Innovation in Education

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A Powerful New Teacher “Interview”!

THE shortest route to a school with powerful, sustainable innovation capacity is to hire the right people. So I was so excited that, on a short-planned visit to Design 39 Campus, they were "interviewing" a prospective new faculty hire by throwing her right into the deep end of the pool: organize a design challenge with [...]

Lego Pieces and Leading Innovation

What can a 15-year-old autistic boy from Iceland teach us about leadership? Last week videos went viral of a 28-foot-long model of the Titanic, designed and built out of 65,000 Lego blocks by teenager Brynjar Karl Birgisson.  It is a remarkable feat of design, engineering, three-dimensional vision, and perseverance.  But what I want to dig [...]

How Will Our Ideas and Practices Evolve?

Education is a mirror of societal interactions.  For millennia, knowledge and information have been vastly more "push" than "pull".  The big ideas of a few rulers, politicians, philosophers, celebrities, scientists, artists, authors, and the like have molded the evolution of human thought and action. In logarithmic terms, the 10 have led the 100,000, or perhaps [...]

The Wayne Gretzky Dilemma For Schools

Wayne Gretzky famously said. "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been".  How about a corollary for schools: "Design schools for the future, not for today". This sounds embarrassingly obvious, yet it is not. This morning I read an article about the 11,000 student Carlsbad School District on the [...]

See the Future in a Million Crystal Balls

Here's the problem:  We can lose the future if we forget the past, but we can't win the future with the past as our guide. What does that mean?  None of us really know, because for the first time in human history, the past is a decreasingly useful guide to what will work and not [...]

Real Change, Even in the First Year of a New School Leader

Four years ago when I published #EdJourney, I posited that significant changes at individual schools might take place over a period of 3-15 years, depending on leadership, intentionality, and focus.  I have really never seen an example of significant change (other than in schools where a wolf is at the door) in the first year [...]

What Does “Community” Mean…Now and in the Future?

My article on "community" was posted today in Ed Week as a Guest Blog with Next Generation Learning Challenges: I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that there may be no single piece of the education puzzle that is already starting to undergo a more fundamental, radical, and unpredictable evolution than the relationship amongst schools, [...]

Strategy is About Surviving Evolution

Yesterday I spoke with an independent school head who emailed me on my views about strategic planning, how I might help, and who else they should reach out to. Here is what I shared: As I have written and spoken about for almost five years, the traditional independent school strategic plan is ineffective for a [...]

What is the “Uber” or “Airbnb” Future of Schools?

A dozen years ago just a tiny fraction of schools had started to transform in response to the realities of a rapidly changing world.  Five years ago, we started to see powerful conversations and intentional, significant change at a much wider range of schools.  Today we may be approaching the tipping point, at least in [...]

A Great Book at the Nexus of Big, Hairy Problems and Interdisciplinary Learning

What kind of choices will our students make when faced with big, hairy problems in their own lives, and for the world we leave them?  Will they have the tools to make these choices based on sound information and reasoning?  Will they repeat mistakes of the past, or will they learn from them?  Will they [...]