Chapter 1 – Coming to Terms With Innovation
I have blogged previously about modern learning routines that enhance student engagement as well as the most significant classroom innovation. I believe that there are core competencies that our students need to master in order to become successful and was reminded of this from Tony Wagner’s book Creating Innovators: The making of young people who will change the world (you can read a good overview of his thinking here). In it he argues that schools today educate to fill children with knowledge. Instead, they should be focusing on developing students’ innovation skills and motivation to succeed.
Today knowledge is ubiquitous, constantly changing, growing exponentially… Today knowledge is free. It’s like air, it’s like water. It’s become a commodity… There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know. – Tony Wagner
There is an urgency to innovate that we must recognize in our teaching and learning. Can innovative thinking be learned? How do we teach these core competencies? How do we bring an innovating mindset to the schools? We need schools to address this.
I have been enjoying Suzie Boss’ book on how this can be achieved.
The way we design learning experiences must reflect the growing importance of innovation and creativity as necessary professional skills for all students to possess.
Boss notes that being able to work in new ways on new problems is seen as a key career skill. Schooling shouldn’t make students wait until they are adults before they can truly work on new problems. Innovation should lead to positive change and students should be provided with the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
In the long run, engaging student passions may be our best strategy for bringing innovation to school.
Teaching innovation should search for, and honor, student voice and student ideas. It should help students understand that their ideas are important and can contribute to greater good. This will help make learning real.
By leveraging their passions during the school day, we can give students more opportunities to connect what they are studying with the real-world issues they care about. That’s how students will define innovation on their own terms, as something that will enable them to shape their future. – Suzie Boss
What a vibrant way to learn! This would definitely engage students in their learning as they follow their own motivation MAP.
Boss, S. (2012) Bringing innovation to schools: Empowering students to thrive in a changing world. Solution Tree.
Wagner, T. (2015) Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. Scribner.