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Permission To Push Boundaries

In the earliest phase of work with each school with which I engage, I ask the site leader (principal, head of school, superintendent) to come up with a set of "boundary conditions" that will guide and govern a process of expansive strategic design.  Boundary conditions set out both the limits and expectations of a project.  They [...]

Models Don’t Work Without Plastic and Glue

We model success for others.  Great teachers model success for their students; principals for teachers; coaches for their athletes.  Consultants are known for the models they bring, models that can be clear, helpful solutions, but also overly-simplified cookbook recipes that sound great but often just don't fit all of us. I was thinking about models yesterday [...]

Digging Deeply Into “Portrait of a Teacher”

A thoughtful colleague at one of my client schools (anonymous now but not for long) wants to create a "portrait of a teacher" for and with her faculty.  It is a great challenge: we need to know what we are aiming for if we want to hit it.  She sent me some proposed questions for [...]

“We Are Not a Class; We Are a Start-up!”

The way Bo Adams tells it, a couple of weeks ago they had a large group of visitors touring the iDiploma Hive at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School, meeting with one of the student cohorts who are working in teams on various self-selected, long-term design and development projects.  A cell phone range and one of the [...]

“Conferences” are Dying; A New Species of “Design Camps” Arises!

NOTHING moves the needle of school innovation faster than high quality, interest-based, peer-to-peer collaboration.  If teachers who are eager to create a deeper learning environment for their students can "see" what that looks like, and learn from peers who are actually doing it....boom.  We are seeing the emergence of this kind of collaboration in explosive [...]

Yes, Schools Can Change in Just One Year!

Most school communities and leaders say that significant, system-wide change from a traditional to a deeper learning model takes many years.  I think we are about to prove that wrong. Thirteen months ago at The Tilton School the entire faculty and staff, most of the board, and a large number of students, came together to begin [...]

Student Reflection on 1st Ever Student-Created AP Course

I have been tracking the progress of the first-ever student-designed and accredited Advanced Placement course. The two author-students, Anya Smith and Emy Schaeffer at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, have finished the course for the year, and here is Anya's video reflection.  I have asked these two student-scholar-pioneers to video in to several summer [...]

By | 2016-05-26T14:04:05+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Design Thinking, Innovation in Education|3 Comments

Thinkabit Lab in San Diego: Lighting Fires of Innovation and Imagination

A place where students can gain self awareness into their unique value; where they can see how they might make a positive impact on the world; and where they can tinker to learn about interests they may never have uncovered.  Sounds to me like a darn good mission statement for any school!  These are the guiding [...]