Yesterday I virtually attended a talk by Bo Adams of Atlanta-based transformational design thinking firm Unboundary, hosted by the Southern Association of Independent Schools. Bo was talking about his visionary Pedagogical Master Planning template that they are starting to beta test at schools. Here are some kernels I Tweeted out during the session; most of these are credited to Bo, though I certainly agree with them! Any or all of these are good starting points for introspective questioning about your school’s process of innovation. You can review the entire Twitter feed at #saisLnL.
Above all, re-thinking schools requires courage.
If we are really going to help kids, we need to be willing to take on every sacred cow in the system.
Typical school strategic plans do not possess the key trait of transformation: they are not systems-based.
How much money do we spend on master planning our campuses, capital campaigns, strategy, and mar/com, and now little on planning our pedagogy, which is where the real value of learning lies?
Many schools are innovating at the edges but are unwilling to challenge the basic assumptions of the current school model. Serious case of tunnel vision.
Innovation at the edges causes fragmentation and enhances silos. The solution is a systems-based approach to innovation.
Schools actually know very little about the mechanics of change; need outside help just like when we hire architects to design buildings. Need designers of change.
A Pedagogical Master Plan brings the entire community together to first map the current ecosystem, and then plan and build for the future.
Do school leaders really understand the end-user experience at their schools?
Critical to bring in the “possible” from outside. Most schools are inwardly-focused and need sources of new ideas.
Many schools starting to introduce design thinking in their curriculum but not using it in their own planning!
When polled, students actually want a more vigorous school experience, not less. Student voices need to be included in the ongoing planning process.