Lack of Innovation the Root of Complacency?

So…an interesting thing happened on the way to work today…

Education Think Tank???

A stop at Starbucks this morning netted me an in-depth conversation with a very interesting individual .  The summary of which is…“the reason Americans are so complacent, unmotivated, and ultimately unhappy, is that they are no longer the original innovators of products, ideas, or government.”  This stranger claims that Americans are simply distilling and re-working the “original” work of others and as a result, they are confused and dissatisfied.

This started me thinking about the complacency and lack of motivation that I often notice in my students.  Could this stranger be onto something BIG?  Could this be why my students don’t feel proud of their learning?  Why they seem confused about the purpose of receiving an education?  I mean really…how frequently do our students get to be innovative and creative with their newly gained knowledge in this season of standardized testing?

Of course, there are times in a student’s education they must re-work and distill that which was discovered and explained by others, especially in early education when a set of foundational knowledge is being built.  But, aren’t we all most proud of our accomplishments, when we have had the chance to create something uniquely ours?  And isn’t it this pride, that keeps us motivated and excited to continue discovering and creating?

What I really want for my students, is for them to thirst for learning…life-long learning.  In my quest to keep them excited and curious, I believe I will try to focus more on providing opportunities to let them be innovative and creative.

It would seem that my caffeinated companion simply solidified my belief for the need of “flipping”, “flattening”, and “PBL’ing” our classrooms.


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