Divergent EDU Chapter One

Chapter 1: The Brick by Brick Building of the Hierarchy

Summary: Asking “how do I make people more innovative?” is not only a daunting question but the wrong one. People cannot be forced to be more innovative. In fact, forcing any kind of change in thinking takes time and support. Compliance measures will most likely have the opposite effect. The only thing we can do is take away as many barriers as possible and create an atmosphere where they have everything they need to be innovative and give their students a chance to be as well. So, what needs to be in place for a teacher to really have the best chance of being innovative in their classrooms?

The foundational levels of climate and culture, effective leadership, mindset, professional learning, and innovative and divergent thinking, when strong and complete, create an atmosphere where teachers are given the headspace to teach innovatively.

Divergent Thinking is the ability to recognize our own assumptions, look for limitations, and challenge our own thinking in regard to teaching and learning. It’s taking an idea and creating new thinking that will facilitate student learning in new, innovative directions for deeper understanding. It is diverging from the norm, challenging current ideas, looking for a variety of solutions, and being willing to learn from failure and grow.

Referenced Books:
Divergent by Veronica Roth

Guiding Questions:

  1. What is one area that immediately resonated with you in the hierarchy? Why do you think that happened?
  2. How supported do you feel in your school? District? Does it vary with different interest areas? For example, do you feel supported in math and reading teaching strategies but wish for more support with technology or innovative teaching strategies (Genius Hour, Design Thinking, etc.)?
  3. What is one area where you feel your school and district excel? What makes that area stand out to you?
  4. What is one teaching area in which you excel? How did you get to that point?
  5. What characteristics of a divergent teacher do you possess? Are there areas to improve? How will you move forward with those goals?
  6. What holes do you think you have in your foundations?
  7. How ready are you to fill the holes in your foundations? What catalyst do you need to drive yourself forward?