The journey in the is series of posts has been interesting, as I view my own arenas from a different perspective. For Liedtke, (2011) innovation means moving into a place of uncertainty. The reluctance to do that is quite comprehensible, and is where many educational organisations may stay, without different choices being presented. Hattie underlines this in his discussion of the Willingham proposal (2012) that the belief that students do want to think emanates from an overly optimistic view on behalf of educators. I’m not entirely in agreement, as I do think that learners want challenge, but that we need to think about handing over control a bit more to students, and making our the learning more experimental. (Leadbetter 2010)
The ability to make a difference, such as that cited by Fullan in his study of a school district in New York, (Fullan 2003) comes from people being willing to work together, with clear expectations and an atmosphere of collegiality and respect. Liedtke sets out the steps quite clearly; mapping the journey to follow the user, co-creating through the involvement of all stakeholders, then producing ideas to generate and test assumptions with rapid prototyping. One of the problem spaces in our library underwent this process amid the hope that it may be possible to move into a place of uncertainty, a position that does not come readily to people.
The greatest shift in thinking came from the students, and that has been the most interesting part of this journey, as I witness their readiness for their teachers to join them as they move into newer spaces. The makerspace that has resulted from this rapid prototype, is moving from strength to strength, almost wordlessly, as the students show us where our thinking needs to shift.
The staff common room elicited many comments as others recognised the nature of the problem in this particular design brief. The desire to improve the space is palpable, but it is one of many on the list. Racing past it in priority is the staff virtual space. The redesigned website is ready to launch, after a consultancy was engaged to create it, and the Learning Management System (LMS) has been part of the school community for this year. The latter was to be my other possibility for a case study, as it had all the hallmarks of a project that took the decision-making out of the hands of the stakeholders. The readings and discussions have helped me to question why people are prepared to remain in a place of discomfort, and to appreciate that with some encouragement, they are willing to begin the process of change, of travelling with a different view.
The capacity to make the change was evident in the discussions of the creative coffee ventures. It was a revelation to some of the participants, and has planted a seed. Tim Brown also plants that seed. We need to understand the culture and the context he says, and help people to realise they can all be designers, shifting from passive to active participation.
Architect Sunand Prasad (2013) spoke out about the “missed chance” of the Priority Schools building Programme, calling for greater collaboration between designers architects and educators and stressing the focus has to be on long-term value. Whether in physical or virtual spaces, opportunities arise for us to move to the edges and think.
- Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. HarperBusiness
- Fullan, M. (2003). The moral imperative of school leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
- Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. London:Routledge.
- Klettner, A. (2013) We’re missing a chance on school design. Retrieved from: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/“we’re-missing-a-chance-on-school-design/5052269.article
- Leadbeater, C. (2010, April). Education Innovation in the slums TED.com. Retrieved from:http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_leadbeater_on_education
- Liedtka, J. (2011). Learning to use design thinking tools for successful innovation.Strategy & Leadership, 39(5), 13-19. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10878571111161480