Sunday, March 24, 2013

Selected Quotes from "Creating Innovators" by Wagner.

Our administrative team recently read Tony Wagner's "Creating Innovators" in preparation for our annual goal setting retreat. Here are some of the quotes from the book that I especially enjoyed and also some that made me think. I'm certain that the selected quotes and many more will make their way into my work now and in the future. -Mike

"Most policy makers - and many school administrators - have absolutely no idea what kind of instruction is required to produce students who can think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and collaborate versus merely score well on a test. They are also clueless about what kind of teaching best motivates this generation to learn." (p. xv).

"Innovation may then be defined as the process of having original ideas and insights that have value, and then implementing them so that they are accepted and used by significant numbers of people." (p. 8).

"Succeeding through creation often requires innovation - figuring out how to put together and add value to things that just weren't there before." (p. 9).

"Incremental innovation is about significantly improving existing products, processes, or services. Disruptive of transformative innovation, on the other hand, is about creating a new of fundamentally different product or service that disrupts existing markets and displaces formerly dominant technologies." (p. 9-10).

"What are the skills of innovators?
1. Critical thinking and problem solving.
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence.
3. Agility and adaptability.
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship.
5. Accessing and analyzing information.
6. Effective oral and written communication.
7. Curiosity and imagination." (p. 12).

"Significant challenges come with the use of new technologies, and I think the potential for misuse and excessive dependence is real and must be addressed by adults." (p. 18).

"Motivation is far more important than either expertise or skills. (it) determines what people will actually do." (p. 25).

"People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself - and not by external pressures." (p. 25).

"Lea and Cord gave their children a great deal of structure and clear rules related to reading time, screen time, and bedtime. But they were also adamant about their children using playtime as an unstructured opportunity to discover, explore, and experiment." (p. 38).

"I couldn't do any of these guys' jobs, but I knew enough about what they did to have an intelligent conversation and to represent their interests when things were inevitably in conflict." (p. 44).

"The real learning goes on when they get into the lab, where they have to actually apply what they have been hearing and reading about." (p. 48).

"Students don't have to be blocked from dreaming by the fact that they haven't learned what they need to know to realize that dream." (p. 85).

"Increasingly in the twenty-first century, what you know is far less important than what you can do with what you know. The interest in and ability to create new knowledge to solve new problems is the single most important skill that all students must master today." (p. 142).

"We need to eliminate the bright lines between subjects. A more inter-disciplinary approach to learning will better prepare people for the kind of problems they'll be confronting. Students also need more experience with collaborative problem solving." (p. 156).

"Smart corporate leaders carved out protective spaces in their companies for innovation." (p. 230).

"Convert most classroom experiences into collaborative problem-solving events led by facilitators; tailor learning to the individual learner's experience and competence level; dramatically reduce or eliminate instructor-led slide presentation lectures." (p. 237).