Monday, May 13, 2013

Don't Be Afraid to Innovate


We worry so much about finding the Perfect Solution, as if there is One Right Way to educate our children (or do anything else).  But this book I read last week and the this video I watched this morning pair together to remind me that innovation involves experimentation and FAILURE.  Fail early and often, but just keep trying new things!  We can't be afraid to fail, or there are so many things we will simply never try in the first place.

Quotes from A Simpler Way by Margaret J. Wheatley:

There is no such thing as survival of the fittest, only survival of the fit.  This means there is no one answer that is right, but many that might work.  Life explores all sorts of combinations, content to find anything that works.

We could give more support to our own experimentation if we focused on discovering pretty good solutions that worked for now.  With more to choose from, with more bidding for support as the ultimate right answer, we might feel less attached to them.  If these solutions did not require such enormous investments of resources, ego, and certainties, we could abandon them sooner if they stopped working.

So try something new.  And then stop it if it doesn't work.  If it does, great, but stay open to tweaking it again in the future.  This was the educational philosophy I was raised with: nothing works for every child, and nothing works forever.  So follow the lead of the child right in front of you, and do what is right for them, right now.  Be ready to change when that stops working.


  1. Great post! Very inspiring!

    We are on break right now and I keep thinking, oh if they were in school, they would be... and feeling guilty because we finished our math curriculum early and my daughter got 1 wrong on her cumulative test and I figured we could take a break.

    1. Thanks, Theresa. And enjoy your break! We all need to do what is right for us and our kids, and not worry and compare so much. :)