Question: What would the Caribbean look like if creativity led the region?
You know that tropical hotspot where some lucky people actually get to live where you vacation? That place is often overlooked beyond its white sandy beaches and crystal blue water – unless you’re a local – then you know just how deep this hole in the sand goes.
As a whole the Caribbean has this sleeping giant known as the “orange economy”. That’s the untapped potential of the creative economy. So how does one prepare an army of small island developing states to capitalize on this in the future? Well it begins with education and schooling. This project dives deep into the education system probing “Why doesn’t Caribbean education implore more creative thinking? And if it did, what would that look like?”
First we dug into the literature to find the gap. It was clear that while creativity is basically everywhere in the region, it’s limited to arts and craft based education and teachers just don’t feel confident nurturing creative thinking. Simply put, they don’t know how to. So we thought, why not give them a model to work with?
We flew to Barbados and paired up with a private school and then we did the following….
Started with sound educational theory; in this case Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy gave the foundation needed for a post-colonial society.
Developed a workshop model based on a design thinking framework to help inform teachers how they could integrate more creative thinking into their classroom sessions.
Ran the workshop with a cross-section of 8 experienced teachers. This was accompanied by a questionnaire (before and after) to measure the teachers’ understanding of creative thinking.
Systematically organized and analyzed the data to find what was useful and what wasn’t.
This data informed an epic model called “How to Teach Creative Thinking in Classrooms” which helped to inform the final design outcome.
In addition to the model which serves as a directional guide for future educators and researchers, we were able to produce two important things.
A revised workshop model for future testing across other schools, Caribbean islands and beyond.
A two-part creative thinking toolkit to accompany the workshop and/or classroom experimentation. This toolkit has a manual and activity cards that allow educators to practice design thinking in a personable and innovative way.