Creating a common vision about how all students can experience innovation is important to growing a culture. Many students may achieve this level of thinking naturally, but others may struggle for very different reason. In a survey of over 400 students, 6th through 9th graders described their problem solving style. Only 18 percent of the students survey described perseverance (keep trying until I get it) as their problem solving style. 28 percent of student described optimism (I can usually solve it on my own) as their problem style. Most surprisingly 42 percent of students described a more passive problem solving style of asking for help. 10.5 percent of students identifying negative problem solving skills of ignoring or letting someone else solve it. In order to develop a culture of innovation students, parents, and teacher must have an active problem solving style seen in ideals of perseverance and optimism.
Not only understanding individually what someone’s obstacles in their community, family, or individually may be, but having opportunities to see different types of problem solving is important to the cultivation of innovation. Creating an open space for students, parents, teachers to receive and give feedback to continue to grow and work through challenges will be important for everyone to develop these 21st century skills.
Creating an open space that allows for students of multiple grade levels to interact with each other, experience mentoring or mentorships, and develop leadership, active problem solving, and collaboration skills. Providing a safe, open space to combine teachers, parents, and students will help to promote the understanding of different perspectives around a great idea and passion. Being able to facilitating important topics of interest to these different groups, and understanding community needs will be important in developing relationships that will be needed to grow participation.