Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Thursday, December 4, 2014



I wrote a post a while ago about BUZZ words in education.  BUZZ words are OK as long as we realize that what we are talking are not FADS but are necessities as we educated the future leaders of the 21st Century. 

Creativity and Innovation are two such words. They are not FADS but rather we need to be incorporating these elements into our daily curriculum. 

What is the difference between them? 

"There is a significant difference between creativity and innovation, according to Renee Hopkins, in her June 9th post to the IdeaFlow Weblog. The key distinction is that creativity is getting a great idea; innovation is creativity implemented." as stated in  The difference between creativity and innovation

We have discussed the importance of being creativity and some of the difficulties associated with that. However having the creative ideas are not enough we need to implement them which is what being innovative is all about. 

To be innovative means that you need to upset at times what is the accepted standard  and be open to change. This is very difficult given  the demands that teachers have with our standard grading system, and teaching to the test. 

 Terry Heick  in 12 Barriers To Innovation In Education  lists the 12 possible barriers to innovation. 
Here are some of the barriers mentioned :

  • Teacher Turnover

  •  Drive-by Professional Development

  • School and Community Climate

  • Traditional Report Cards

  • Scripted Curricula

How do we remove some of these barriers 

Well the simplest thing but not the easiest would be to remove or change some of the barriers: 

  • Provide ongoing and differentiated to meet the needs of teachers professional learning opportunities 
  • Change the culture and climate to embrace a growth mindset where risk taking is encouraged 
  • Change the grading system so that students are rewarded for effort creativity and innovative ideas. 
  • Be open to a more standard based curriculum.  Grant Wiggins, a learning expert, said the following “Why do people insist on viewing the Standards as inconsistent with teacher creativity and choice? I am baffled by such uncreative thinking. That’s like saying the architect cannot be creative because every house has to meet building code. Indeed, the whole point of mandating standards as opposed to curriculum is to free people up to create innovative curriculum that addresses the standards." ( Why Learning Innovation Can’t Come From Teachers Alone)
I will leave you with the question Heick's asks himself, "When is the last time you’ve walked into a classroom and seen real joy for learning and understanding? Not simply a fun activity, or students enjoying working together, or even vague engagement, but rather resonating, engrossed, curiosity-driven and rigorous learning that changes kids from the inside out?" ( Why Learning Innovation Can’t Come From Teachers Alone)

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