Play, Passion and Purpose
Tony Wagner's video on creating innovators looks at 5 key factors in creating innovators. These include and my personal favourite: Play, Passion and Purpose. We need to give students time to play and explore the world around them, with guidance so they can get the most from their experiences. We need to encourage play and passion in ways like Stonefields School is doing in their Break Through time, and companies like Google do with their 20% time or Genius Time.
We need to value creativity, innovation, problem-solving and iteration. As Wagner says it is not what students know that matters, " What the world cares about is what they can do with what they know." So what is it that we assess and therefore show we value? Edutopia describes some ideas on Building Creative Confidence.
One of the questions I find myself asking teachers most often is "What is the purpose of this lesson/activity/inquiry...?" Sometimes teachers find this easy to answer, others struggle, eventually giving answers like "It is in the test", "We have always done this" or "I was told to".
The purpose of everything we do in the classroom needs to be really clear to both us and our students. If we are clear on the purpose it will make choices surrounding the lesson/activity/inquiry much clearer for the teacher and the student. The purpose of the inquiry will provide clear guidance on what we do as a result of an activity or inquiry. Which also means that often we may not know at the start of an inquiry exactly what we will do as a result as our findings and our purpose will guide that action.