I have been reading with interest this week regarding an Innovation Forum that is being hosted by the Thames Valley District School Board.  There is a description of it on the board’s website,

Parents, students, teachers and community members will gather for a unique public forum aimed at questioning whether schools are preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s economy.

Today I read this article about it in the district’s local newspaper, “Students bored out of their minds”.  It has generated a number of comments.  Tony Wagner will be presenting via videoconference and it sounds like it will be a good discussion and it will engage many education stakeholders.

In a previous blog post, I included a mention and an article about Tony Wagner’s work,

A recent Wall Street Journal article by Tony Wagner about his examination of what helped students become innovators caught my attention.  He interviewed innovators and their parents, teachers and employers.  He concluded that the most important research finding was that innovators are intrinsically motivated.  He also noted that his interviews with parents of today’s innovators revealed some fascinating patterns, “They valued having their children pursue a genuine passion above their getting straight As, and they talked about the importance of “giving back.” As their children matured, they also encouraged them to take risks and learn from mistakes.”  As Wagner concluded, “There is much that all of us stand to learn from them.”

Of course, the reference to intrinsic motivation interested me.  I wonder if it will be a part of the discussion at this forum.  The questions that I ended that blog post with are still ones that I have:

Do schools accept, encourage, and allow parents to support their kids in these ways?  Are we examining and communicating what supports these kind of things? Are we looking in the right direction?

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