“Science requires an engagement with the world, a live encounter between the knower and the known.”
— Parker J. Palmer*
That encounter, in education, requires presence and the capacity to innovate in any given moment.
Last Tuesday evening, President Obama gave us a choice: “Win the future, or be left behind.” Why is innovation essential in education? Obama noted that, “None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from.” As Integral practitioners, we have the capacity to spur innovation by requiring that students are self generating learners, and are able to use multiple methods for demonstrating their understanding. We bank on student’s inherent motivation to succeed and learn, coupled with the challenge to create independent projects that demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of any given topic. We don’t need to know what lies before us. We just need to have the vision and motivation to show up and encounter the world directly. As Obama said, “Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.”
I propose that integral education, founded on the ancient Platonic principles coupled with the newest contemplative technologies, and a host of methodological approaches, IS innovation in education. How do you spur innovation in your school? or in your work?
* Source: The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life