A recent tweet by GOOD put a very interesting idea out there: “Why Every School Needs an ‘Innovation Day”, which I believe should go further and towards having an innovation session/slam, every week, in every school, so that the practice becomes a habit. 7 years ago with my team in The Netherlands we used to have weekly “That’s my Theory” sessions, which were of the most impact full and interesting sessions I have participated in. The issue with innovation is this: if you ask a room of people “who of you considers him/herself innovative?” then, my theory is, that only a few people will raise their arms. Whereas, if you ask “Which one of you has a theory or an idea of how things could be done differently?” then, I am sure the result will be different; many arms in the air and many nodding heads. Now, I understand that this depends on the culture, the mix of the people in the room, who asks and how the question is set, but if we assume that all other conditions are perfect, my assumption is that the word “innovation” sometimes has the exact opposite effect: it scares and numbs people.
So, point No 1: Host “That’s my Theory” sessions with your team, your students, your pupils and colleagues. You will find yourself faced with an energy and power that was perhaps hidden until then between coffee breaks, elevator discussions and late night drinks:)
A couple of days ago, I came across the Educating the Heart movement by the The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, which stands for a balance between educating the mind and educating the heart: compassion, acceptance and tolerance.
Point 2: to which extent do our current educational practices in our schools and universities foster compassion, acceptance and tolerance? Aren’t these some values that we can globally adhere to and move towards?
I close this post with a quote by Sarah Collins, Computer Educator in Moody elementary schools, USA. She mentions in her dailyedventure
Innovative education is purposeful, designed, and reflective
So, last point: If we assume that most of teaching is purposeful and designed, is it really reflective?
As a final thought for today, I leave you with a question:
If you were to build a learning environment from the beginning, what would be the things from the current settings (schools, universities etc) you would keep and which would you throw away?