Quote: "The best design thinkers don't simply work alongside other disciplines; many of them have significant experience in more than one" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 13) I find this a interesting quote because I agree with the author, the people who are the best at thinking outside the box are the people who don't fit into a box.
Question: How can we influence a change in the way administrators think about creativity? At this point in time in education if you can't quantify it than is not worth our time. If these new millennial generation need a different type of culture to create change, why is it that in other countries they follow our example and are still succeeding at innovation?
Aha Moment: Finally, I feel the author is getting into the essence of his book. The five characteristics of "design thinkers"
Quote: "very different from most middle-class parents with children enrolled in elite institutions I'd encountered, Kirk's parents supported and unconventional" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 36) Once again I am finding this author completely outside the mainstream of the american education system or maybe I am. As i read this book the author brings up an example of a student who went to a private academy and than left early to go to Stanford, as an innovator. Well maybe the student is an innovator or maybe he won the birth lottery and had the opportunity to take risks. As I read the chapter I wonder if the author has ever stepped into public school in the United States. So far I can't find too much in this book that I could use in my school.
Question: Based on this case study, how does this work when discussing students who do not have the advantages of this person, where parents can move across the country to provide them the best opportunities? Additionally, is this even sustainable when many of our children are below the poverty level? Are we just discussing the elite?
Aha moment: The process and collaboration of between individuals is what leads to people becoming innovators.
Connection: Students need time to use their creativity and have their choice. One of the connecting themes throughout this course is the ability for kids and grown ups to "play". But this is the first thing that is leaving our classroom due to the need for "results".
Quote: "For both, the opportunity to collaborate and built real products with others was the most exciting and motivating part of their education" (Wagner, 2015, pg. 69).
Question: From reading these first three chapters it seems the main reason why these individuals became innovators was due to their parents. So how can we as teachers create innovators if the key is with the parents?
Aha moment: Our school has an end of the year trip for the 8th grade students and this is where they get to know me as a person an I get to know them a bit better outside the school environment. While reading this chapter one thing that struck me is that the greatest teachers that I've ever had made a connection with me, they treated me with respect but also allowed me to get to connect with them as people. This is what motivated me to want to learn more from them because I knew I was learning from people who had their best interest for me.
Connection: One thing that has struck me about all these innovators is that they are multidisciplinary and that they want to make an impact. I used to work in my earlier years as a stock broker for a large firm and I remember thinking I wasn't making an impact where I worked. I left a hefty salary to work with inner city kids who had just left juvenile hall. I don't regret the decision one bit because I found my calling but what I do see in many of my colleagues in teaching is that they have never experienced what it is to work in a company and I know this is a valuable experience because it taught me what it took to be part of a company and work with individuals who had more power than you or who had different needs and goals. Education is you haven't experienced the real corporate world can seem fake and built on a cloud of hope.
Wagner, T., & Compton, R. (2015). Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. New York, NY: Scribner.