I’m in the midst of reading The Innovator’s Mindset because I’m taking part in OSSEMOOC’s Book Club (and because I was very curious about the book anyway!).  This week, we are supposed to be responding to a specific question, but I got sidetracked by a few pages in chapter 3.



If I had access to coloured markers, this page would have looked like a rainbow.


Although I teach art, I do believe that there are certain ideas within education that are universal.  Consider the following quote from George Couros: “In contrast to multiple choice tests, learning that focuses on creation and powerful connections to concepts not only takes more effort but also more time“.

I’m fortunate to have conversations with some fantastic art educators in the States who constantly challenge my thinking and pedagogy.  In a way, it feels like The Innovator’s Mindset was written about them, because they continually rethink their own practices and share new possibilities with others.

Consider Melissa Purtee’s recent post, Is Choice Always Choice?, where she makes a clear distinction between projects that are teacher-centred, and projects that give students control over their creations.  Ian Sands’ article in School Arts magazine states that the TAB philosophy regards the student as the artist.  Take a moment to think about art class:  who usually thinks of the projects that students will complete?  Will every student complete the same project?  Why?

Read through these beautiful posts:

“…she had to find it out for herself.”

“I spent some time questioning concerns I had in my own art program and was surprised to learn the culprit.”

“I’m interested in making artists.”

I thought that this struggle between textbook-type projects and authentic tasks was somewhat confined to the art room, but apparently not.  Take a look at this tweet (especially the picture!) …


I’m beginning to wonder how many educators are fascinated (or frustrated) by this kind of thinking.


…and is there a word that describes the difference between factory-style teaching and personalized learning?




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1 Response to #InnovatorsMindset

  1. Greg Shaw says:

    Thank you for this post! Your observation of G.C’s quote is well made. I once worked in a department which had an ‘assembly line’ take on art making. I learnt many things, discipline, classroom management and how to get strings of great results. But not how to make art, nor to allow students the space to tell their stories, which is, after all, the point of our subject.
    As you note in Iain Sand’s post, if you begin with the same elements, you are often likely to end with similar results, and the focus must turn to oneself.
    Years later (I. A radically different environment), I find I am stretching the Cambridge syllabus (which is spectacularly open ended) to it’s utmost limits. Each student follows exactly their own path, and often dramatically so.
    But exactly as observed, this takes immense effort, and time. Nevertheless, the rewards are immeasurable.

    Your post is thought provoking and nuanced, and let me not overdo my comment (if I have not already), but thank you for once again brining to consciousness an issue that clearly resonates across the globe!

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