No matter where you live in Canada, your provincial government will be expecting you to teach your students how to be creative & critical thinkers.
In British Columbia the new curriculum includes six core competencies. Two of these six directly relate to the guiding question of this blog. The first is Critical Thinking ( https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies/critical_thinking ) which they define as:
Critical thinking involves making judgments based on reasoning: students consider options; analyze these using specific criteria; and draw conclusions and make judgments. Critical thinking competency encompasses a set of abilities that students use to examine their own thinking, and that of others, about information that they receive through observation, experience, and various forms of communication. This includes topics such as analyzing & critiquing, questioning & investigating, and developing and designing.
The next is Creative Thinking (https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies/creative_thinking) which they define as:
The creative thinking competency involves the generation of new ideas and concepts that have value to the individual or others, and the development of these ideas and concepts from thought to reality. This includes topics such as novelty & value, generating ideas, and developing ideas.
In Ontario when teaching the Arts, both creativity and critical thinking are the basis for this teaching. (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/arts18b09curr.pdf ) This document gives clear direction for both the teacher and the learner in the process.
“The creative process comprises several stages: • challenging and inspiring • imagining and generating • planning and focusing • exploring and experimenting • producing preliminary work • revising and refining • presenting, performing, and sharing • reflecting and evaluating”
“The critical analysis process includes the following aspects: • initial reaction • description • analysis and interpretation • expression of an informed point of view • consideration of cultural context”
In Alberta when teaching Socials Studies, one of the Dimensions of Thinking is Creative thinking: Creative thinking occurs when students identify unique connections among ideas and suggest insightful approaches to social studies questions and issues. Through creative thinking, students generate an inventory of possibilities; anticipate outcomes; and combine logical, intuitive and divergent thought. (http://www.learnalberta.ca/ProgramOfStudy.aspx?ProgramId=564423# )
In Nova Scotia the province is investing one million dollars to support and teach coding in schools. They are investing this money in response to a changing job market (innovation!), and the recognition that when our students graduate they will need a different set of skills than 20 years ago. (http://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20160506002 )
Although creativity & innovation are challenging topics to teach, and even more challenging to learn, they are a necessity. There are SO many things to question and change and invent!