I Missed Ada Lovelace Day, Did You?

I Missed Ada Lovelace Day, Did You?

Don’t you hate it when hear about a special event just after it occurred? That happened to me this year with Ada Lovelace Day. I’m not a big fan of invented holidays, particularly those that seem designed solely to keep greeting card companies and florists in business, but I think a day for Ada is … Continue reading

Design Thinking 3: Educators as Designers

Design Thinking 3: Educators as Designers

Who needs innovative thinking more than educators? What with constantly changing curriculum mandates, new methods, complicated relationships with colleagues and scores of individual students with needs, teachers have a lot to manage. One researcher* found that, when compared to 17 other professions, teachers responded to more stimuli per hour than anyone but air traffic controllers—and … Continue reading

Design Thinking 2: Design in Curriculum

Design Thinking 2: Design in Curriculum

As more and more schools realize that creativity and problem solving are essential skills, we face a dilemma—how do we manage organize curriculum in ways that do both? One possibility is using design thinking to organize curriculum. And some schools are doing just that. For example, Vista Design and Innovation Academy, a magnet middle school, … Continue reading

Design Thinking 1: What is it?

Design Thinking 1: What is it?

Want a better mousetrap? Want hotels that feel like home? How about a new way of thinking about literature? A new way to design curriculum? You might consider Design Thinking. While there are a number of varieties and definitions, design thinking is a process, much akin to Creative Problem Solving (CPS), in which the strategies … Continue reading

What’s Your Worst Idea?

What’s Your Worst Idea?

This week, while reading about schools using design thinking, I was struck with a piece of advice given in one school’s literature. When brainstorming, it suggested, think of your worst, most obvious idea and list that idea first. No idea is likely to be worse, so the pressure is off. Participants can feel free to … Continue reading

Who Killed Curiosity?

Who Killed Curiosity?

If, as the adage suggests, curiosity killed the cat, what killed curiosity? I’ve been wondering about curiosity lately. Anyone who has ever spent time with toddlers knows they are full of questions. “Why is my cat fluffier than Jane’s cat?” “Where does milk go when I drink it?” “What is dirt made of?” “Why can’t … Continue reading

Creativity and the Common Core

Creativity and the Common Core

Are the Common Core State Standards stifling creativity in students and teachers? Some current commentary seems to suggest they are. Of course, the difficulties do not lie in the standards themselves, but in the way the standards are enmeshed in the drive toward policy-driven test-based education. When the success of education (or the assessed value … Continue reading

The Power of Yet—and Sesame Street!

The Power of Yet—and Sesame Street!

What is that thing you want to do but can’t quite manage? What do you want to do but haven’t conquered—yet? What’s the difference between those ideas? Recently I wrote about the links between a growth mindset and the kinds of motivation related to creativity. A growth mindset holds that abilities change and grow through … Continue reading