Paul Johnson, G4 teacher at our school, is modeling being an innovator during his class Genius Day. He wanted to learn how to make tortillas better. So he invited the experts in – a parent from a different class and her daughter – to teach him the secret to making better tortillas. While he did that, his students enthusiastically continued their own projects.
“The first step in teaching students to innovate is making sure that educators have opportunities to be innovators themselves.” -Suzie Boss, Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World
George Couros, in his book The Innovator’s Mindset, defines innovation as “a way of thinking that creates something new and better.”
Don Wettrick, in his book, Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level has created an Innovation Class in his school and he did it by being an innovator himself. He insists that his students each have a mentor to help guide them through their projects. Learning from experts outside of the classroom is a key to success.
As teachers we need to facilitate the connections between students and experts – those who share the same passions.
How might we burst the bubble and create collaborative learning opportunities between students and experts?