Innovation stems from Wonder

How Might We be a community – home, school, work, and play – of innovators? Below is an excerpt from my January letter to families.

“In the spirit of starting with questions, what do you hope for your child to learn this semester? The Lower School teachers returned on January 6 and reflected upon this question. How might we intentionally use the 94 remaining days of this school year to inspire and encourage our children to pursue their unique passions and gifts? Specifically in the month of January, Lower School will focus on the Mount Vernon Mindset, Innovator.

Innovators explore and experiment in a climate of change. They build resilience through risk-taking and setbacks. Innovators create unique ideas with value and meaning.

Regular practice of these skills builds curiosity, so much so we would like to join you in celebrating your child’s sense of wonder as you encourage him or her to observe and experiment at home. Embrace the endless “Why?” questions, and make associations between the strange and the familiar. Finally, collaborate with your learner and encourage him or her to collaborate with other people who may have different perspectives.

If you would like to explore one of our favorite resources on this topic, check out The Innovator’s DNA.”

So much of what I read and listen to, in a addition to common sense, supports the need to inspire learners to be innovators. Innovation skills can be developed and used to deepen understanding in any area.  If what Nussbaum says is true,”Only 9% of all US public and private companies are doing any serious innovation,” we should spend more time allowing and encouraging children to tinker and to make. Students should be engaged in Design Thinking. Students should be involved in DIY and shop. We must dedicate time to these experiences which we believe will promote and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our children.


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