Friday, July 11, 2014

The Power Of An Idea

Source: Amazon
There are wonderful picture books published every year, but sometimes there’s one that stands out from the crowd. What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Bosem is the one. This book is a wonderful story about a brilliant idea and the child who helps bring it to the world. As the idea grows, so does the confidence of the child. This inspirational tale is for anyone, of any age, who’s ever had an idea but may be reluctant to embrace it, because it might seem different, odd, or just a little too big.

The message in this book speaks volumes about giving ideas a place to grow and seeing what happens next. Ideas don’t disappear; they follow us. If we don’t allow them to develop in children as part of the learning process, we will continue to lose the spark of brilliance to rote compliance. Educators want the freedom to encourage kids to cultivate their ideas and bring them to fruition. Sadly, this is not the norm in classrooms today with enormous pressure on them to meet testing requirements.

Source: Amazon
We can talk all we want about “genius hours” and “authentic learning,” but unless the current evaluative system for schools, teachers, and students changes, it’s a moot point. The pendulum has swung so far away from the block areas and free play in kindergartens and toward learning “centers” that we are losing that inventive spirit in kids. They are less creative to think of ideas, and they constantly look for instruction on what to do next. Oddly enough, the successful and highly educated adults who try to initiate reform, who participate in open discussions on social media, and who publish commentary did not go through the school-testing mania, and they’re okay. So how did education get so off track? If we want kids to dream BIG, we need to let them.

Educators need flexibility with an evaluative process based on authentic learning experiences and the environments in which they take place. Would it hurt learning if kids were given "20 percent time" to develop ideas? We think not. Major corporations such as Pixar and IDEO pride their successes on creative work environments, and others like Google and 3M encourage employees to use 20 percent of their work time to play freely to stimulate the growth of new ideas. The upshot of this free time is the many products and services that are second nature to us today.

The more we review our own curricula, the more we see the importance of devoting time in class to allow students to cultivate their genius and creative thinking. To be fair, it should be in school, to give all students the same opportunity. Too many of them are overscheduled outside of school, and others who don’t have the means are at a disadvantage. While we applaud makerspaces and maker fairs, they require payment to attend and parents with time and interest to take their children. By bringing it into the classroom, we can promote a culture of collaboration, guide kids through mistakes along the way, and celebrate the natural growth of discovery.

Steve Jobs was allowed to tinker in his father's garage; Bill Gates played with computers from a young age. Need we say more? Their ideas changed the world, literally. What we want for our students is exactly what the child in the book discovers:
“Then, one day, something amazing happened. My idea changed right before my eyes. It spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky. And then, I realized what you can do with an idea… You change the world.”
We don't need to throw out structure and assessment; what we do need is a new system that supports student learning and allows for higher order teaching. With more choice, we can empower the brainchild in both.

Source: Amazon


  1. This page is very informative and fun to read. I appreciated what you have done here. I enjoyed every little bit part of it
    website for teenagers

  2. This is one of the highly informatics and attractive blogs that has not only educated also informed me in a very effective manner. There are very few blog like this one I have read.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Pin It