7 Ways to Inspire Divergent Thinking in the Classroom

The world is unpredictable. The corporate ladder is now a maze, which means our students will need to think divergently. In this article, we explore how to integrate divergent thinking into our everyday classroom practices. This is an updated version of an article that was originally created in March 2018.  Listen to the Podcast If […]

Divergent Thinking Mini-Project

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Using Design Thinking to Innovate in Your Own Practice

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to deliver an opening keynote and closing talk for EdEx, a conference in Eindhoven (in the Netherlands). When Jochem first shared his idea of a weeklong design expedition, I imagined teachers working in a makerspace, designing a product that would mirror the type of work they might […]

Five Ways Humor Boosts Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving in the Classroom

When we think about creativity and innovation, the words “humor” and “goofiness” don’t typically come to mind. But I’d argue that this is a critical piece of what it means to cultivate a climate of creativity.   Don’t Wait to Smile One of the worst pieces of advice I hear people give new teachers is to […]

Six Videos to Spark Creative Thinking

Limitations and challenges can be frustrating. However, they can also be the creative constraint that leads to problem-solving and divergent thinking. Over the years, I’ve learned that students love challenges that they find engaging, intriguing and meaningful. Some of these are practical and real-world. Others are fantastical and require a bold imagination. I want to […]

10 Things That Happen When Students Engage in Design Thinking

In a recent post, I wrote about why I want to see students become innovators: Unfortunately, the system isn’t designed for innovation. For years, schools have been stuck in a one-size-fits-all factory model, where students passively consume content. Some people will point out that this model is outdated. However, I would argue that factory education was […]

Ten Things That Happen When Kids Embrace Design Thinking

I still remember the day. I was in my first year of teaching and I sat there holding my printed lesson plan. This was supposed to be my greatest lesson of the school year. I had planned it for hours, revising various aspects of it until it looked flawless. On paper. But now, in third […]

The Power of a Mid-Year Reboot

So, it’s the beginning of the year and all around I’m hearing conversations about New Year’s Resolutions. One friend is going Paleo, another is doing Cross Fit, and still, another has decided she’s going to read 100 books in a year (which might be doable if you include graphic novels and audiobooks–which I think are both totally […]

What Our Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Learning, and Creativity

I wasn’t always a dog lover. I used to be a dog-liker and most of the time a dog-tolerator. I never understood why people would get bumper stickers with their favorite dog breed and I cringed a little when I heard the phrase “he’s part of our family.” But I’ve become that guy. I have […]

10 Teacher-Tested Strategies to Engage Reluctant Writers

A few years ago, my son opened a Google Document and started typing. I asked him about it and his eyes lit up as he described the shared story he was writing with classmates. This was the first day of summer break but he was choosing to write for fun. It might not sound like […]