A kid named Jamal was helping me set up a room for panelists. He kept asking specific questions about how I wanted it done. I finally said, “What do you think?” He paused, seemed taken aback and said, “No one has ever asked me that before”. Jamal was a senior in high school.
Sir Ken Robinson argues that schools kill creativity. The Foundation for Critical Thinking uses the analogy that we teach in a “mother robin” fashion by mentally chewing up everything for our students and putting it into their intellectual beaks to swallow.
Meanwhile, global challenges will require a level of collaboration and innovation unlike anything we’ve experienced. Many teachers we’ve worked with are very uncomfortable with group grades or measurements of students’ participation in a group project. Many compromise and say, “Ok, but after the project grade I will give them a multiple choice test just so I can be sure that each student has learned the material (read: remember what I told them to remember).”
How would school be different if we intentionally moved away from fostering competitive regurgitation to collaborative innovation?