Monday, October 10, 2016

#Innovator's Mindset MOOC- Oct.8- Oct. 15

In part III, Chapter 3 of George Couros's book, "The Innovator's Mindset, we are challenged to empower our students by learning who they are and what they are passionate about, and then generating learning experiences that allow for them to integrate their interests and passions into creating something that can demonstrate learning. If we as teachers want to truly empower our students we need to teach to our student's strengths. "To create a culture where innovation flourishes, we have to realize that, in many cases, we already have everything we need, we just need to tap into those resources" (Couros, 2015). I can not recall the countless times my students have taught me something. In those instances, both my student and I are so proud, I in them, and them in their own mastery and insight! Providing the context and opportunity to engage a student's passion will yield deep critical thinking and masterful creations far beyond a multiple choice assessment.

I was intrigued by the study that was conducted by Tom Rath. He found that 40% of employees would be actively disengaged if their boss ignored them, 22% if the boss focused on the weaknesses, and an astounding 1% actively disengaged if the boss focused on the strengths alone. Can you imagine how this might translate into 99% active engagement just by a teacher focusing on the strengths of students! Couros makes an insightful point in asking why we would take an elective away from a student (presuming that the student might be really good or truly enjoy that elective) to practise more of what they need help in? This leads to an inadvertent punishment and will most likely result in increased frustration and hostility in the weak subject.

I enjoyed the quote that Couros included from Joesph Joubert, "To teach is to learn twice". It reminded me of an equally powerful quote by Jennifer Hogan to the left. If we forget what it was like when we were students then we are not going to truly connect with ours. we must continue to learn and to expand what we can offer to our students. If we become static or complacent then we are actively holding our student's back. Think about that for a moment because it has serious implications. Choosing to continue without growing or expanding your knowledge will cause your student's to be held back. It makes me think of a great rock protruding in the middle of a rushing stream. The water rushes past and for the swimmer who gets to close to the rock will be trapped by the currents that are forced continually inward. It is not without great force that the swimmer escapes, having to expend tremendous energy that could have been spent swimming further onward.


Couros, G. (2015). The innovator’s mindset: Empower learning, unleash talent, and lead a culture of creativity. United States: Dave Burgess Consulting.

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