This is probably my favourite video at the moment. Short, sharp and to the point! John Spencer is an innovative educator who SHARES. He is passionate about design thinking and blogs and shares great videos that he creates.
Sign up on his website to receive his free design thinking toolkit and to follow the blog. Well worth it!
I really enjoyed this quick read article by David Jakes about ideas! It's all about how teachers need to come up with better and more innovative ideas in order for change to occur.
"Change is dependent on generating ideas, and about creating ideas that have magnitude — and that really is the key. Big ideas, ideas that potentially position the organization beyond their horizon line, bold, creative, audacious ideas, and those that make you tilt your head, squint your eyes, and then slightly nod. And then smile."
This kind of leads to a Core Blog Post that I recently wrote based on the video "Beyond the Obvious". It's all about how we often hold back sharing our own thoughts because we don't think they're any good. How do we encourage others to share their ideas in order for collaboration to take things to the next level? How do we create the conditions for this in our schools?
"There’s a reason that collaborative teaching is often called “power teaching.” By collaborating with others we combine expertise. Interacting with a wide range of people lets us gain multiple perspectives. This in turn leads to greater chances of our ideas intersecting or colliding, increasing the likelihood of creativity and innovation. We can share ideas that may then evolve into transformative action."
Think about sharing these readings with your staff to build a dialogue.
Questions to consider:
Do you have a school culture that encourages all contributions?
Do you indulge in "blue sky thinking" that lets people think creatively?
Do you allow for collaboration within your staff?
Do you encourage multiple perspectives? Do you engage with student and community voice?
"Little ideas are easy. Big, potentially impactful ideas — not so much." David Jakes
There are some great videos on the TEDX Denver Teachers site. Really enjoyed this one from Co Barry, examining how exposure to complex problems develops students into creative innovators. Barry describes a process called "Design Thinking", where students work through stages to solve difficult problems. There are many elements similar to various inquiry learning models, and ideas such as risk taking and experiencing failure to develop resilience are also commonalities.
Barry has a great website where she explains the process and has some great success stories. The premise is that "Teachers cultivate a creative mindset to develop rigorous and relevant programs for their students. Design thinking allows students to fail fast and learn by doing rather than avoiding failure by striving for initial perfection. It fosters the need to ask relevant questions versus giving correct answers. It requires teachers to guide and show pupils instead of telling and lecturing. It encourages students to become process experts as opposed to subject experts. "
So the model fits really well with the intent of the NZC, with the focus being on the skills required to solve the problem and ways to find the knowledge required. I taught in the US for 6 years and content knowledge was still very driving the curriculum in the state that I taught in. I can believe that schools adopting this model are seeing significant gains in engagement and achievement as outlined by Barry and fellow educators.
I quite like the early stages of this model -really focusing on the audience that you are designing for. Getting that clear purpose is probably something I should spend more time on as part of my school's inquiry model. We are about to start a design process for a Gorilla Enclosure as part of our current inquiry unit and I think I'll give this Design Thinking model a try and see how it supports our current inquiry model and the technology process that we use in the classroom here.
My name is Ngaire Shepherd-Wills. This website is a record of my TeachNZ sabbatical, Term 2, 2013 and then I have continued to share my wonderings and discoveries about Innovative Learning Practices. I now work for CORE Education. Views are my own.