Monthly Archives

August 2018

Creativity is key

Studies show that creativity will be one of the top three most important skills for workers by 2020

The World Economic Forum has predicted that creativity will be one of the most important skills for workers by 2020. This is a result of the rise of automation which will affect many job sectors, but will likely not have such an impact on creative jobs. Indeed, creativity is a skill which programmers are struggling to instil into Artificial Intelligence, and so will help safeguard jobs in these industries.

But are schools promoting creativity in children? The education system is constantly criticised for being too rigid, with educationalist Sir Ken Robinson even going so far as to say they were “killing creativity”. He describes, “Schools are still pretty much organized on factory lines — ringing bells, separate facilities, specialized into separate subjects. We still educate children by batches.”

Since traditional education often cannot offer children with a creative outlet, the Wonder Why Society aims to fill this gap. We want to promote children’s creative endeavours by providing them a safe place to explore their own interests on our online learning platform. Children can learn, but on their own terms, and about the things they are interested in. The goal is that children will be inspired without the interference of parents or teachers. It provides the perfect space for creativity and imagination to flourish, but still within a school-based environment.

We are also hoping to publish our educational children’s book series with this same aim of promoting creativity. The series follows the adventures of The Wonder Why Society- a group of kids determined to uncover the answers to life’s difficult questions. The characters learn about the world around them through their adventures, which we hope will inspire children to try and make their own discoveries about the world. Our mission is to establish a lifelong creativity and passion in children, where learning is regarded as more than reciting facts from a textbook.

 

The automation revolution and the rise of the creative economy

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Changing Educational Paradigms

The Importance of Teaching STEM

Teaching STEM has never been more important.

Recent studies suggest that 9 out of 10 businesses in STEM fields struggled to find suitably qualified employees in the last 12 months, and on average, there are 10 unfilled roles per business. Likewise, Tencent reported that there are currently only 300,000 AI researchers and practitioners in the world- despite there being a demand for millions.

Given this global shortage of skills, it is vital that the current generation of students are encouraged to explore STEM. Indeed, this is especially important for children, with research by King’s College London finding that “most young people’s science aspirations and views of science are formed during the primary years and solidified by the age of 14.” Therefore, if we want to cultivate a passion for STEM in society, then we need to start with children. I believe in order to do this, we need to look further than traditional classroom-based learning.

This is where The Wonder Why Society comes in. Our online learning platform provides children with the opportunity to explore STEM based subjects, but on their own terms, so they can learn about the things that specifically interest them. Here, children can ask questions, discover answers, and collaborate with other children who share their interests. However, we also hope The Wonder Why Society provides a place where children can learn in safe environment, but one that is removed from parents and teachers. In this way, we want children to learn through their own initiative, rather than viewing learning as a chore or something they are ‘forced’ to do. Furthermore, a unique feature of the platform is the way in which children can connect with industry experts. Indeed, one of our most exciting connections is with Birmingham airport, where children interested in STEM subjects could, for example, speak with an aircraft engineer.

We have also recently established the educational children’s book series – Wonder Books. The series follows the adventures of The Wonder Why Society – a group of kids determined to uncover the answers to life’s difficult questions. The first book in the series is called ‘Project Grabbity’, and follows a STEM theme, in which children learn about the inner workings of gravity. Whilst we want our storybook to answer children’s questions about gravity, we also hope it inspires them to ask further questions about the world at large. With this, we want children to view STEM more like an adventure- an exploration of the world around them, rather than a chore.

If you want to find out more about our learning platform, then please visit the ‘learn more’ page of our website www.thewonderwhysociety.co.uk.

 

https://www.stem.org.uk/news-and-views/news/skills-shortage-costing-stem-sector-15bn

https://www.idtech.com/blog/why-is-stem-important

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/06/20/insights-into-early-stem-learning/#7b3886116992)

Inspiring Creativity Through Art

At The Wonder Why Society, our most important aim is to inspire children.

This takes on many different forms, but with our educational book series, we particularly want to inspire creativity in kids. Creativity is a vital skill, and one that should be encouraged during childhood, but is often overlooked by the education system. Therefore, we want our series to promote creativity and help kids unleash their imagination. As a result, art and illustration plays an integral part of the series.

Our first storybook, ‘Project Grabbity’, follows the adventures of a group of children determined to uncover the answers to life’s difficult questions. Rather than simply reading the words off a page, we take inspiration from visual learning, so each page features striking illustrations. The emphasis placed on art and illustrations throughout the story is part of what makes our series so compelling. When children hold the book in their hands, we want them to feel part of the adventure. Indeed, we hope that our book will encourage children to pursue their own creative endeavours, whether this be through drawing or even writing.

The positive benefits of art on the mind cannot be understated. Renee Phillips, founder of ‘The Healing Power of Art & Artists’ explains, “research has proven the arts… produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance.” She further describes how the arts can lead to improved academic performance, in addition to helping those suffering from depression and other mental health problems. Consequently, if we introduce children to art at young age, then hopefully we can instil a lifelong appreciation of it. An interest in art may not just be of benefit academically, but may also become a valuable tool to help children cope with any difficulties later in life. Therefore, we hope our series can act as an important first step to a wider appreciation of the arts.

 

https://www.healing-power-of-art.org/art-and-the-brain/