Creativity: Disrupters, Dreamers, and Doers

wheel2

Don’t reinvent the wheel. We hear people say that all the time regarding political policies, educational practices, and the way we do things in general. Reminding us that, probably, someone else came before us as a leader, teacher, or thinker and has already figured out, at least partially, the law, curriculum, issue, or materials. I propose that maybe they’re wrong. Maybe, just maybe, we really do need to reinvent the wheel. Maybe, just maybe, we don’t need a wheel at all!  Looking into the future, we might discover that the vehicle for politics, education, and society improvement doesn’t even have wheels.

future

Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. We hear this about political policies, society values, and educational practices when something new comes along. This type of thinking reminds us that traditional values, instructional practices or curriculum, and government institutions may not be ALL bad. That maybe, there is a precious “baby” in those old practices and that there are policies we should protect and keep safe as we toss out the old ones. Again, I disagree. Starting over, cleaning out the tub, and putting the baby to bed, rather than throwing it out, seems a better possibility.

1 put to sleep

Relying on old rhetoric, old ideas, old practices – just excuses. A red herring even – distractions to embracing change.

einstein

To innovate, to dream, to create a new way for society, institutions, and education – this is our path. From ideology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and pedagogy – much is broken and needs to be tossed out, not reinvented, and definitely not saved.

We need a think-tank that re-imagines education, society, and the future. The Global Inclusion Network is a place for such people.

We bring together those who don’t just think outside of the box, but who have never even seen the box; those who embrace differences and seek to make the world equitable for all; those who take action when they see an issue; those who want to connect with others in the quest to make the world a better place.

box

A global citizenship that values creativity and recognizes that if education is the key, we need to break the lock so everyone has access to opening the door. Or, maybe we get rid of the door.

 

Innovation: Take from the Past – Create for the Future

robbing students

 

John Dewey, a leader in progressive education reform at the turn of the 20th century, promoted practices in schools that would ensure a democratic society by producing graduates that were informed citizens. Even now, studies show that when women and girls in third-world countries are educated, progress is made in practically every development outcome, from mortality rates to economic growth.

At the turn of the 21st Century, in the US, we still promote democratic values in education while also striving to prepare students to face an ever-changing job market in a world that looks quite different from the past. To be successful in the next decade, individuals will need to be adaptable lifelong learners with a deep understanding in one field of study and the capacity to navigate and work in a broad range of disciplines. Think, Jack of all trades, master of one – merging generalist and specialist qualities into personal skill-sets. Additionally, the most valued and successful people of the future will be comfortable working on teams and will value and seek the input of diverse voices.

teamwork
Image link

Schools play a part in preparing students for their future and can do so by providing the best program experiences for a modern workforce and below are just a few.

  • Develop skills such as creativity and critical thinking;
  • Integrate media literacy;
  • Include experiential learning that promotes collaboration, group work, reading of social cues, and cross-cultural competencies;
  • Combine interdisciplinary instruction that allows students to develop skills and knowledge in a range of subjects;
  • Provide experiences with S.T.E.A.M and design-thinking that promotes the skills needed to be successful in a variety of media.

For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today

African Proverb

hoodie

Cultural Intelligence: Educating the Individual

paulo

Differences are good.

Oppressive ideas and behaviors are not.

-Paulo Freire –

What is Cultural Intelligence?

Cross-cultural competency, or global competency, refers to the traits and habits-of-mind needed to be a responsible global citizen. This includes the development of a coherent understanding of the world and an awareness of one’s own cultural values and biases.  Elements needed for responsible global citizenship are the knowledge, skills, and values that contribute to an individual’s effectiveness in understanding and adapting positively to any culture.

Cultural Intelligence can then be explained as an individual’s ability to recognize and understand the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of their own culture and the culture of others.

Why is Cultural Intelligence important?

We live in a complex and diverse world. If we expect children to grow up, live, work, and exist in a global society, then we need to develop within them the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary for effective living. This includes a self-awareness about one’s personal identity as well as sensitivity and respect for the differences in others.  Cultural Intelligence is necessary, as is Emotional Intelligence, for a child’s success.

Is there a window for developing cultural intelligence–i.e. is this something parents can introduce at a certain time in a child’s development, like during the preschool years or during the teen years?

Research reveals that children begin to form attitudes and construct identity at a very early age. They notice differences and construct classificatory and evaluative categories. Children’s self-concept and attitudes towards others and themselves are influenced by societal stereotyping and bias. For example, racial awareness occurs in the preschool years and children continue to reach a greater understanding around the constructs of race at the ages of 10 or 11, depending on their developmental levels. There is no magic window, but the earlier the better to prevent the need to to unlearn stereotypes and prejudice.

Can you offer tips on building cultural intelligence for parents who live in a fairly homogeneous community without much diversity?

Parents and educators in homogeneous schools or areas, can develop responsible values and attitudes in their children. These include a sense of identity and strong self-esteem, empathy, a commitment to social justice and equity, and a value and respect for diversity. Parents can start by asking children to reflect on and critique their own cultural practices,  and to develop a curiosity about other cultures, examining how false cultural assumptions can damage relationships and inhibit success across cultures. Parents and educators can also investigate the world beyond children’s immediate environment. Also, it is important to help children recognize their own and others’ perspectives and positionality.

Below are a few tips and resources to start the journey:

-Angie Bergeson

Founder, Global Inclusion Network

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑