Innovation - where does it start?

Is necessity the mother of invention or is Mother the necessity of invention?

Umm… both I think.

There is enough study out there that shows that creativity and innovative thinking, or at least strategies and techniques for them, can be taught and learned. Entire institutions of higher learning have been run on this premise. But is 17 or 18 too old to start that process? Umm… yes?

It starts earlier than that. The habits and patterns of thought start to crystalize and cure by that point in time. And today’s minds in formation are being pressed into a standardized mold where class time is taken up with teaching to a standardized test. The incentives for teachers and administrators (who decide where to put their money) are all tied to performance against a standard. Which is fine… if you want a bunch of standard students. The only problem is that people aren’t standard and by treating them as such you leave a lot of value unrealized.

It is a sort of intellectual entropy, and while entropy is the law, being disentropic is where the money is.

So what can be done? Surely, a new set of standards would just be another set of standards. So the real solution is to extend the standard in recognition that it should not be a minimum and tie incentives to education which meets the different facets of the standard. Don’t reward teachers, schools and administrators for providing the largest number of standard students, reward them for making the very best out of what they have. Reward them for the potential realized from the diversity of the students they escort through the process. And most importantly give them the resources they need to do that.

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