Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tony Wagner: How to educate future innovators

Tony Wagner is the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard.  He spoke at TedxNYED event last April about how to educate future innovators.

I completely agree with Wagner that we are in a cusp of getting into new economy and job market. Today's jobs I see are not getting your assignment done as it is handed down to you.  There will be less and less perfunctory jobs available because of outsourcing.  Filling in the bubbles as they are handed down to you can be done lot cheaper and faster by someone else outside U.S.  More and more jobs will be about recognizing a problem, creating solution through collaboration and building a solution through team work.

In order to prepare our workforce to get ready for this innovation-driven economy, our education system needs to provide more experiential and participatory learning than passive information consumption learning.  Memorizing facts and reciting them used to be useful before Internet age, but information retrieval is not enough.  Our workforce must be able to use these information to build and create useful things in collaborative settings.

It was interesting to hear Wagner speaking of many of lean startup principles, such as fail fast and iterative approach in learning.  I also saw a bit of Daniel Pink's view of motivation being driven by purpose.

As parents and mentors, we should encourage our children and employees to apply new thinking and approaches in solving problems, and create an environment where iterative learning is celebrated.

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