Infusing Education with Disruptive DNA
This week on Innochat our guest will be @wandamcclure, who in addition to being my little sister is an experienced teacher with master's degrees in curriculum design and technology in education, gearing up to enter a PhD program where she'll focus on innovating education. This chat topic comes from a number of discussions she and I have had.
Also, I've seen a few articles lately with some pretty radical suggestions for how to innovate education, including simply closing all public schools and starting over. While that could certainly spark innovation, the resulting chaos would unforgivably toss millions of children into a "sink or swim" situation even worse than what they have now.
But those of us who have studied innovation know some of the ways disruption happens could certainly help create something of a blueprint. Let's set aside for the moment the fact that we're dealing with the government and with a system, and not a corporation. Rather, consider the Internet and how radically it has changed so much about our world from governments down to individuals.
So, what can disruption teach us about how to innovate education? I'd like to start by citing a reveiw of Clayton Christensen's recent book, The Innovator's DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. I admit I've not yet read it the entire thing, but a brief synopsis is that disruption requires five skils, all of which have to be present together. These are associating (linking ideas that aren’t obviously related -- recall our chat on analogy a few weeks ago), questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting.
It would take a long time to chat through all of these as related to education, so let's just focus on a few. Here are the questions:
- Where would we look for associations and analogies that might help illuminate potential solutions for education (the further out the better)?
- What would we need to question about how education works right now?
- How would we run the necessary experiments?
- How could we train teachers to be innovators, so they can work from within to innovate?