Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Inno-cation: The Intersection of Innovation in Education

Two years ago a series of letters written Richard Cullatta and Sandy Speicher, Innovation Letters, sparked a international conversation regarding innovation in education.  If you have been following this blog you would know that this is something I have focused on throughout my career.  The title of the blog alone, Pioneer in Education, leads to this end.  I believe we are Pioneers of a new education system.  One that is not only designed differently, but more importantly, thought of differently.

The age old design question, does function drive form or does form drive function?, has never been more palatable in education than now.  Currently, I believe that function drives form.  The why of this thought process is for another blog.  Germaine to this blog is the fundamental belief that the function of education is a direct product of how "education is thought of."

Education is still viewed or "thought of" by the consumers (unfortunately, parents and stakeholders and not students) as a system of informational delivery to students that parents believe are essential and important.  To change the function of education we need to change how education is thought of.  What is the purpose of education?  What are we preparing students for?  What are the essential skills that seven year olds will need to be successful fifteen years down the road?  What does business and industry expect students to be able to do?  What are the passions that our students want to pursue?  What are the pressing questions of today and potentially tomorrow that our students need to solve?

This thought/view of education is radically different from the current view/thought.  This thought/view of education requires a different function of schools and will eventually necessitate a different form to education.  To get there however, we need leaders to look at school differently.  We need leaders who are willing to step off the ledge and bring innovation to the forefront of education in their individual school houses.

This brings me back to the Innovation Letters.  How do we create schools of innovation?  How do we create innovation leaders?  How to we communicate with parents and other pertinent stake holders the importance of innovation?  How do we create partnerships of innovation (because schools can't do it alone)?  How do we teach innovation?

To answer this call to action, I believe the first step is to harness the knowledge of YOU.  Take a moment to read the Innovation Letters and respond to this post and the essential question: Why innovate and where do we start innovating?