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Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
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Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World [Format Kindle]

Tony Wagner

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Descriptions du produit


Creating Innovators


Recent events and new questions and insights have compelled me to write this book.

My last book, The Global Achievement Gap, published in 2008, described the new skills students need for careers, college, and citizenship in the twenty-first century and the growing gap between these skills versus what is taught and tested in our schools. Judging by the outpouring of positive responses to the book from diverse audiences and the many subsequent speaking requests I received from all corners of the world, it would appear that I got a number of things right in that book. But I now see that the new skills I described—which I call the Seven Survival Skills—while necessary, are not sufficient.

The world has changed profoundly since 2008. The economies of the West are in shambles. In the United States, the combined rate of unemployment and underemployment is more than 15 percent, and in some European countries it is far worse. Many economists say the solution is for consumers to start spending again, thus creating new jobs. But most consumers can no longer borrow money as easily as they once did. And because many fear for their jobs, they are now saving at a far greater rate than just a few years ago. It is not clear when—or even if—our consumer-driven economy and accompanying low unemployment rates will ever return. Meanwhile, both economists and policy makers are caught up in fierce debates about whether to reduce debt or provide more economic stimulus, which would in the short term increase government debt.

Most leaders agree on one thing, however. The long-term health of our economy and a full economic recovery are dependent upon creating far more innovation. New or improved ideas, products, and services create wealth and new jobs. Business leaders, in particular, say that we need many more young people who can create innovations in the areas of science, technology, and engineering. Many argue that so-called STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is increasingly important to the future of our country. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike say that for our young people to be better prepared for high-wage, high-skilled jobs, they must all graduate from high school “college ready” and earn a two-year or four-year postsecondary degree—preferably in a STEM-related field. Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum take the argument even further in their recent book, That Used to Be Us, asserting that only the jobs of innovators and entrepreneurs will be immune to outsourcing or automation in the new global knowledge economy.

At the same time as these arguments have gained traction, there has also been a growing concern about the cost of a college education and whether college students are learning very much in their classes. In 2010, college debt—estimated at $1 trillion—exceeded credit card debt for the first time.1 And in early 2011, a new study revealed that, after two years of college, nearly half of all students were no more skillful than when they began their studies, and fully one-third showed no gains after four years.2 Statistics show college graduates earn far more than high school graduates. But is that because they are actually more skilled or because the credential has become a simple way to weed through the forest of résumés?

Given the near consensus on the vital importance of innovation in today’s economy, I decided to explore the question of how you educate young people to become innovators. What are the capacities that matter most for innovation, and how are they best taught? I became especially interested in what truly constitutes a meaningful STEM education.

The question of how teachers can develop those students skills that matter most for our country’s future has become even more urgent for me as I have followed the recent education-reform debates in the United States and elsewhere. I am frankly appalled at the idea, now widely held, that the best measure of teachers’ effectiveness is students’ performance on standardized, multiple-choice tests. I am not a fan of teacher tenure, and I believe strongly in accountability for improved student learning. However, most policy makers—and many school administrators—have absolutely no idea what kind of instruction is required to produce students who can think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaborate versus merely score well on a test. They are also clueless about what kind of teaching best motivates this generation to learn. And the tests that policy makers continue to use as an indication of educational progress do not measure any of the skills that matter most today. We need more profiles of quality instruction—and better sources of evidence of results—to inform the education debate.

Since the publication of The Global Achievement Gap, I have been inundated with e-mails from concerned parents. They know their children’s schools are not teaching the skills that they will need, and the parents want to know what they can do. I have my own experience as the father of three wonderful children, now grown with children of their own, but that hardly seems like a sufficient basis for giving advice to other parents. How do parents nurture some of the important skills and attributes of their children? I began to wonder.

In the last few years, I have had opportunities to work with highly innovative companies such as Apple, Cisco Systems, and Scholastic, as well as with senior leaders in the US Army. I have been fascinated by how these leaders see the world and deal with the accelerating pace of change. I became interested in what the best employers do to develop the capacities of young people to be innovators. I also recently met with education leaders and visited schools in Finland, whose education system is considered the best in the world. It is also credited with helping to produce one of the most innovative economies in the world. I wanted to explore what lessons we might learn from Finland’s success.

Finally, I have continued to be intrigued by this so-called net generation—the first to grow up as what Marc Prensky calls “digital natives.” I interviewed a number of twentysomethings for the last book, but felt I had only scratched the surface of understanding this generation. Since then, the debate about this generation’s work ethic—or lack of one—has continued to rage. So I wanted to better understand how they might be differently motivated, and what kinds of teaching and leadership they respond to most positively.

Out of all these disparate influences and questions an idea for a new book began to emerge. I resolved, first, to take a leap and become a student of innovation—something about which I knew little until a few years ago. I have tried to understand what the skills of successful innovators are and why are they so important to our future. I interviewed highly innovative twentysomethings and then studied their “ecosystems”—the parental, teaching, and mentoring influences that they told me had been most important in their development. I wanted to see if I could discern patterns of parenting that contribute to the nurturing of young innovators. And what about the teachers whom these innovators identified as having been most important in their development—were there any similarities in their methods? Are there colleges or graduate programs that do an excellent job of teaching the skills of innovation, and if so, how might they be different? I also sought to learn what the mentors and employers of young innovators had to say about how these capacities are best fostered.

I’ve interviewed scores of diverse young innovators—budding engineers, scientists, artists, musicians, and other individuals who have started companies or worked for some of the most innovative companies in the world, as well social innovators and entrepreneurs who are seeking better ways to solve societal problems. I then interviewed their parents, teachers, and mentors. I observed classes and conducted interviews at several colleges and graduate programs that have an international reputation for graduating innovators. Finally, I interviewed business and military leaders who are dealing with the challenges of developing organizational capacities to innovate. In all, I conducted more than 150 interviews for this book.

It has been an utterly fascinating project, but also challenging because of its scope and complexity. For this reason, I decided to limit the innovators whom I profile in this book to young people between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-two who fall into one of two categories: individuals who are doing highly innovative work in so-called STEM fields, and individuals engaged in social innovation and entrepreneurship. The former are critical to our economic future, the latter to our social and civic well-being. I have also chosen to combine the categories of innovators and entrepreneurs. I am well aware that not every young innovator is an entrepreneur or vice versa. However, I discovered that the majority of the young people whom I interviewed aspire to be both, and that young innovators and entrepreneurs—regardless of their areas of interest—share some common roots.

Describing how I found the people I interviewed would take another book. Research for this project has been much like the process of following hyperlinks on the Internet. Several of my student researchers suggested names of young people whom they had met or read about, while angel investors and venture capitalists introduced me to others. Some individuals—such as General Martin Dempsey—found me. One source would take me to another and that one to the next. I make no claims to a “scientific” sampling. However, based on all that I have learned in the last three years, I have a high degree of confidence that the innovators whom I profile in depth are a representative sample.

I am enormously grateful to the innovators I write about here, as well as the ones whom I had to leave out for space reasons, and to all of their parents, teachers, and mentors. Everyone gave me hours of their time—often over several interviews and in follow-up e-mails—and allowed me complete access to their life and family history.

Thanks to the persistence and hard work of Bob Compton, you will not only meet many of these people between the pages of this book, you will also be able to see and hear them on camera. Bob—who himself has had a remarkable career as a high-tech innovator, entrepreneur, and angel investor—has recently focused his energies on producing an outstanding set of videos about education. His first, 2 Million Minutes, was screened by all of the presidential candidates in 2008 and has sold more than twenty thousand copies. We met at an Investment in America Forum at West Point several years ago, and we recently collaborated on a film about Finland’s education system, The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System.3 When I told Bob about plans for this new book, he urged me to make it a truly innovative book in its format—and not just a book about innovation. So throughout these pages, you will find a series of QR tags, which, if you scan them with your cell or smartphone’s camera and the appropriate software, will take you to web pages where you can watch videos related to the innovators’ lives and the schools I describe.

Whether you are a parent, teacher (preschool through college), mentor, employer, or policy maker, I think you will find that the print and video profiles of these young innovators, as well as the ecosystems that have helped them to develop their capacities, have a great deal to teach us all. I know that I was—and continue to be—inspired by the people whom I interviewed for this project. So I invite you to read, watch, listen, learn—and then to reflect, share, and discuss with your friends and colleagues. For if we are to create a strong economic future and a sustainable way of life for our children and grandchildren, we all have much that we can and must do together.

Wagner on Why I Wrote This Book


Revue de presse

“A road map for parents who want to sculpt their children into innovative thinkers.”—USA Today

"In this fascinating book, Tony Wagner addresses one of our most urgent questions: How do we create the next generation of innovators? By telling the stories of young creators, and by taking us inside cutting-edge programs, Wagner shows that the answer isn't to double-down on outmoded, formulaic solutions--but to embrace the principles of play, passion, and purpose. Creating Innovators is important reading for anyone concerned about the future."--Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“In the equation of world success, superior innovation is the only factor that can keep America #1. Two passionate citizens, innovators in their own right, have produced a compelling prescription for our time. Read it, watch it, and spread the word.”--Mitch Daniels, Governor, State of Indiana

"To combat the competitive threat from economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China, we must develop empowered entrepreneurs and innovators. Creating Innovators is a masterful work that shows us how. Tony Wagner's case studies reveal more about these fine innovators than he may have realized. World leaders, business executives, educators, policy makers and parents, take note!"--Dr. Annmarie Neal Founder, Center for Leadership Innovation and Former Chief Talent Officer, Cisco Systems

“Tony Wagner makes a compelling case for how our education system has to change if we are to create the innovators we need to face tomorrow's challenges. If you are an educator, a parent of a child struggling with conventional education, or an employer looking to have a pipeline of creative talent, then read this book, take note of the ideas and play your part in creating the change we must make happen.”--Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

"In my life I have met and worked with individuals who help create the world they live in—innovators. Their lives are so much more fulfilling than people who live in a world of someone else's creation. This book, in a clear, tangible way, explores how to help young people access skills of innovation and lead richer lives."--Brad Anderson, former CEO, Best Buy Corporation

“In just the click of a mouse, we left the Industrial Age for the Information Age. Now just as quickly, we find ourselves in a new age of our society and economy; the Innovation Age. Tony Wagner and Bob Compton have provided a powerful tool for parents, educators and students seeking success in this new society and economy.”--Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction

“A pioneering and invaluable work about what it really takes to build innovation capability in society--by planting and cultivating innovators, one person at a time.”--John Kao, Chairman of the Institute for Large Scale Innovation and author of Innovation Nation

“Many have written about the paucity of innovation in America. Others have chronicled our schools' struggles to improve on dimensions of skills that matter. In this book, Wagner has positioned himself astride these critical challenges in a way that clarifies what we must do to address these problems, and how we can do it--making this a must read for anyone interested in the education of our nation.”--Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, and author of Disrupting Class

“A seminal analysis promising hope for the future through small wonders in the classroom.”—Kirkus

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2449 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 290 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1451611498
  • Editeur : Scribner; Édition : 1 (17 avril 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005GG0NFU
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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59 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not a book for silver bullet seekers 22 juin 2012
Par patricia - Publié sur
Sadly, too many buyers of books about education or parenting or business are seeking some kind of silver bullet--a recipe for how to transform schools or raise better children or improve one's business. I think some of the reviews of this book reflect a disappointment in not finding quick fixes in its pages. Creating Innovators offers fascinating and invaluable insights, but alas, no recipes. Unlike many popular authors today, Wagner writes with great clarity but respects the complexity of the topics he explores. His case studies of young innovators offer rich, in-depth portraits of young men and women from a variety of backgrounds who are innovating in different ways. His interviews with their parents and the teachers whom they told him had made the greatest difference in their lives are powerful and moving.

But perhaps Wagner's greater contribution is to the broader dialogue of what it means to an educated adult in the 21st century. Building on his outstanding work in The Global Achievement Gap, Wagner goes beyond the now common calls for so-called 21st century skills (a term he never used) to explain how every young person must develop the capacities to solve problems creatively--to innovate. His profiles offer insights into what parents, teachers, mentors can do to nurture and develop these capacities in young people. Finally, Wagner contributes an invaluable perspective to the raging debate about the value of a college education. His description of the contradiction between the culture of schooling versus the culture of learning that develops the dispositions of an innovator is a unique insight--which is made all the richer by his exploration of some radically new approaches to teaching and learning in college.

This book, then, is for people who want to be challenged in their thinking and who are looking for some fresh ideas about parenting and teaching and mentoring young innovators--but not those who seek a "how-to." The book is made all the more powerful by the inclusion of more than 60 videos produced by Robert A. Compton, with whom Wagner collaborated to make their excellent documentary, "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World's Most Surprising School System." Speaking of video resources, you might want to look at Wagner's recent TEDxNYED talk. It's a nice short summary of key ideas from both books and will enable you to make a better informed decision about whether to buy this book. [...]
49 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting...but not Groundbreaking 14 mai 2012
Par J. Stanton - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
In Tony Wagner's latest book, he attempts to explain what should be done to develop young innovators. After a brief primer on innovation, Wagner introduces to several young "innovators" and tells their stories. The aim is to look at these few people, pinpoint the similarities of their childhoods and educational background, and develop a recipe for producing innovative minds. In addition to talking with the people themselves, Wagner consults their parents for clues and parenting skills and styles that have proven beneficial in these specific cases.

The plan of the book is sound, but I was left with a feeling I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know. People have been touting the importance of "play" and imagination in the lives of young people for years. Teaching children to develop passions and think creatively has been the aim of educators for a long time. As in his previous book The Global Achievement Gap, Wagner is right on the money in his adverse views toward standardized testing and how it stifles creativity. However, he again portrays a very negative views of teachers in general. The young innovators he interviews in the book offer largely adverse views toward their formal schooling. It is almost as if he wants you to believe they have accomplished so much in their young lives in spite of the education they've been given. While the current state of education needs to see reform, the problem isn't really with the teachers, but rather the educational establishment as a whole. There are times I think Wagner completely gets this but he shies away from really getting to the root of the problem.

All in all though, the book is decent. Wagner has a likable style in his writing and if you enjoyed The Global Achievement Gap, you will probably like this. I really felt he was on to something, and kept turning the page waiting for some truly revolutionary ideas, but never really arrived there.
20 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Creating Innovators is NOT What Most US Schools Do.... 27 février 2013
Par Robert David STEELE Vivas - Publié sur
I had a chance to go through this book today while visiting a school in Fairfax Virginia and I liked it. I have gone with 5 stars because it is a message that needs repeating as the educational "establishment" is still not listening, but those that rated it at only four stars have good reason to do so. I browsed the many interviews, and focused on the synthesis bits.

I completely agree with the criticism of the Quick Response codes, in this instance they are largely useless and a waste of time -- the concept is however sound, and a great deal more needs to be done to better integrate books to video and also video to books.

The author's earlier book, (The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--and What We Can Do About It) listed seven survival skills that I repeat below, and the author tells us that this book is intended to move beyond those seven skills.

01 Critical thinking & problem solving
02 Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
03 Agility and adaptability
04 Initiative & entrepreneurship
05 Accessing and analyzing information (this is HUGE and where I have spent 30 years and will spend 30 more)
06 Effective oral & written communications (to which I would add graphic visualization)
07 Curiosity and imagination

I have reviewed here at Amazon 150 books tagged Education (General) and 60 books tagged Education (Universities) with about 20 of them being core [all my reveiews sorted by 98 categories are at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, this is not something one can do via Amazon now, but they all lead back to their respective Amazon page). One of them I want to link here early on because it is the first book that made me realize that teaching to the test is beating the creativity out of our kids and also NOT teaching them to think conceptually or innovatively, was Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace.

This book was for me absorbing, capturing my attention early on with this quote on page xv:

"....most policymakers -- and many school administrators -- have absolutely no idea what kind of instruction is required to produce student who can think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaboration versus merely score well on a test. They are also clueless about what kind of teaching best motivates this generation of thinkers."

For those who have not already read these two books, I would recommend:

Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling
Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning

Based on my following three sons through the US educational system, and more recently, interacting with young people across all grade levels, my impression that radical change is needed has been confirmed BUT I would be the first to say that memorization and foundational knowledge is ESSENTIAL, and cannot be sacrificed to a "new wave" of "free play." I am reminded of the damage we did during the "self-esteem" and social promotion years. Kids need to learn to read and write and do sums, and they should NOT be promoted to the next grade until they have mastered that level of skills. HOWEVER, kids today are even more diverse in their biological and environmental skill levels than ever before, and the current answer of rigid universal standards is in my view doing much more damage than good at a strategic level. As we now know, lawyers are graduating from law schools without knowing how to be a lawyer, only take a law test, and business schools are graduating people steeped in what worked in the past, not in adapting to or inventing new solutions needed for today and tomorrow.

There are at least two bright spots in the system, but they are a dying slice that needs to be protected, expanded, and I would suggest, made MANDATORY for all students. I refer to the dramatic arts and the creative arts as well as music. In my experience, these are the last places where micro-management is not the order of the day, and what I have seen in the way of inventiveness, creativity, mutual respect among very diverse individuals, literally brings tears to my eyes when contrasted with the rows of silent children fearful of their teacher and afraid to make a single wrong move--to the point they will not ask a question about something they do not understand.

The author cites Tim Brown's Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation and I especially like a graphic on page 24 with three intersecting circles: Expertise, Creative Thinking Skills, and Motivation. I would give our present rote school system at B, but a D on critical thinking skills, and a C or a D on motivation depending on the neighborhood. Innovation occurs, according to Tim Brown, only when all three of these fundamentals come together and a "spark" lights the fire.

I particularly like the section on how learning should be and end in itself, not a path to a job -- and as 45% of all recent college graduates in the USA now know, college is NOT a ticket to an assured middle class job.

The author considers traditional education to be rigid, boring, and lacking conceptual or contextual merit. Generally speaking, I agree. The author suggests that high schools cannot be fixed until we first fix universities, I am not so sure about that but am charmed by a discussion of one university that focused on seven pillars:

01 Public education top to bottom
02 Community engagement across all problem areas
03 Public service as a calling and university product
04 Disaster response & longer-term resilience
05 Physical revitalization & cultural arts development
06 Engaged teaching
07 Social innovation (engineering innovation is at 02, 04, and 05 above)

Two quotations that provide a strategic message from this book:

QUOTE (154): "So if we are to transform high schools in America to better engage young people for an innovation driven economy, we will need to start by rethinking college -- the curriculum, the teaching methods, and the admission requirements.

I do not agree with this. I would rather start with a county school system, make education year-round, and have each student do one quarter semester in each of the trades, with an additional program to give any student that wishes an opportunity to earn every merit badge in the Boy Scout inventory, without the Boy Scouts (or Girl Scouts).

QUOTE (156): Citing Paul Buttino, who says "The value of explicit information is rapidly dropping to zero. Today the real added value is what you can do with what you know. and it is -- in the doing -- in the probing of the universe, the pursuit of a query -- that the real learning takes place."

Although I am not particularly engaged with most of the young innovator interviews, the author's coverage of Olin College, a new college started in the 1990's to offer an INTEGRATED education that could be described as applied engineering in the rich context of the applied humanities, is alone worth the read. I had no idea Olin was this coherent and focused.

The author cites Rick Miller of Olin talking about the three stages of learning, setting the stage with the observation that it is not what you know, it's the ability to ask the right questions "in situ."

STAGE ONE: Memorization-based learning tested by multiple-choice questions.

STAGE TWO: Project-based learning with pre-determined problem (and generally a "school solution")

STAGE THREE: Design-based learning where you have to define the problem (this is something I have spent a lot of time thinking about, and would observe that at this level you not only need to be someone who had read broadly, but you also need to be able to see, hear, feel, and intuit all the weak signals, understand true cost implications, and generally think at multiple levels (strategic, operational, tactical, and technical) simultaneously.

This is the whole point of the book: we need to prepare our young adults to do THREE THINGS: have a foundation in expertise and be able to find and integrate expertise; think critically in the face of completely new conditions not encountered previously; and the motivation to persist against all odds, embrace failure, and keep on trucking.

The author says that innovation thrives in a culture that welcomes experimentation. Looking around at the Industrial Era school systems we have -- many very well funded with all possible teaching aids -- one can readily agree with Dr. Russell Ackoff, one of the pioneers in system design, who lamented the fact that most of what we do in the way of governance and education is wrong to begin with, and therefore, doing the wrong thing righter is still the wrong thing.

In the author's view, the time has come to redefine authority, moving away from testing and credentialing based on dubious premises, while embracing "disruptive" innovation in the classroom and in the halls of government and industry. Of course this is virtually mission impossible with all of the leadership positions now occupied by people who came up the old way, understand the old way, and are totally invested in the old way.

I put the book down pensive about how to address the terrible short-falls in the USA with respect to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, and also the terrible short-falls in both social innovation and sustainability design, production, and services. For me it boils down to corruption. Industry leaders lied to Congress -- and these lies continue today -- about the lack of available US high-skilled labor. What they really meant was that they preferred to import high-skilled labor at half price instead of paying the going scale for US-educated engineers.

At the same time less so in some areas, but across the USA, school boards are being starved by corrupt local leaders that make deals in the public's name waiving taxes, waiving pollution regulations, and generally short-changing the traditional sources of funding for education -- this is a case presented in Deer Hunting With Jesus. The schools have been starved and marginalized by the information technology industry, our one book industry, because its leaders have been corrupt and sought to import cheap labor instead of properly supporting the redesign and reinvestment in our own school system. This has gotten so bad that a recent Pew poll found that one third of US citizens across all ages (mostly older) could be legitimately qualified as "idiots." These are the same people that vote for political leaders who buy their votes with borrowed money--a trillion a year borrowed in our name, at the same that 50% of every federal dollar is documented as waste.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE? I see multiple possibilities.

Within the existing school systems, drama and art and music should be mandatory. These are important nodes of liberty in an otherwise onerous system, and can be used to both keep the flame of creativity alive within all of our students, and also to identify especially gifted innovators who might otherwise be pressured to drop out. They should not be electives, they should be mandatory, and include drawing what one can observe.

Within the existing school system, substitute teachers offer an extraordinary untapped opportunity. I know one substitute teacher who ran for President in 2012 and was invited to teach an honors civics class. After completing the assigned work -- and ensuring that every student completed the work -- he hosted an innovative half hour of give and take in which the students learned, among other things, that there are eight accredited parties in the USA, not two; that much of what the government reports (e.g. unemployment numbers) is not the truth; and that there are forms of legalized crime including pharmaceutical crime that rival illegal crime in the damage it does to the Republic. This individual was chewed out by the assistant principal after a teacher in an adjoining classroom reported that he had had the temerity to put the desks in a circle (the traditional indigenous form for democratic dialog) and suggested that the two party system and some of its candidates might be criminals -- a point made most ably in books such as Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency and Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It. The bottom line: they system does not just beat the creativity out of kids, it puts the teachers and administrative leaders into such strait jackets that the lose their common sense. Although most school handbooks encourage the discussion of controversial issues in a respectful manner, the reality is that assistant principals and most teachers are TERRIFIED of anything controversial -- they would rather graduate sheep than critical thinkers.

Selected substitute teachers, in my view, should be recruited, trained (there are many words they are accustomed to using with adults that are inappropriate with young people), and overseen as a means of injecting innovation into the existing course structure. Instead of glorified baby-sitters working to rule, they should be encouraged to both complete the principal assigned tasks AND give of themselves to the students in a constructive manner.

More can be done with once a week "break-out" sessions for all students, sessions that could begin with a speaker who presents a context and a challenge, and then be followed by mixed grade teams accepting the challenge and doing research -- mixing grades -- toward a school-wide contest in which the students, not the teachers, establish whose solutions are most meritorious.

Finally, mindful of all I have learned from Harrison Owen and Tom Atlee, two of whose books I list below, I would train all Drama and Physical Education teachers in the art and science of Open Space Technology, and have at least one monthly Open Space session in which the students decide what they want to learn, how they want to learn it, and are then given the rest of the day to do so.

Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World
Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)

For me this was a very provocative book, and while it has short-falls other reviewers have pointed out, the fifth star is easily earned by the fact that it provoked this review. With my last link I will mention the single most important book I believe that no educator can ignore, the 1916 doctoral thesis of Will Durant, now available at Philosophy and the Social Problem: The Annotated Edition. That was the book that persuaded me as an intelligence professional that we must integrate education, intelligence, and research in one Secretary-General (with two others managing the Commonwealth and Global Engagement), and that we must sharply reduce spending on secret intelligence while sharply increasing spending on whole person life-long education, and on multi-disciplinary research focused on real problem such as the need for free energy, clean water, and the eradication of agricultural and industrial production practices that sicken society instead of enhancing society.

One could certainly conclude that education today is producing consumers of education, not creators of innovation. Above I have tried to summarize the key points from the book, and also provide some thoughts on what schools could do now, within their existing parameters, to leverage drama and physical education and substitute teachers. Beyond that, I have no influence at all.

With best wishes to all,
Robert Steele
35 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Author didn't mention homeschooling as alternative to public/private school 11 juin 2012
Par MBechtold - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I scanned this book and agreed with most of the negative reviews that the book doesn't offer a lot of concrete advice for parents on how to raise innovative children, although it might provide moral support to parents who are struggling to understand their innovative offspring.

One glaring omission that struck me, though, was the author's failure to mention homeschooling as an alternative to public or private schooling. Surely there are also young innovators who have come up through the homeschooling path -- these would have been useful examples to include. We recently pulled our daughter out of a well-regarded local charter school in part because we finally understood that the school environment was completely opposed to any sort of creativity and innovation, collaboration, meaningful social interactions, and so forth.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Creating Innovators 8 mars 2013
Par greg wilson - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Great book - argues case well for creating innovators and the role that educational institutions such as schools can play
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