“Innovation means change, so we have to learn that our students need more than the skills needed to pass the state assessments given every spring. We have to give them tools that will make them productive in their future careers.“
-Kimberly, Innovation in Education: What Does it Mean, What Does it Look Like?
Albert Einstein said, “if I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask…for once I know the proper question to ask, I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.” I love this quote because I love questions. I am not talking about simple questions that can be googled or can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” I am talking about questions that require you to analyze a situation, mentally test all outcomes in your mind or questions that leave you with more questions after you have discussed and debated the topic with your peers.
In education and in business we often hear that teachers need their students to be innovators or employees need their workers to develop innovative ideas to increase sales, but we must stop and question (pun intended) if we have actually given them the tools they need to successfully complete the task.
First, for my educators and educational leaders, we are tasked with the amazing job of teaching students to think outside of the box. We ask them to be creators, and to be agents of change in the world, but are we truly preparing them to accomplish this goal? Kimberly in the quote above stated that “innovation means change.” Many educators don’t like change and we tend to stick with what has worked in the past. Many educators have to also become innovators themselves and become agents of change in the classroom.
One of the most important things you can teach a student is how to create high-level questions. If you are familiar with the AVID program then you know that AVID does a great job of teaching Costa’s Level of Questions. Costa’s is a great resource to help students learn how to ask thought-provoking questions that lead to great discussions in the classroom. Check out: AVID-COSTA’S LEVEL OF QUESTIONS here.
Now, for my business leaders, you are receiving the results of the educator’s hard work. Unfortunately, I know that you are feeling the disconnect between the critical thinking skills needed to help you improve customer service, or finding new ways to develop game-changing ideas when you speak to some of your employees. Sites like MindSumo (Check out our MindSumo Portfolio here) were created to help find innovators that can create solutions to problems that need a new spin on them. We really have to ask ourselves, “why was this site created?” It was created because businesses are having to reach out to others to find creative ideas, even when they have Harvard and Yale graduates on staff. This is disturbing because it means that the critical thinking skills gap is growing!
The good news is that you don’t have to fear! iMar Learning Solutions was created for this very reason. We work with businesses and educational institutions to create innovative ideas to help accomplish your goals!