About the Book

What is the best way to equip our children for the unknowns of the future?

It is impossible to know what the world will be like, or what our children’s career choices will be when they are grown. The scale of change, largely driven by technology, is unprecedented in human history. And it is change itself, this reordering, this inventing of the new world that will occupy our children’s future.

We have entered a time that calls for innovation across the board. This call is already echoing through all fields. The child’s counterpart to innovation is creative thinking, and creativity is our children’s next essential literacy.

The future will belong to children with innovative minds. But where will they get the thinking skills that build effective innovators? Unfortunately, most schools are focused elsewhere. The Missing Alphabet is a practical guide that helps parents solve these problems.

This team of education experts has drawn on decades of applied research in creativity, individuality, play, and media to craft an engaging guide for parents who understand that creative thinking skills are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for success in the new, grown-up world of work.

The book introduces The Sensory Alphabet, basic building blocks that are as powerful for building 21st century literacies as the ABC’s are for reading – essentials that are lacking in schools today. The Missing Alphabet also offers foundational knowledge, current research and a practical path for parents to discover, understand, and amplify the individual strengths and creative potentials of their own children.

To turn these ideas into action, the book supplies a Field Guide full of resources and activities for parents and kids to explore together at home, in museums, and around the neighborhood.

This tried-and-true approach engages children with the creative thinking processes, the capacity to invent with many media, the ability to think across disciplines, and the reliance on (and joy in) the imagination. Over the past forty years, the authors, Susan Marcus, Susie Monday and Cynthia Herbert, PhD, have developed highly successful programs for both in and out-of-school settings based on these concepts. Now, they offer parents a comprehensive guide for building the confidence and creative thinking skills of their own children – the new basics now urgently needed for our collective future.