most out of in the long term.
Teaching children to think creatively is a valuable, valuable thing. So much about school is simply learning to conform, so this would really be counter-cultural for many school environments.
If we teach kids to think creatively to solve problems, then it will make our world a better place in the long term. If we teach them to conform, there is little chance of that happening, except for those who are truly “out of the box” thinkers.
I think we need to give kids (and ourselves!) permission to ask questions such as, “what if…?” and, “what would happen if…?” and then to explore the answers.
Occasionally I ask a “what if?” question on my personal Facebook page (for friends only). There was one along the lines of, “what if there were no more aeroplanes and no more plane travel?” Another one was, “what would happen if we, the people, halved (or even more) our spending?” The response I got was quite interesting. Some of the responses were quite vitriolic (and these people are my friends – not just FB friends!) and others just pointed out the bad consequences of it. I think very few actually engaged with the idea of what good could come from such a thing happening. On the whole, I don’t think people like change!
However, I really think we have to be free to ask “what if?” questions. Imagine yourself sitting with your embroidery. You’re stuck and not sure what you should do next. Ask yourself a “what if?” question and allow yourself to explore ALL the possible answers. It may just be that one that you’d never thought of before is so far better than anything you’d ever previously considered.
I am very grateful for my education in creative problem solving. Without it, I doubt that I would be doing what I do. Uni really taught me to push harder, and look for better solutions. It taught me that while doing the same old same old is easier, working hard to find a new solution can be better.
I wouldn’t be able to write the books I do without thinking this way. I never would have the aim to make my books the best books I can make them. While I hated that subject in Creative Problem Solving at uni, I’m so very grateful that I had to do it!