Creativity and Innovation: A Student's Guide to 21st Century Skills

Creativity & Innovation
join educart telegram

Thinking Outside the Box: Cultivating Creativity and Innovation in Students

The term 21st century skills refers to a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed— by educators, school reformers, college professors, employers, and others—to be critically important to success in today’s world. 

In simple terms, 21st Century Skills refer to the skills that are required to enable an individual to face the challenges like globally-active, digitally transforming, collaboratively moving forward, creatively progressing, seeking competent human-resource and quick in adopting changes. 

Basic First Skill: Learning Skill

The 21st Century skills are essentially the outcome of experiential learning, i.e. they are imbibed through observing, understanding, practising and experiencing. There are skills to explore and create fresh ways of thinking. So, they are categorised into a structure.In this segment we are talking about implementing Creativity & Innovative skills. 

Creativity refers to new ways of seeing or doing things and includes four components

  • Fluency of generating new ideas
  • Flexibility in shifting perspective easily
  • Conceiving originality of something new
  • Elaborating new and others’ ideas

Innovative skills means skills for thinking creatively to deep something new/unique/ improved/distinctive. 

Creativity & Innovation  

Creativity is the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others and entertaining ourselves and others. A teacher can recognise their students' creativity by observing the following points in students.

  • Student must be energetic and restful as per need
  • Innocent but not gullible
  • Smart
  • Playful yet disciplined, responsible
  • Imaginative and firm with reality 
  • Humble and firm
  • Passionate about your work, yet objective.  

To inculcate the skill of Creativity & Innovation teachers must generate the following points in their students.


Teachers should encourage the students to do observation, research or inquire. This will constantly create a curiosity in the students on what comes next ? If a teacher wants to introduce a topic in the class then she should assign some per work to the students related to the chapter. So, students will be curious about the topic. 

Teacher used bar graph to introduce the new topic in class

For example: Teacher wants to introduce the topic of Statistics in the class. Then the teacher will assign a few data collecting information to the students and use them in the classroom to introduce the topic. 

Open - Mindness

For creating anything unique and different one should have the concept of open-mindedness. Teachers should use various ideas or techniques for creating and evolving new ideas like brainstorming.  Here’s an example of open-mindness.

 Student thinking of an answer of new topic given by teacher

For example: When a teacher assigns the task to the students, tell them to make some point so that they can remember the instructions and the agenda. And while exploring their answers they think in all directions.


One can also come up with something creative when they start imagining things. Imaginations build so many brilliant ideas in mind. But it is the teacher's duty to  inform students that all ideas are not good. 

Teacher showing how to do practical in science laboratory

For example: A history teacher could bring historical events to life by telling stories from the perspectives of the people who lived through them. Similarly, a science teacher could use imaginative scenarios to engage students in hands-on experiments and problem-solving activities.

Problem Solving

Let the teacher encourage your students to identify the relevant piece of information when faced with a mass of data. Make them aware that all solutions are not useful. So, discarding a little  information that may not be useful is necessary. It is important to explore new ideas by testing and questioning them from different angles. 

A waste management program conducted by school students

For example: A group of high school students could work on a project to reduce waste in their school cafeteria. They might start by conducting a waste audit to identify the main sources of waste, and then research ways to reduce waste through composting, recycling, or other means. 

They would then develop a plan of action to implement their chosen solutions, such as creating educational posters or launching a composting program.


Encourage students to try and learn new things for developing lateral thinking. With the basic strategies to set an example and let the students explore more. Encourage them to develop the habit of asking ‘Why’ questions about the given information, ideas and beliefs.

More Updates

Buy Latest Books

Teacher's Corner