1. This notion that we need to move away from arguing “consumption VS. creation” is so timely. I would agree with consumption is vital to innovation, but I would tweak it just a bit… Critical curation is vital to creativity and innovation. I believe it shouldn’t be about just consuming thoughtlessly towards an outcome (e.g. research paper), but that when we are critical of what we curate (choosing parts to hold onto from multiple resources and looking for perspective/bias/stereotypes, and what or who is missing, in the media we reach out to), then we can be more innovative and creative, not regurgitating what someone else said.

  2. Corbin

    Great post, George! Thanks for your continued thoughts and contribution. Your subscription email is one of the first I open.

    Instead of “getting off” the topic of consumption vs. creation, I hope we can use the debate and thinking to date to help us better define the balance that needs to be developed.

    Using the term “critical consuming” is a great step forward (it advances the conversation) and helps to further define the balance. Equally important is the type of creation. Not all creative activities and projects make progress toward the learning goals either (some are actually a complete waste of time and can cause students to disengage rather than engage).

    True progress is often in the nuances and details. It’s really important that we give the energy and attention needed to work through the evolving details and thinking.

    Remember, this is about the kids. They are trusting us to get into the weeds, make tough choices, deal with challenges and change, and be role models that “walk the talk.”

  3. Desiree Finestone

    George, this is a great post!
    Your audience must have loved the sense of freedom which allowed your ‘innovative’ workshop to become their ‘innovative’ session as well.

    Yes, we have to know our stuff – by this I mean, (NOT be walking google machines and NOT expect our students to consume and regurgitate) we have to know WHAT we are teaching and WHY we are teaching this. The same as your jazz musician analogy, we need to have an in-depth knowledge of our WHATS and our WHYS. Our students can figure out HOW they go about their own learning. If our students truly understand the learning intentions and learning outcomes, (and are able to justify these through their learning) does it matter HOW they go about achieving this?

    I am always blown away about HOW they choose to learn. Love not knowing which direction their learning might take them.

    Best part is when the groups (or individual students) present and share their learning with each other. How did this group go about their learning? Love how they listen intently to one another and ask their peers questions.

    However, this is not a ‘free for all’ which it might easily become. As we unleash their learning, we still need to closely monitor, facilitate and continue questioning our students’ thinking, to ensure that their learning is on track. When sharing their learning, students are accountable to explain how their learning connects to the central idea and learning intentions.

    George, I recently attended a workshop where the presenter, like you, did not know ‘what was coming his way…’ It was fantastic, as teachers questions led to shared thinking and discussions based on what we wanted and needed to learn.

  4. Daisy Woods

    This is an awesome post my friend! It is so timely for me. I have returned to my first love, the classroom. Thanks for always being a source of incredible inspiration!

  5. […] There has been a lot of pushback on the topic of innovation and how it fits into the idea of research in education.  Personally, I think that education needs to find the variance of having schools and educators use evidence-based practice (with the ability to iterate, but I will get to that in a bit) and innovative methods.  Knowing your stuff inside out is often what leads to the ability to innovate in the first place. […]

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