<<< The Elizabowl’s shape shifts to hold more or fewer fruits. The idea is to separate fruits into individual compartments to retard spoilage. Photo by by Sarah O'Brien (it's inventor)
Innovation – an idea put to work – stands at the pinnacle of higher-order thinking. It begins with a firm grasp of the basics. Then the innovator must continue up through Bloom's taxonomy of thinking skills to analyze patterns and needs, evaluate alternatives and finally create something to resolve to the problem. Creating is nothing more than a new combination of existing components.
The New York Times has devoted much of this week's "Education Life" (1/3/09) to showcase 23 innovative ideas generated by students. The same issues details a number of college course on entrepreneurship – "Dreamers and Doers."
Let's hope this focus on innovation and sustainability can extend down to K-12 education. Kids are getting plenty of time with the basics – when do they get to create something original with them? Seems more valuable and engaging than test prep.