Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity
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Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity
Complexity, chaos, and ambiguity are aspects of leadership and learning. Without those we cannot innovate and create.
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Five big education stories in 2014

Five big education stories in 2014 | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
We've had plenty to talk about in 2014 -- from Common Core to teachers unions to Chromebooks and blended learning.
Here are five big education stories that kept my attention all year long.
What's on your list?

Via Yashy Tohsaku
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The one that caught my attention was the one about making a great teacher. This is such a modernistic way of expressing it. Teachers form. They are guided, self-reflect, and converse. Or, they should. Maybe the difficulty is we still think we make teachers and they are a product. That is so Platonic.

 

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The Case for Group Work - Blackboard Blog

The Case for Group Work - Blackboard Blog | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Students hate group work. They’re vocal about it, too; check out a search for “group work” on Twitter, and you’ll see many, many complaints.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Group and collaborative work is important in education as it is in life.

 

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Students deliver wish list to school board. There’s one item on it.

Students deliver wish list to school board. There’s one item on it. | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Students ask Pittsburgh School Board to restore cuts to arts education.

Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The arts, including poetry, sculpting, dance, music, etc., stimulate.

 

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Why riding the wave of discomfort is good for you

Why riding the wave of discomfort is good for you | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it

In our modern world, discomfort is considered a terrible thing. If not terrible, at least a thing of the past. Dishwashers, washing machines, computers, remote controls—yes, they add convenience, but also a level of comfort our forefathers did not enjoy. Pain of any kind thwarts happiness, we tend to reason, and so anything that compromises our ability to feel good must be bad (who hasn’t seen a commercial for a pain reliever?) But that’s also particularly true for our careers. Success feels great, not lousy! Such a view, however, is in the eye of the beholder. And it may blind us to unforeseen opportunities. "Suffering from the world" Artists throughout history have consistently courted suffering, instinctively if not consciously, to produce works that explore the darker recesses of the human condition. This was done, in part, because pain is a reality of life for everybody in some form at some time. Pain is something everybody can relate to. And pain makes a person very present. For such artists, to ameliorate or to deny pain would be to block the creative muses, that which drives them to explore and express. In fact, Germans have a term for this melancholia, “Weltschmerz”, which means “suffering from the world.” Writers, from Lord Byron to Kurt Vonnegut, have used the term to describe the psychological pain encountered along life’s roller-coaster journey. It was not to be avoided: it was to be understood, investigated, employed. When it comes to movies, box office receipts bear witness to the fact that we are drawn to brooding superheroes; the gleeful ones just don’t possess the adequate level of gravitas required to save the world or revolutionize it. (Think “Batman Begins”.) And while we may not want to feel anguish of any kind, we don’t mind seeing it in others, from the safety and comfort of the cinema or one’s own dreamy couch, if it evokes a profound revelation, or flashes of insight. When the pain can be viewed from a distance, one can more easily discern the value of the struggle. Yes, there is value. So I propose that discomfort is good for us. Or, put another way, it tells us that something needs to be addressed. It stretches us by forcing us to view our circumstances through a wholly different lens. Because we’re drawn to safety and security, we do our best to create cushy comfort zones for ourselves and our loved ones through the cars we drive, the homes we live in, and the places we work. But by resisting discomfort, we deny ourselves an important opportunity: the chance to shake ourselves out of our predictable perspectives and allow ourselves to make astute observations we could not possibly have made before. Discomfort gives us fresh eyes. Embracing ambiguity—and friction On my first day as Director of Marketing for a product design firm, I found out during my welcome meeting with Human Resources about another Director of Marketing at the firm. When I asked who reported to whom, my HR contact said: “To be honest, we’re still trying to figure that out.” I admit I felt discomfort at this news, more than what I felt I could handle—but it also immediately prepared me for the firm’s unique culture of ambiguity. Seven wonderful years followed. The creative ideas and innovative solutions that lead to coveted moments of illumination, and help to solve the thorny problems we encounter in life and on the job, don’t come from stasis. Harmony at work, for example, is good and can also spur productivity. But if it’s pursued purely for its own sake, it can function like blinders on a horse, directing our view—and our thinking—in only one direction. It can close us off to other possibilities. Sounds rather limiting, doesn’t it? Creative thinkers aren’t afraid of discomfort because it gives them greater perspective. It opens the door to approaches they’ve never tried, or even thought of. It increases the range of their problem-solving arsenal. Some simple ways to create moments of positive discomfort at work include: swapping desks or roles with colleagues; inviting a co-worker to lunch whom you’ve never met before; or improvising an ad-hoc voice-over on slides you have never seen before at a staff meeting. The point is: explore new methods and ways of thinking—constantly. This helps to normalize the feeling of discomfort, which stalls the inevitable pull of your comfort zone. I’m not suggesting self-inflicted pain to inspire creative thinking or problem-solving. But I do think we’d be better off when we’re not so quick to qualify the spells of discomfort that inevitably come our way as “bad”. See the discomfort as the potential opportunity it is. It’s telling us something. Unless there is a chronic condition, discomfort comes and goes. A wave in the ocean doesn’t last forever—we all know this. But surfers see the ephemeral beauty of waves and make the most of them. So should we.


Via Vilma Bonilla
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Discomfort suggests something needs to be addressed. In a world where we make one more rule to avoid this, discomfort is about being curious and learning.

 

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Vilma Bonilla's curator insight, December 17, 2014 8:36 PM
Temporary pain, suffering, and discomfort are opportunities for growth.
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Why Soft Skills Are Anything But Soft

Why Soft Skills Are Anything But Soft | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
As the workplace becomes more virtual and collaborative, soft skills training is vital to the success of an organization.

Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The soft skills noted i.e. communicating are hard to learn and get us into complexity and messiness. They are not concrete and quantifiable therefore we discount them not for hard skills but skills we think we can count.

 

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Our Weekly Conversation about Teaching and Learning

Our Weekly Conversation about Teaching and Learning | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
In this the final post for 2014, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who take time to add comments after the posts. I don’t respond because I’ve had my say.

Via Blaine Morrow
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The article raises an interesting question: "Do we know how to talk about teaching?"

 

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Collective intelligence

Collective intelligence | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Collective intelligence exists as a natural property of the living, and it has become a new research discipline. This entry article will give you an overview.

Via Jose Erigleidson, Luciana Viter
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

This looks a deep article with a need to explore the links provided.

 

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5 Strategies For Better Teacher Professional Development

5 Strategies For Better Teacher Professional Development | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it

Today, professional development runs the gamut from one-shot workshops to more intensive job-embedded professional development, which has teachers learn in the day-to-day environment in which they work rather than getting pulled out to attend an outside training. However, the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education report, “Teaching the Teachers,” notes that most professional development today is ineffective because it neither changes teaching practices nor improves student learning.


Via Patti Kinney, Dean J. Fusto
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

I wonder if teachers working together and cooperatively might not work. The best professional learning is in the classroom with both students and peers.

 

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Andrew Hockley's curator insight, December 16, 2014 7:49 AM

This is not from an ELT context, but there's a lot of valuable stuff in this article.  Recommended

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James Baldwin: "It’s a trauma because it’s such a traumatized society"

James Baldwin: "It’s a trauma because it’s such a traumatized society" | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
  James Baldwin: The Last Interview
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Thomas Merton, the Trappist Monk, said we call it "falling in love" because it involves the risk of being hurt. All love is unconditional and carries the real possibility of pain.

 

Would it not be nice to live in a world where the world accepted our love for what it is?

 

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Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
As a young child I loved Dot to Dots, joining the seemingly random patterns to reveal a recognisable image. I loved to try to work out what the dots were going to magically transform into by connecting them via ...

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge, Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The beauty of connecting the dots is there are dots we are always becoming aware of. Just as we think we have got them all, more pop up.

 

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David Hain's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:08 AM

“It takes a village to raise a child” ~ Jim Laney.  Connecting with others for learning.

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What to Do If You’re Smarter than Your Boss

What to Do If You’re Smarter than Your Boss | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it

“Find something to respect.”


Via Richard Andrews
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

I reminded them of it on a regular basis. It kept me busy. Today, I regret not having asked different questions.

 

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Far Beyond Test Scores, What We (Should) Value In Students

Far Beyond Test Scores, What We (Should) Value In Students | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
From Jackie Gerstein's resource-rich site comes this sweet infographic depicting the skills we'd like to instill in our students. The post also includes a long, helpful list of resources for everything from how to help students develop hope, to encouraging empathy and social and emotional skills, to how to foster grit, tenacity and perseverance: an educator's guide.

Via Christopher Tienken
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

We should value the student as a person and individual, their singular nature.

 

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More Mindfulness, Please: On Bringing Mindfulness into the Classroom

More Mindfulness, Please: On Bringing Mindfulness into the Classroom | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
The time is now. We as teachers need it. Our students need it. Our quick-fix, fast-paced society of more and now needs it....

Via Mika Auramo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

This article is written from the teacher's perspective and working with children.

 

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The Best Bosses Double-Down on Respect and Listening

The Best Bosses Double-Down on Respect and Listening | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Leaders who get the most from their teams are those who rely on fear the least.

Via Anne Leong, george_reed
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

They do and their listening is not to answer, but to genuinely listen.

 

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Bloom's revised Taxonomy with verbs!

Bloom's revised Taxonomy with verbs! | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
  Need some extra verbs? Here you go!           ~Mia

Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

This is an excellent infographic.

 

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Ivo Nový's curator insight, December 18, 2014 12:12 AM

Some date are difficult to explain or to express with words. Here is another great example that infographic can be used.

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Video: New TEDx Talk By Carol Dweck

Video: New TEDx Talk By Carol Dweck | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Professor and researcher Carol Dweck recently gave a TEDx Talk shared by TED titled “The power of believing that you can improve.”
I’ve embedded it below, but you can also see it on the TED site at the previous link.

Via Yashy Tohsaku
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

An error should cause discomfort and begin the brain firing. It is a great opportunity to grow. After all, learning is about growth.

 

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Why Curiosity Enhances Learning

Why Curiosity Enhances Learning | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it

A neurological study has shown that curiosity makes our brains more receptive for learning, and that as we learn, we enjoy the sensation of learning.


Via Dan Kirsch, Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The Einstein quote is an excellent summary and introduction.

 

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maria taveras's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:57 PM

It's a natural human phenomenon that occurs when our curiosity is activate and engaged learning and assimilation takes place. It's a creative dynamic that is essential to foster for our well being.

Lon Woodbury's curator insight, December 18, 2014 3:45 PM

When a child drives you crazy with "Why?", I guess that is a good thing. :)  -Lon

Smith_Lin's curator insight, January 27, 2015 2:57 PM

Dont answer your own questions. Make the learners do the work, they will enjoy it.

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How Much Practice is Too Much?

How Much Practice is Too Much? | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it

By Annie Murphy Paul Why do I have to keep practicing? I know it already!” That’s the familiar wail of a child seated at the piano or in front of the mu


Via Sharrock
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Once we think we have mastered something, the enjoyment of practice and performing continues to help develop the skill.

 

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Sharrock's curator insight, December 16, 2014 6:35 PM
This has been the argument for practicing technical skills as one becomes an artist.
David Hain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 4:36 AM

Keep on practicing, even after it seems the task has been learned. ~ Neuroscience study.

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leading and learning: End of year survey – tapping the wisdom of your class/school/community

leading and learning: End of year survey – tapping the wisdom of your class/school/community | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Notice the questions about people were asked about who they were, not what they were.

 

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14 Witty Jokes for the Grammar Nerd in Your Life

14 Witty Jokes for the Grammar Nerd in Your Life | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
If you get a kick out of grammar jokes, you'll love this list of 14 of our favorites.

Via Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Humour always helps.

 

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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, December 15, 2014 8:20 PM

Oh yes.


Sarah McElrath's curator insight, December 27, 2014 11:30 AM

Fun for the writer/grammar lover.

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Top 3 Journal Selectors for PhD Students | Hazman Labs, Inc.

Top 3 Journal Selectors for PhD Students | Hazman Labs, Inc. | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
We understand that finding a suitable journal might be a tough phase for most of us to locate and publish.

Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

I will keep this handy for future articles. I have a couple in the folder right now.

 

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Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers

Seven things teachers are sick of hearing from school reformers | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
'Don’t tell us that you know more about good instruction than we do." And six other things.

Via Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Reform the way it is done is about external ordering of what goes on in classrooms and fails to engage teachers, their teaching, and student learning.

 

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leading and learning: Educational Readings - student centred inquiry learning and the importance of making things

leading and learning: Educational Readings - student centred inquiry learning and the importance of making things | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The Khan Academy article/video raises the important question asked in Alan's article: "Are digital technologies the holy grail(s) of School?" Like all tools, they are only useful when well-used and that suggests teaching, albeit continuously changing pedagogic practices, is important. This raises the question about what teaching is?

 

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US Department of Education "Cures" Children with Disabilities

US Department of Education "Cures" Children with Disabilities | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
Marla Kilfoyle and Melissa Tomlinson: Why is it that the USDOE hates children with disabilities so much that it would pursue a regulation taking all of that away?

Via Christopher Tienken
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Every child has their particular gifts and abilities. What can we do to tap into those? This is relational and classroom focused rather than regulated from afar.

 

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Networks, Organizations and Movements

Networks, Organizations and Movements | Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity | Scoop.it
When thinking about social change movements, networks teach us that it all comes down to the human connection.

Via Don Dea, David Hain, Dean J. Fusto, Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Do we have influence? I am not as convinced we do. We have access to more people, but that does not guarantee influence.

 

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Don Dea's curator insight, December 13, 2014 1:26 AM

technology plays a critical role in maintaining connections and enabling loosely coupled collaboration across large numbers of people. Mobile phones, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook play critically important roles in helping these new, more networked movements to stay coordinated with minimal organizational overhead.

David Hain's curator insight, December 13, 2014 6:16 AM

Become a citizen of the world to make it a better place.  After all, we're all human...