E-School News – Julia Freeland Fisher
“Recently, Stanford researcher Raj Chetty came out with yet another new study on the jagged landscape of opportunity facing America. Analyzing the relationship between young people’s exposure to innovation and the likelihood that they would go on to become inventors, the study highlights an alarming rate of what the authors dub “lost Einsteins”: young people who show promising potential but who, due to lack of exposure to innovation, appear far less likely to pursue careers as inventors. Perhaps unsurprisingly these gaps fall along demographic lines. Children from high-income (top 1 percent) families are 10 times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families.” (more)
E-School News – Laura Ascione
“Inventiveness–the bridge between inventions and innovations–gives students license to use their creative imagination. And today’s classrooms need more of it. During ISTE 2018, educational technologist Kathy Schrock presented a variety of tools and strategies to help boost inventiveness in the classroom.” (more)
Ed Surge – Dr. Cederick Ellis
“For children who can stomach school through twelfth grade, the experience culminates with a walk across the graduating stage, and in far too many cases, we place in their hands a diploma not worth the cheap paper it’s printed on. This is the reality of my ever-abiding frustration with our outdated model of public schooling.” (more)
The Hechinger Report – Tara García Mathewson
“Ann Marie Lynam has been a teacher in Long Island’s Baldwin Schools for 14 years, but this year she says her teaching has changed drastically. She supports much more student collaboration and autonomy, and not because of any revolutionary training session she attended but because of a classroom redesign that has fundamentally altered the way she does her job. That was always the goal. Shari Camhi, Baldwin’s superintendent, invited staff members to apply to redesign their classrooms last year as a strategy for bringing more innovative instruction to the district.” (more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
U.S. children are less creative than they were 30 years ago. Many people attribute this decline in inventiveness to over-scheduling of organized activities and emphasis on high-stakes testing and rote learning. These factors may be part of the reason children are unimaginative, but minimal exposure to “failure” and limited life experiences also keep U.S. kids from reaching their full creative potential.
To create, a person must be comfortable “failing” because “trial and error” is part of the innovative process. Many U.S. children are uncomfortable with “failure” because they have little exposure to it. In many cases, well-intentioned parents shield their kids from life’s tough lessons, because it is easier to solve problems for their children than to spend the time and energy necessary to help their children learn how to solve problems on their own.
Among other things, parents negotiate with coaches to get their children places on the best teams rather than encouraging their kids to work hard and talk with the coaches themselves. Parents talk with principals to negotiate grades rather than forcing their children to take responsibility for their performance. Too frequently, parents complain about “bullying” when another kid says something unkind on the playground rather than teaching their children how to overcome negativity.
As a result, the first thing parents need to do is set expectations and let their children learn by doing. This requires letting go and being available to coach as their children work to recover from life’s setbacks. Through this process children learn that there are consequences to actions, “failure” is a part of life, and success requires perseverance. Specifically, when things don’t work perfectly the first time, one can make adjustments until “failure” becomes “success”.
Another problem is parents are so worried about safety, that kids are isolated. This means children often lack the exposure required to come up with innovative solutions to a problem. Parents can easily address this issue by encouraging their children to take on activities outside of their peer group. Simple undertakings like participating in discussions with adults, welcoming a foreign exchange student, attending a history lecture, teaching a class, volunteering at the hospital, or working on a special project for a politician, all help broaden exposure.
Once children know how to recover from “failure” and have a broad understanding of how the world works, they should have the skills and the self-confidence to innovate.
Education Tech Magazine – Staff Writer
“When it comes to 21st century learning, the traditional classroom is adapting along with the students. Students at Yorkville Community School District 115 in suburban Chicago are able to work pretty much anywhere in their school, including the hallways and staircases, EdTech reports. These creative spaces make it easy for students to connect, collaborate and think outside the box. While not every school can remodel its entire learning space, one small tool that can innovate the classroom is the standing desk.”(more)