Why Creative Risk-Taking is the Key to Innovation: 10 Design Principles
Listen and learn : Research paper
Sunday, November 29, 11:30 am–12:15 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Presentation 2 of 2
Sustaining a 1:1 Program - Insights From Research
Dr. Pam Pease
In a changing world, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial. Educators strive to inspire innovation, but may not be sure how to cultivate it in students. Whether you teach at home, online or in a classroom, findings from this study will encourage you to take a creative leap.
|Audience:||Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Principals/head teachers|
|Attendee devices:||Devices useful|
|Attendee device specification:||Laptop: Mac
|Topic:||Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning|
|Subject area:||Preservice teacher education, Inservice teacher education|
|ISTE Standards:||For Educators:
|Additional detail:||Session recorded for video-on-demand|
My study employed a naturalistic theoretical framework which asserts that knowledge and truth exist in relation to culture and context. It explored the relationship between design pedagogy and development of a culture of innovation and risk-taking in secondary school learning environments. Research was conducted in the field, allowing for careful observation of teachers and students in their natural educational setting, a human-centered approach that resonates with my values as a design practitioner.
RESEARCH QUESTION: How do educators integrate the pedagogy of design in constructing authentic challenges intended to cultivate risk-taking and innovation in students?
Subquestions addressed how school leaders build shared vision and best practices that support creative risk-taking throughout a school ecosystem; how teachers design or modify the physical and social conditions of the learning environment to support risk-taking and innovation; what curricular and pedagogical strategies teachers use in constructing authentic challenges; and how teachers' assessments of student performance reflect the value they place on creative risk-taking and innovation.
METHODOLOGY: I used constructivist grounded theory to examine teachers’ beliefs and actions as they designed and implemented authentic challenges within the secondary school curriculum.
Research sites were selected based on the following criteria:
• Secondary school age range: Young people aged 11-15 are capable of abstract thought, hypothetical reasoning, and metacognition. They can evaluate possible, probable, and preferable outcomes and understand potential consequences of choices they make.
• Commitment to design-based learning
• Quality of instruction, evidenced by teachers’ educational and professional backgrounds and a school's recognition for excellence.
• Values and teaching philosophy
• Flexible scheduling, enabling project-based work.
• Diversity of geographic location.
• Review of internal and external documents including mission, vision, and values statements, professional development and teacher recruitment materials, curriculum overviews, lesson plans, worksheets and assessment rubrics, and a list of educational technology in use in each classroom observed.
• Expert interviews of design practitioners and university design education faculty
• Interviews with 16 teachers
• Research journals documenting my observations of two challenges per site, enhanced by sketches, diagrams, photos, and videos (with consent)
• Surveys of approximately 200 students
DATA ANALYSIS: In a grounded theory study, coding is the principal analytic activity. The researcher begins with a granular level of coding (line-by line or incident-based). As patterns in data emerge, codes are combined into concepts that represent a more abstract level of analysis, progressively reducing the number of codes. In turn, as these concepts are reviewed, they are grouped into a smaller number of prime categories. The process of constructivist grounded theory breaks apart data, then reconstructs it during final synthesis. One category is determined to be most salient. It forms the foundation for generating substantive theory. I used MAXQDA mixed-methods software to aid in the organization and analysis of data.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
Findings from this research on cultivating creative risk-taking in secondary school learning environments is relevant to educators and design practitioners. The significance of the study lies in its interdisciplinary approach to issues regarding the future of K-12 teaching and learning. It aims to address a significant gap in the professional development of teachers who often feel unprepared to thrive in a challenge-based learning environment, and who may welcome a fresh perspective on how risk-taking fits within the context of K-12 education, and how it can be implemented in the curriculum through design pedagogy.
Research findings from the study were synthesized into ten principles grouped by research question into the following four categories:
• Shared Visions
• Creating Learning Environments (both physical and social) that are conducive to innovation
• Curricular and Pedagogical Strategies for implementing creative risk-taking through design challenges
• Assessment of student performance
Three core themes emerged: Authenticity, Connectivity, and Balancing Challenge and Support. These were ultimately integrated into a substantive theory of creative risk-taking.
The educational significance of the study lies in its interdisciplinary approach to issues regarding the future of K-12 teaching and learning. It aims to address a significant gap in the professional development of teachers who often feel unprepared to thrive in a challenge-based learning environment, and who may welcome a fresh perspective on how creative risk-taking fits within the context of K-12 education, and how it can be incorporated into the curriculum through design pedagogy.
Key references used in this research:
Charmaz, K. (1996). Constructing Grounded Theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Cross, Nigel (2011). Design Thinking: Understanding how designers think and work. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
Davis, M. (2017) Teaching Design: A guide to curriculum and pedagogy for college design faculty and teachers who use design in their classrooms. New York, NY: Allworth Press.
Shulman, L. (2005, Spring). Pedagogies of Uncertainty. Liberal Education, 19(2), 18-25.
Sternberg, R. J. & Lubart, T. I. (1995). Defying the Crowd: Cultivating creativity in a culture of conformity. New York, NY: The Free Press.
Wagner, T. (2010). Creating Innovators: The making of young people who will change the world. New York, NY: Scribner.
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