Friday, September 11, 2015

A Challenge from the Past.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy challenged the country with the immortal words, "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too." (Speech Text)

This current push to include genius hour, maker-spaces and innovation courses in the curriculum of today's educational landscape serves a similar purpose of challenge to todays' youth to tap into their ingenuity and produce ideas that will invigorate their present while changing their future.

The gauntlet throne down that October Day in 1962 at Rice University in Texas served as a spark that lit a firestorm of technological development of which we are still reaping rewards. Computers, Cell Phones, Satellite/Cable Television, Clothing, Safety Equipment, Velcro, the list is endless. (Products List)

We have an incredible opportunity to challenge our students with that same freedom of innovation. To tap their youthful ingenuity and creativity in an attempt to open a floodgate of concepts and ideas that only youth can serve before they become anesthetized by an educational system that rewards compliance and test scores rather than creation and imagination.

The innovative process lends itself naturally to process and problem solving. Valuing questions over answers and encouraging students to embrace failure as an acceptable part of any truly educational endeavor. Teaching students to measure their success not by a set of organized rubrics and standards but by the idea that one can grow each day and the better today than yesterday is an acceptable measure of achievement.

Challenge students to venture outside the box or remove the box altogether. To not wait for the knowledge to be passed down to them but to seek the knowledge for themselves. To make choices that  encourage ownership and value increasing their engagement and thereby increasing their opportunity for LEARNING.

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