Reflecting on "Part 1" of George Couros's Innovator's Mindset
Chapter 1: New AND Better = Innovation
"We need to start with the WHY, then move to the what and how to develop learners who will create a better present and future." (loc 374) Couros uses this line from Simon Sinek's Start with Why to ensure we aren't just adding some method or program that will not take us to our desired end.
Kramer Cosmos from Seinfeld was continually looking for something new and what he thought was better. He was either creating something, such as the brossiere and coffee table book about coffee tables, or being innovative with his apartment by creating levels or wood wallpaper. He continued this mindset despite the fact that those surrounding him typically did not support him. That lack of support could have been that those ideas were not necessarily something better, but merely an added layer of his eccentrics.
To meet our PURPOSE in this ever changing society, something NEW is needed only if it leads to something BETTER. We know it will be better if it will serve our PURPOSE. It will be better if the students and all stakeholders are also reminded of the enduring purpose of the learning.
One thing I am doing new this year is having students continually work in stations. They are aware of the purpose to become CONTRIBUTING members of the local and global community and make it a BETTER World. We begin in the classroom. We have developed guidelines for making successful groups. WHY? Collaboration leads to effective ends of all sorts. Everybody has strengths and this empowers them to utilize their strengths in the group setting. Others are learning from these strengths and being pushed to add new skills and knowledge to their toolbox. These stations are, in turn, teaching me new things along the way. If a station is not finding success, they are to reflect on those agreed guidelines and refine what they are doing, rather than continue to be stuck in a rut.
I have also added a "Tip Board" where students that have discovered a helpful tool toward success on a task can share it with others outside of their stations. My challenge is to expand this sharing of knowledge with more stakeholders and through other forums. The collaboration that is best is the one where all stakeholders are contributing members, such as seen in this #IMMOOC PLN. I am being pushed beyond by comfort zone. This experience has become so much more than merely reading and answering weekly prompts.
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Chapter 2: Ask questions for CQI
Providing the experiences that builds on the innovative mindset is critical and necessary in this ever changing world. We cannot fall behind. Constant REFLECTION and refinement are needed to ensure continual QUALITY improvement (CQI). This reflection is something I already do, but see the need for it to occur more often and with a purpose; not just for me, but my students as well. Couros offers the idea of DEAR: Drop Everything and Reflect (loc 861).
One new question to add to those that Couros offered in Chapter 2 would be:
"What is a current need? Need of a student, the class, school, district, community?"
Chapter 3: Embody the Innovative Mindset
The mindset of EMPATHY is something that we have been working on this year. Would I want to be a member of my group or classroom? (loc 606) If something doesn't seem to be working, reflection and refinement needs to occur to find that success.
The mindset I would like to build upon, and what I am learning is valuable, is for me and my students to be NETWORKED. Our learning needs to be more transparent. We need to take a risk to be creators and as leaders share our work with others ensuring that it is exhibiting our enduring purpose for learning.
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