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21st Century Skill – Innovation

May 17, 2009

A few years ago, The Economist stated that “Innovation is now recognized as the single most important ingredient in any modern economy.”  This statement has held true as our own local economy has struggled to adjust from the manufacturing base to a combination of health/human services, alternative energy and technology.  What does this mean for Saline Area Schools?

Can we teach our students to be innovative?  Are we innovative enough as a school district to encourage this skill in our students?  The Partnership for 21st Century Skills noted the following as strategies to encourage creativity and innovation.

Think Creatively
* Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)
* Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)
* Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

Work Creatively with Others
* Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
* Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
* Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
* View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes

Implement Innovations
* Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur

As a district, our challenge is to develop projects that continue to focus on the State mandated curriculum expectations, while at the same time pushing our students to analyze and evaluate their own ideas about the subject area.  Clearly, we need to work together as a staff to develop these instructional practices.  Summer is coming, time for us to get to work.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Peter Kudlak permalink
    May 18, 2009 10:24 pm

    It is clear that project-based learning and alternative assessments is missing in the land of AYP and NCLB. It is refreshing to read your vision for the SAS.

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