Innovative classrooms in “real” schools (250 words)



Everyone in education believes in creativity and innovation.  It’s a bit like truth, justice and the American way, in politics. Despite the infrequent use or uncommon existence of those qualities, no politician will ever comes out actively against them.


In the public school system everyone is happy to tout the glory and support of creative classrooms. The challenge of developing that innovative mindset is not in the lack of support.   Unfortunately, the issue is more endemic; we are not a system built to handle that kind of structure.   Innovation is messy, it requires a loose alliance with curriculum standards. Creativity is built on a foundation of healthy failures, and changing paradigms requires support.

The question then is how do we fit the creative peg into our existing structured hole?

  • Messy does not fit into block schedules, but it does start and stop and get interrupted. Anyone that works with kids knows the challenge is not in getting them to change gears it is in getting them to stay on track.
  • A loose alliance with curriculum does not mean you don’t have a plan and a target. It means you recognize more than one path to the target.
  • Healthy fails, are inherent to learning. They are the error in trial and error. We just needs to build on both the trial and error parts.

Support for change is tricky, but open doors and crowd sourcing successes makes it difficult to say no to programs and ideas that are working.


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