In this assignment, you must work with your team to identify ways in which critical and creative thinking can contribute to and enhance professional development.
the “Facing the Future: What skills will your employees need?” article, located in this week’s Electronic Reserve Readings. (see attachment)
a 525- to 700-word paper on the effect of critical and creative thinking on professional development. Include the following:
I’m assigned to complete the second bullet.
- A description of how each team member uses critical and creative thinking to enhance their professional development in their current careers (2 to 4 paragraphs)
An analysis of the critical and creative thinking strategies used by the team members, as well as which the team found to be most effective. (2 to 4 paragraphs)
In this assignment, you must work with your team to identify ways in which critical and creative thinking can contribute to and enhance professional development.Read the “Facing the Future: What skill
T h e Ca n a d i a n Le a r n i n g Jo u r n a L Sp r i n g 2 0 f 2 2 3 W hen e mployees i n y our o rganization f ace u nfamiliar c hallenges o r o pportunities, a re t hey e quipped t o d ive r ight i n? N ew s ituations o r n ew r oles m ay r equire a dditional s kills. Phil Jarvis, birector of Global Partnerships at fareer fruising, writes: “Accelerating technological advances have rendered many jobs obsolete, raised the skills requirements of the remaining jobs in all sectors, and are pro ducing new types of jobs at an unimagined rate. More formal education, technical training, and soft skills are now demanded of workers in all job sectors, but especially in new and emerging career fields. Employers need people who can problem-solve and innovate, collaborate effectively with others of diverse backgrounds, have a thirst for learning, are responsible and dependable, and are fully committed to their employer’ s success.” What can you do, as a learning and development professional, to help employees gain creative and critical thinking skills? When you’re asked to consult with a manager in your organization about employee development needs, you use critical thinking skills to assess the problem and recommend solutions. Y ou observe the context, gather information from a variety of s ources, i nterpret a nd a nalyze d ata, r ecognize u nstated a ssumptions a nd v alues, a nd h ypothesize s olutions. T hese a re s kills t hat e mployees i n o ther a reas o f y our o rganization n eed, t oo. You m ay w ork w ith t eams u sing b rainstorming o r o ther t echniques t o e ntertain a w hole r ange o f i deas w hen t here i s n o f ixed s olution t o a p roblem. T his i s o ne a spect o f c reative t hinking — g enerating i deas b y e xploring m any p ossible s olutions, o ften i n a s pontaneous f ree-flowing m anner. f reative t hinking a lso i ncludes m aking c onnections b etween s eemingly d isparate t hings t o c ome u p w ith n ew p erceptions a nd h ypotheses. Harold J arche’s w ords e cho P hil J arvis’: “ Many j obs a re n ow a utomated o r o utsourced. T he j obs t hat a re l eft a re c omplex a nd a lways c hanging a nd r equire c reative t hinking s kills. I nnovation i s c reated t hrough d iversity o f o pinion a nd e xperience, o penness t o n ew i deas, a nd t ransparency a bout w hat y ou’re l earning.” M ore a nd m ore, e mployees a re b eing a sked t o d emonstrate t heir c ommitment t o t heir o rganization n ot b y r ote a ttendance, b ut b y t hinking a bout a nd f inding n ew w ays t o s olve c ompany p roblems. W hat c an b e d one t o p repare t hem t o t ake o n t his r ole? The bhat Jarche insists critical thinking must include a questioning of assumptions, including our own assumptions. Our thinking may be unclear , inaccurate, imprecise, irrelevant, narrow , shallow , illogical, or trivial, due to ignorance or misapplication of the appropriate learned skills of thinking. According to him, learning and development professionals should mo del a willingness to question all assumptions. He also maintains that the core skill needed for creative and critical thinking is attitude— an attitude that is always open to learning, curious about the world—or , what he calls Facing the Future: u What skills will your employees need? by: l ee Weisser, me d, ACC Harold Jarche, Haromld Stolovitch, and mRuth Clark, keynotme speakers at CSTD’s two symposia thism spring (in fontreaml and Edmonton), remark on how learnming and development mprofessionals can mhelp employees acquire skimlls to solve problmems and find creativem solutions to workpmlace challenges. 2 4 Th e Ca n a d i a n Le a r n i n g Jo u r n a L S p r i n g 2 0 f 2 “life in perpetual Beta.” Ruth flark has written extensively about guided discovery as a way to build these skills. She asserts that critical thinking skills can be developed through problem- based learning: • Learning in the context of solving a real- world problem; • Learning through an inductive approach that builds through experience; • Learning by taking action or making decisions, and experiencing the consequences of those activities; • Reflecting on what decisions were made, what worked, and what might be done more effectively . flark says, “There has been a large bo dy of research on expertise in cognitive and physical domains demonstrating that expertise is primarily based on experience. But when real world opportunities to build expertise are infrequent, unsafe, lengthy , or too costly , guided discovery simulations can accelerate the speed of gaining the required expertise.” Harold Stolovitch contends we move too quickly to creative problem solving. “First, we need to build foundational skills through clear expectations, a solid set of tools, guidelines for practice, and lots of feedback.” Stolovitch says, “Most jobs don’ t require excessive creative thinking. Most of our real life skills are automated—they require flexible application. Look at the processes we use to solve problems: we gather data and analyze the issues using strongly built- up diagnostic thinking patterns. W e then hypothesize different types of solutions or variations of these derived from a solution repertoire also acquired over time. W e need to access our expertise to address work requirements and challenges. In reality , we require more practice and feedback in building our skill sets by learning principles and procedures and applying these to increasingly more complex and unique instances.” He is referring not to mechanical practice, but organized, deliberate practice where we build experience and gradually learn new things. Think of pianists who must run through scales every time they practice, before they start playing pieces. Then they play and practice ever more demanding pieces in accordance with increasingly tougher standards. Stolovitch insists we need more emphasis on building capability in employees in systematic ways based on what learning and human performance research evidence tells us actually works. Evidence- based management is derived from the practice of evidence-based medicine— evaluating research, and rejecting conventional wisdom and casual benchmarking.Jarche agrees that critical thinking goes hand in hand with evidence-based practice. One way of sharing goo d practice is to help employees connect with each other , since so much of learning is informal. Jarche suggests intro ducing tools such as video cameras and video conferencing to help people share their work. The hob flark states that whether using a guided discovery or more traditional instructional design process, there are some techniques trainers can use to build critical and creative thinking skills. Step 1: Identify tacit knowledge and skills linked to problem solving First, perform a job analysis to identify the skills. W e know that expertise is domain specific, so study experts solve problems in a specific domain. Often experts can’ t articulate their reasoning, so you need to use more inductive metho ds to elicit their unspoken knowledge. For example, you can ask experts to write out three situations in which they resolve a specific class of problem. Ask each expert to work alone and write a situation that was easy , mo derately difficult, and very challenging. Then bring the experts together and use their stories as a basis to identify the criteria for easier and more challenging scenarios as well as to identify the principles and knowledge behind critical decisions made or actions taken. Step 2: freate examples of expert performers that include both action steps and rationale Y ou probably routinely use examples or demonstrations in your skill training lessons. fritical thinking skill courses also require examples. Research has shown the learning benefits of providing demonstrations in place of some practice exercises. In a cognitive mo deling demo, the learner can see and hear what the on-screen expert is doing and at the same time “see” the rationale or thinking process through, for example, an on-screen thought bubble. Step 3: Provide opportunities to practice, get feedback, and reflect on problem solving As with any form of skill training, offer practice opportunities in which learners Speaker Presentatiouns at Spring Symposuia:Harold Stolovitch,u PhD, It Ain’t Necessarivly So: Science versvfs Lore in Learningv & berformance , April 12 in fontremal Harold Jarche, MEdu, The Fftfre of the Tvraining Department , April 13 in fontreal Dr. Ruth Clark, Scenario-based Mfltvimedia Learning to vAccelerate Expertisve , fay 31 in Edmonton; mEvidence-based Training, June 1 inm Edmonton “Employers need people who can problem-solve and innovate.” – bhil Jarvis resolve realistic job problems. Learning from each other flark points out that learning through informal channels has received a big boost from social media tools. Knowledge management is not a new idea, but the evolution of social media has made it more practical to implement. For example, in Boots On The Ground: Intro ducing A fommunity of Practice at Bechtel, Paul brexler and Ani Mukerjee write of a recent initiative at this engineering consulting firm in which a Y ouTube-type application allowed engineers and field specialists to enter text, photos, and video summaries of lessons learned from projects. The summaries are searchable and provide a growing repository of stories and checklists, providing an opportunity to learn through the experience of others. flark says, “Once restricted to a chance meeting, peer learning through social media offers the opportunity to capture and house context- specific experience.” Learning by failing We know that we learn the most through our mistakes. But why do we resist failure so much? Harold Jarche states ”W e need to fail about 50% of the time in order to learn. But we are our own worst enemies because we can’ t face this.” And it’ s true that in most organizations success—not failure—is valued and rewarded. A g irls’ h igh s chool i n L ondon, E ngland r ecently r an a “ Failure W eek.” T he p urpose w as t o r aise a wareness f or s tudents a nd p arents t hat i t i s a cceptable a nd c ompletely n ormal t o n ot s ucceed a ll t he t ime. P arents w ere e ncouraged t o d iscuss a ny f ailures t hey h ad i n t he p ast a nd w hat t hey l earned f rom t hem. T he H eadmistress o f t he s chool, H eather H anbury, s aid: “ Successful p eople l earn f rom f ailure, p ick t hemselves u p, a nd m ove o n. S omething g oing w rong m ay e ven h ave b een t he b est t hing t hat c ould h ave h appened t o t hem i n t he l ong r un — in s parking c reativity, f or i nstance—even i f i t f elt l ike a d isaster a t t he t ime.” E xperience t ells u s t hat c reativity f lourishes w hen w e t ake r isks a nd o penly l earn f rom o ur f ailures. In a recently published ebook, The Flinch, about pushing your own barriers and doing things that scare you, author Julien Smith writes, “The lessons you learn best are those you get burned by .” There’ s just something about putting your hand on a hot stove that really teaches a lesson.And Paul J. H. Schoemaker recently published Brilliant Mistakes: Finding Success at the Far Side of Failure (Wharton bigital Press). “If you want to innovate, you have to be willing to make mistakes. I take that as a given. In my book I chronicled scores of missteps and supposedly doomed experiments—all of which led to great breakthroughs.” Conclusion Open to failure, open to not knowing the answer , open to different ways of thinking, and open to being observed while we’re learning—are these things we can teach if we don’ t practice them ourselves? Hardly . Perhaps the best description of what we want to mo del is given by Roger Martin and Hilary Austen in The Art of Integrative Thinking. Their concept of integrative thinking “places a central value on learning. It welcomes rather than fears surprise, keeping an eye keenly attuned to disconﬁrming data and using surprise to innovate. It embo dies tolerance for the temporary incompetence that comes with the development of new skills. Integrative thinkers … learn to hold tension and fear long enough to continue to search for the creative solution. This requires a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty , and an attitude of openness to continuous optimization, rather than a push toward closure.” – Rotman Management (Fall 1999). “The lessons you learn best are those you get burned by.” – Julien Smith A career of learning Conbinued from page 22 but suits in the f-suite. I know your technologies may be more diverse, complex, and confusing; your audience more varied and global and your budgets more strained. But, I can see common threads linking what was happening back then with what’ s going on here tonight. Sesame Street attests to the fact that learning initiatives—when well done, nurtured, and promoted, can have an immense, powerful, and long-lasting impact.And, when I look over the awards tonight, it’ s clear to me that many of the same basic themes that marked Sesame Street’ s success are alive and well in our community: creative thinking, skilful and insightful design, and application of evidence-based practice. In 1975, there was just a small group of us who shared this passionate pursuit of excellence. Happily now you fill this huge ballroom. I think we have fSTb to thank for this.fSTb has given the very important work we do in learning and development an identity . It has defined the competencies, set the standards, and raised the profile of our profession. Perhaps most importantly , it has nurtured and promoted excellence and innovation as we can see here tonight. Back in the day , I was excited to be a part of the pioneering story of early educational television. T onight, I am equally excited to be a part of this unfolding success story . I’m proud to be part of this energized and creative community as it pioneers its own frontiers—this is something we should all be proud of. This is our story . Our lasting legacy of learning excellence. I am honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the fSTb. T h e Ca n a d i a n Le a r n i n g Jo u r n a L Sp r i n g 2 0 f 2 2 5 Copyright of Canadian Learning Journal is the property of Canadian Society for Training & Development and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.