Saturday, 4 April 2009

Serious Play

video

I've just watched a great TED Talk by Stuart Brown on the subject of play and why it's so important for us all to cultivate the art of play throughout our lives. About half way through the talk, he describes his involvement in a project at Stanford University called the d.school. This is a school of design which includes the following in its manifesto:

* Prepare FUTURE INNOVATORS to be breakthrough thinkers & doers
* Use DESIGN THINKING to inspire multidisciplinary teams
* Foster RADICAL COLLABORATION between students, faculty & industry
* Tackle BIG PROJECTS and use prototyping to discover new solutions

It occurred to me that this would make an excellent mission statement for Thomas Tallis School. He then shows a student film based on a design project exploring reasons why meetings are often so boring and suggesting a possible solution. In the spirit of collaboration I have ripped this bit of the talk and re-presented it to you in the above clip. I really like the look of the d.school and wonder if we could borrow any ideas from Stanford in re-thinking our curriculum at Key Stage 3? What if the cross-curricular learning days, for example, were structured around a problem posing and solving task? Students could work in teams, with staff to support them from a range of disciplines, to identify a design challenge and develop creative solutions. What I liked about the most recent day was the spirit of play and discovery that I saw across the school. I think we could all do with a bit more of this.

I know Ms Hawkins is an expert in the creative design process and I wonder if she would be willing to show us a couple of strategies for developing ideas? I may suggest a radical re-think of our Leadership Team meetings based on this film.

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