10 Quotes to Inspire Innovation in Education

[Originally posted in my Prizmah blog, “Innovation Alley“.]

“In quoting others, we cite ourselves.”
― Julio CortázarAround the Day in Eighty Worlds

As we (Prizmah) continue to work on our plans for next year, which we look forward to sharing out upon readiness – and I look forward to discussing its connection to ongoing activity in the innovation space as discussed previously – I wanted to make sure that some of the learning that my team has done this year about innovation was captured and documented.  We have had the blessing to collectively read a variety of books, speak with a variety of folk and even visit a variety of places as part of our process.  I thought it might be fun (wee!) and possibly useful to those who like to keep quotes handy as triggers for meetings, blog posts, papers, etc., to share our learning through the quotes we actually collected and shared with each other during this year of learning.

So without further adieu and in no particular order, I hope you may be as inspired to think differently about teaching and learning, schooling, and leadership as we were…

“As leaders in education, our job is not to control those whom we serve, but to unleash their talent.  If innovation is going to be a priority in education, we need to create a culture where trust is the norm.” – George CourosThe Innovators Mindset

“The first step in teaching students to innovate is making sure that educators have opportunities to be innovators themselves.” – Suzie BossBringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World

“You cannot empower students to be self-directed, responsible, critical-thinking people if they can’t ask their own questions. At that point, you’re teaching compliance rather than responsibility.” – A.J. Juliani and John SpencerLAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student 

“What doesn’t work any longer is our education system’s stubborn focus on delivering a curriculum that’s growing increasingly irrelevant to today’s kids, the outmoded standardized assessments we use in an attempt to measure our success, and the command-and-control thinking that is wielded over the entire process. All of that must be rethought.” – Will RichardsonWhy School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere

“Curiosity is, therefore, strongly correlated with intelligence. For instance, one longitudinal study of 1,795 kids measured intelligence and curiosity when they were three years old, and then again eight years later. Researchers found that kids who had been equally intelligent at age three were, at eleven, no longer equal. The ones who’d been more curious at three were now also more intelligent, which isn’t terribly surprising when you consider how curiosity drives the acquisition of knowledge. The more interested and alert and engaged you are, the more you’re likely to learn and retain. In fact, highly curious kids scored a full twelve points higher on IQ tests than less curious kids did.” – Amanda LangThe Power Of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success

“One of the most important questions any school or teacher can ask is simple: ‘How can we be more thoughtful about what we do?’ Unfortunately, it’s not the question we ask most frequently. The question schools and teachers have fallen in love with—’What more should we be doing?'” – Chris Lehmann and Zac ChaseBuilding School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need

“What did they know? They knew that human qualities, such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort. And that’s what they were doing—getting smarter. Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.” – Carol DweckMindset: The New Psychology of Success

“You can lament the changes that are happening today—tomorrow’s history—convincing yourselves of the negatives and refusing to be a part of a constantly changing culture. Or you can shake off your technochondria and embrace and accept that the positive metamorphosis will continue to happen, as it has so many times before. Young people today are building a new language, not demolishing an old one. And as you will soon see, developments like these new words are helping create significant and meaningful new communities and new relationships that are an essential part of our changing culture and our wireless future.” – Nick BiltonI Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work & Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted

“The new survival skills—effective communication, curiosity, and critical-thinking skills—“are no longer skills that only the elites in a society must muster; they are essential survival skills for all of us.” – Yong ZhaoWorld Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students

“Establishing prototyping as a core competence for innovation, requires more than creating a research and development department or team.  It requires school wide value for innovation, understanding of innovation processes, and that the bumps and disruptions are worthwhile discomforts of relevant student learning and success.” – R&D Your School: How to Start, Grow, and Sustain Your School’s Innovation Engine