Where America leads the educational world

Yes the title of this blog post is not supposed to be ironic or a joke of any kind. The United States really does lead the educational world in the area of design, innovation and creativity in schools.

The above video is a TedX Creative Coast 2012 talk was by gifted teacher Jaime McGrath and outstanding web designer Andrew Davies. They went into a Savanna school where Jaime taught and allowed the children to use their creativity to design things.

They start with a pop quiz asking which of three items; a school desk, a website and a patented medical device, were designed by children in schools and Andrew says, isn’t it obvious… it’s all three of them!

Davies admits, as a professional designer that he had his doubts about children’s capacity to innovate until he arrived at McGrath’s classroom.

The talk is simply staggering in showing what can be done when children are given the chance to show what they can do. Design is such a good means of facilitating this. I recently looked at the work that is coming out from the Stanford “D” School and feel that the happenings in Savanna would be so good to see for these pathbreakers.

There are so many people in the United States who are doing such wonderful things with some very fortunate children. I have always followed the Science Leadership Academy of Philadelphia and their visionary 21st Century Principal, Chris Lehmann. I am an avid follower of the Creativity focus that is going on in Oklahoma. The Blue School (which I know is private and has been under some criticism of late) is a great experiment in a creatively based education.

I try and catch as many TedX Talks as I can and have noticed how many brilliant ones have focussed on the area of creativity and innovation. I would in particular commend “A Crash Course in Creatvity” at TedX Stanford, delivered by Tina Seelig.

These are exciting things  in an essential area of educational development. It is an area where the United States is showing the rest of us how it can be done and just how amazing the results can be. I would hope that somewhere along the road there are business people, politicians and academics who will realise that this form of education need not be the fringe of American education but should form the basis of what every child should have access to.

I stated above that this is an “essential” development in education. It is essential if children are to ave the ability to be flexible, creative and innovative in a world that is ever-changing and where, as the Talk states, 65%  of tomorrow’s jobs haven’t even been invented yet!

America, you should be celebrating teachers like Jaime McGrath and their visionary approach to education. Personally I do not know or care what his class test grades are, one of the children in that class  just might come up with an idea that will change the world!


About malbell

I am a retired Teaching and Learning Consultant. Previously I was a Primary school headteacher and deputy headteacher. I enjoy reading, doing MOOCs and learning new things.
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