Developing an Innovator’s Mindset in our Children

Many of us are familiar with the Growth Mindset, discovered by Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology. Such a mindset is encouraged in both children and adults because it is the belief that the “most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work”. (Growth Mindset Definition).

Yet, George Couros, an Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant, takes it a step further by claiming that students should have an Innovators’ Mindset in order to be well-equipped to face the challenges of the future. The innovator’s mindset can be defined as the “belief that the abilities, intelligence and talents are developed so that they lead to the creation of new and better ideas”. (The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros)

Such a mindset is essential for the future as problems will get more complex (beyond our imagination!) and therefore, the children of today (our future leaders) would have to groomed into problem solvers who are capable of creating innovative solutions in order to make the world a better place. They have to be creators, putting what they have learned to good use.

A simple illustration of this would be that instead of merely knowing how to play the piano, a child should learn how to compose music.

At Artistic Strategies Academy, we believe in this mindset and therefore, we are not only nurturing good writers, but also creators. An example of this would be how we harnessed the use of technology and taught our student to create a video montage of her poem using the software, iMovie. Her poem clinched the Silver Award in the Queen’s Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition.

We all know the impact that videos have on us and it is important that our children learn how to make compelling videos to voice their views and opinions.

Watch her video below:

In his book, The Innovator’s Mindset, Couros goes on to explain that there are 8 characteristics that someone with an innovator’s mindset should possess:

1. Empathetic- to be able to empathise with others who are facing problems
2. Problem Finders/Solvers- to identify the right problems and find ways to solve them
3. Risk Takers- unafraid of trying new things or experimenting with different ways of doing things
4. Networked- being in spaces where people share ideas
5. Observant- tuned in to the world around them
6. Creators- finding the best ways to make things better
7. Resilient- the ability to bounce back after a defeat
8. Reflective- asking valuable questions that will help them to develop and improve

These characteristics are very similar to the 21st Century Competencies Model designed by the Ministry of Education.

Artistic Strategies Academy seeks to guide students in developing all these eight characteristics with our educational programmes. One such programme is our signature workshop, The Young Inventor’s Programme. In this multi-disciplinary programme, children take on the role of young inventors as they find solutions to real problems affecting them or other children.

Read more about the different aspects of this programme here.

References
“The Innovator’s Mindset.” The Principal of Change, 5 Oct. 2017, georgecouros.ca/blog/the-innovators-mindset-book.

Partnership, Great Schools. “Growth Mindset Definition.” The Glossary of Education Reform, 29 Aug. 2013, www.edglossary.org/growth-mindset/.

Couros, George. The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2015.

21st Century Competencies, www.moe.gov.sg/education/education-system/21st-century-competencies.