Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Conditions for Innovation

Today I read an article written by Dr Frank Moss, Director of the future-focused MIT Media Lab from 2006 to 2011.
Whilst the piece largely focused upon the optimal conditions for innovation that are enjoyed by the researchers at the MIT Media Lab, it was the specific example of how one particular innovative idea was developed that interested me most and had me thinking about how a similar approach would look if carried out by schools and education systems... [highlights are mine]

There were two big 'takeaways' for me from this approach to implementing innovation:

  1. The importance of diversity - we need to collaborate more in schools and, when doing so, we need to make strategic use of the diverse range of perspectives, skills and personalities that exist among our staff.
  2. We [more often] need to "set aside... any pre-conceived notions of what a [school / learning space] should be... "
  • "What if you imagined the kind of city [community / world... ] in which you'd like to live, and then designed a [school / learning space] for this ideal place?"
So, if we did "set aside" our traditional notions of schools and learning spaces and the purpose they have served in the past... 

  • What would potential new visions of our schools look like..? 
  • What is the "place" that we are preparing today's students for? 
  • What are the skills, knowledge and understandings that they will need for this place..?

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