‘Schools are killing curiosity’: why we need to stop telling children to shut up and learn

DT, Innovation, HCD, Great Articles

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jan/28/schools-killing-curiosity-learn

“Matt Caldwell, head of Ilminster Avenue nursery school, Bristol, says the youngest children’s creativity and conversational skills have increased since cardboard boxes and cans replaced toys.” 

“Paul Howard-Jones, professor of neuroscience and education at Bristol University, who has visited to observe the children playing with their new “toys”, says humans learn from novel situations and curiosity is important to that process. ‘Children should be prompted and encouraged to ask questions even though that can be challenging for the teacher,” he says. “We do need to find some time for questions during the day. There is not enough time in schools for creativity and following up on curiosity.'”

Let’s stop talking about THE design process

DT, Innovation, HCD, Great Articles

From process to ability

“At the d.school we endeavor to enable our students in eight core design abilities so that they might develop their own creative confidence and also inspire others, take risks, and persevere through tough projects throughout their lives. We want our students to be their own unique chefs. We don’t want to churn out individuals that only know how to follow a recipe.”

Eight Abilities

Navigate Ambiguity
Synthesize Information
Rapidly Experiment
Move Between Concrete and Abstract
Build and Craft Intentionally
Communicate Deliberately
Design your Design Work

There is no THE

“Though we live in the age of urgency, mastery takes time, patience, and practice. So, while I think it often makes sense to introduce first-timers to design by following a process, remember that it’s not THE process. It simply gives them a small taste of the abilities designers flex. Design as a discipline is evolving and becoming a sophisticated catalyst for positive impact on projects big and small, but the road to results is far from formulaic.”

From: https://medium.com/stanford-d-school/lets-stop-talking-about-the-design-process-7446e52c13e8

Wild and Thoughtful Innovation

DT, Innovation, HCD, Leadership

The Singapore American School R&D Journey – https://strategylab.nais.org/ik/media/images/documents/NAI574-2017_NAIS_AC_Singapore_r04.pdf

We understand that good schools are often the most difficult to change, with good often getting in the way of being truly great.

It was critical that faculty were leading this process across the system. By engaging faculty from the beginning, we had early champions and significant learning. Some of our lessons include:

1. Be unapologetic about who we are and what we will stand for

2. Hire for what we want to become

3. Invest in leadership development at all levels

4. Create an environment of healthy discourse

5. Engage our people at all levels in the discovery phase, not just the outcome

6. Create a culture of innovation in which it is safe to fail

7. Stay focused on the vision and the big goal

8. Push the organization’s limits to learn the capacity for change

9. Do it right and not just do it fast

10. Be willing to adapt along the way to new learning

11. Pace the timing in order to build capacity and focus on what is most important

12. Decide what has to go in order to make time for the change we have planned

Connecting Making, Designing and Composing

DT, Innovation, HCD, Great Articles

The Connecting, Making, Designing and Composing article talks about how we teach design thinking and making through the context of what we know about teaching writing. In particular, I found it important to think about design thinking as being integrated within the content, much like we’ve done with instructional technology.

As we move to a focus on design and making in education, we should consider how design or making is woven throughout the disciplines and consider how making and design emerge from disciplinary problems. We could learn a lot from the years of research in writing across the disciplines that could inform more thoughtful infusion of design thinking and making across our curriculum.

I loved this quote below about making and how it emerges:

As maker spaces take their place in schools, perhaps we should turn to artists, poets, engineers, scientists, and so on and ask them to describe what it means to make in their communities. We might turn a critical eye to the ways in which making emerges from communities instead of thinking that we bring making to their communities of practice.

And in particular loved the summary here in the last paragraph:

Like many of you, I will continue to be a champion for doing, making, tinkering, and composing ideas and artifacts. At the end of the day, design and making could be exactly the trojan horse we need to infuse constructivist pedagogies in teaching and learning. An affordance of a maker space is also its potential for breaking down disciplinary silos: a maker space can bring together a variety of disciplines and make explicit the kinds of problems various disciplines can solve, and more importantly, highlight the interdisciplinary approaches to meaning making and problem solving. As we take this step toward design and making in schools, my hope is that we keep an eye on the messy, recursive, and disciplinary ways we make and design.

Full Article here:
Thinking about design thinking and making through the context of teaching writing