Tag Riverdale Country School

Issues of Confidence & Permission in Wanting to Make A Difference…*

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to observe the EdgeMakers workshop, led by John Kao, with the entire ninth grade class of the Riverdale Country School. EdgeMakers is a new organization, founded by Kao in November 2012, with the mission of empowering young people everywhere to become innovators and make a difference. EdgeMakers hopes to be a resource for young innovators, giving them “a new set of “edge capacities” that include the ability to create and manage the creativity of others; communicate with empathy; be a proactive catalyst; collaborate with a diverse, global, ever-changing array of partners; innovate; and to cultivate the emotional intelligence needed to manage, lead, and inspire.”

About EdgeMakers via EdgeMakersmedia on YouTube, published October 15, 2013.

The students were broken up into eight groups for the day-long workshop and spent the morning rethinking and designing the perfect book bag by following the Lean Startup method. In the afternoon, the students gathered again in their groups, this time to identify opportunities for rethinking throughout the school, and worked collaboratively to design solutions to their chosen challenges.

The workshop was a resounding success, with the students learning and practicing some key tools and techniques necessary to affect positive change in their lives and environments–rapid prototyping, giving and receiving feedback, identifying pain points, and collaborating in diverse teams.

It’s great that these students are being equipped with the tools and processes that they need to transform their dreams and ideas into impact but, in my mind, the most valuable contribution an initiative like EdgeMakers can make, is to give these students the right mindset and confidence to be change agents; the sense that they do not need to wait for permission to take control of their environments and rethink their lives and those of others for the better.

A couple days prior to the EdgeMakers workshop, I attended a book party with Tom and David Kelley for the launch of their new book, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, and although I have not yet had a chance to read it, the Kelley brothers’ assertion that we are all creative and that it’s just a question of removing the blocks that we acquire in the process of growing up so that we may realize our creative potential resonated deeply with my own experience. In my life and creative endeavors, I have come to realize that the issue of permission has often gotten in my way and kept me from fully exploring my potential or pursuing in a tangible way many of my ideas. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to attend eleven schools, both public and independent, in three different countries before even reaching high school. Yet despite the wide range of learning models that I was exposed to, the sum total of my education left me with a sense of ingrained obedience and hesitancy. I have had to unlearn the idea that someone else knows (or can know) better than me what I can or cannot accomplish, or that I should wait for someone more knowledgeable to give me the go ahead to pursue my hunches and inclinations. This is why EdgeMaker’s mission and curriculum to empower children and adolescents to make their mark on the world and to translate their ideas into impact is so critically on point and urgent. Education should be about giving learners the tools and mindsets they’ll need to shape and navigate their ever changing world, not to fill them with blocks they have to unlearn in adulthood.

Tune in to CUNY TV this Saturday/Sunday to Watch Dominic Randolph & Dave Levin Discuss Teaching Character…*

Tune in to CUNY TV Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 pm or Sunday, May 26 at 10:00 am to watch a new installment of EdCast: Can “Character” Be Taught? This segment will feature two of the three co-founders of the brand new non-profit, the Character Lab, which seeks to unlock student achievement by bridging the worlds of psychological research and K-12 practice to change how research is done and how character is taught. Dave Levin, co-founder of KIPP, and our very own Dominic Randolph will be discussing what it takes to succeed in school and in life. Angela Duckworth is the third co-founder of the Character Lab.

This segment will include:

What does it mean to succeed in school and in life? Linda Hirsch interviews Dave Levin, Founder KIPP Charter School Network and Dominic Randolph, Headmaster Riverdale Country School about their Teaching Character initiative and its new approaches to building, teaching and assessing character beyond the usual definitions of what it means to succeed. Additional interviews with teachers at Riverdale Country School.

To tie you over until Saturday, here is a small excerpt from a discussion on teaching character that Dominic and Dave had with John Merrow and Paul Tough as part of the JCC’s Learning Matters series this past December

John Merrow, Paul Tough, Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph on the importance of failure in schools | Learning Matters, published December 20, 2012.

Learning Matters ~ Dominic Randolph, Paul Tough, Dave Levin & John Merrow on Teaching Character…*

Learning Matters ~ Dominic Randolph, Paul Tough, Dave Levin & John Merrow on Teaching Character..

 

On December 5th, our very own Dominic Randolph, along with Dave Levin (co-founder of Kipp), Paul Tough (author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character) and John Merrow (veteran reporter for PBS and NPR) gathered for an installment of the JCC’s Learning Matters series entitled Teaching Character. The discussion centered on the importance of teaching children skills such as perseverance, grit, optimism and curiosity–how to communicate and instill character strengths and how these characteristics relate to the short and long term success and happiness of our children.

You can view a 3 minute video excerpt of the conversation (on structured failure)  here or listen to the full podcast here.

Enjoy & rethink…*

 

 

Sign Up Now! Design Thinking For Educators Workshop ~ February 19, 2013

Sign Up Now! Design Thinking For Educators Workshop ~ February 19, 2013

Join IDEORiverdale Country School & Parsons School, in NY for a one day Design Thinking For Educators workshop where you will learn and use the design thinking process, connect with other educators and have the opportunity to create a project plan where you can apply this process to your own work. This is a great opportunity to experience the design thinking process first hand and see how it can be successfully applied to education challenges. **SPACE IS LIMITED: SIGN UP NOW***

(Please note: For those of you who had signed up to attend the workshop in October, before it was rescheduled, you must re-register if you would like to attend on February 19th)

In this 1-day workshop, you will:

  • Learn about Design Thinking through hands-on activities.
  • Explore the ways where Design Thinking can apply to your work.
  • Hear inspiring solutions other educators have developed.
  • Identify challenges you’d like to address, and develop a plan of action to do it.
  • Become more intentional about the way you design solutions for your classrooms, schools, and communities.

Check out the video below to learn more about Design Thinking for Educators, and be sure to head over to DesignThinkingForEducators.com to get the updated toolkit, which  contains a Design Thinking process overview, methods and instructions that help you put Design Thinking into action, and the Designer’s Workbook to support your design challenges. Enjoy & rethink…*

Design Thinking for Educators Dominic Randolphrethinker…* extraordinaire and Head of Riverdale Country School, won a grant in 2012 from the E. Ford Foundation to teach Design Thinking to Educators and to spread its adaption and implementation across the country. This seven-minute film documents Dominic’s collaboration with legendary design firm, Ideo. A collaboration which resulted in the DesignThinkingForEducators.com website and deep, collective rethinking about the nature of teaching, learning and design at the Riverdale Country School while amplifying and nurturing the global conversation about what it means to teach and learn in the 21st century.

(Design Thinking for Educators – Dominic Randolph from paul dewey on Vimeo.)

 

Rethinked’s…* Dominic Randolph on Design Thinking for Educators: Short Documentary on His Collaboration with Ideo

 

Dominic Randolph, rethinker…* extraordinaire and Head of Riverdale Country School, won a grant in 2012 from the E. Ford Foundation to teach Design Thinking to Educators and to spread its adaption and implementation across the country. This seven-minute film documents Dominic’s collaboration with legendary design firm, Ideo. A collaboration which resulted in the DesignThinkingForEducators.com website and deep, collective rethinking about the nature of teaching, learning and design at the Riverdale Country School while amplifying and nurturing the global conversation about what it means to teach and learn in the 21st century.

Enjoy & Rethink…*

Design Thinking for Educators – Dominic Randolph from paul dewey on Vimeo, published November 6, 2012.

 

Migration Routes: Rethinked’s Editorial Calendar

“I have a compulsion to wander and a compulsion to return—a homing instinct like a migrating bird. True nomads have no fixed home as such; they compensate for this by following unalterable paths of migration.” –Bruce Chatwin, The Nomadic Alternative

{k}no{w}mad is a concept at the core of our identity. We have no offices or contained spaces; we seek to inhabit the moment, finding shelter in ideas, other people and the wonder all around us. As true nomads, our paths of migration, wherever they may take us, always lead us through similar terrains: design, learning, aesthetics, ethics and creativity to name a few. This is why we have established several recurring editorial columns: to highlight new discoveries along our ongoing journeys through various, continually evolving but unalterable obsessions.

…* Daily  (Every day)

Daily rethinking inspiration: Quotes, images, videos or articles that inspired us to question assumptions and experience the ordinary in a slightly different way.

Friday Link Fest (Every Friday)

Your weekly dose of whimsy, inspiration and rethinking material: we bring you the most Rethinked…* worthy articles, talks, videos and images that we shared across our social media platforms during the week.

Rethinked*annex (Every Thursday)

Updates on Elsa Fridman’s adventures and discoveries as she attempts to live out and integrate ideas from design thinking, positive psychology & integrative thinking into her every day.

RethinkED: (Once a week)

Updates on Rethinked’s…* work with the Riverdale Country School.

Teachers & Design: (Every other Wednesday)

Carmen James examines various ways in which to develop creative confidence and accountability through discovery.

True Grit ~ TONIGHT on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams at 10PM/9C

TONIGHT ON NBC’s ROCK CENTER WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS AT 10PM/9C 

Don’t miss rethinked’s…* own Dominic Randolph and David Levin, co-founder of the KIPP charter school network talking about their work on grit and education.

 

Some schools are trying a provocative new approach to education and it’s called “grit.”  The idea makes it ok for students to fail so they can grow.  Watch Brian Williams’ full report, “True Grit,” Thurs., Sept. 27 at 10pm/9c on NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.

Character? It’s More Than That…

We figure prominently about our work on the development of character strengths in Paul Tough’s book on non-cognitive capacities and their influence on performance, especially in schools. I think Paul’s book is important, and I have also spent my last years focusing on this work in two independent schools. The other thing about these ideas is that they intuitively make sense. Strengths such as grit, self-control, optimism and gratitude are naturally important in work and life. However, this work does not propose that these strengths should become the sole focus of our work in schools, rather it is a matter of rebalancing our myopic focus on math and verbal ability with a broader conception of what it means to be human and successful in the most humanistic terms. In other words, finding meaning and purpose in our lives, finding well-being.

I have been questioned why we chose these strengths rather than more lofty virtues such as honesty or respect. Again, David Levin at KIPP and I are not proposing that these “higher” virtues should not be emphasized in schools. What good school or school leader does not emphasize honesty and respect regularly in schools? However, these more “simple” strengths, these steps towards virtue need also to be emphasized and encourage in schools. They are purely a concrete means to improved work and achievement.

At the same time, the academic programs in schools need to change. We do not want to develop more grit in our students so that they can suffer more effectively through dull and boring lessons. At the same time, we need to change our classrooms to become more constructivist, more about creativity, more engaging and more useful to our future generations. As always, life is about sparks and sweat, about engagement and effort. This work on developing a language of character in schools is only part of the broad work that we all have to do. Sometimes we just have to find ways into the work. Our work on character strengths is one such way that we are using to confront the assumptions about schools and what it means to do well.

Download the Character Growth Card

 

 

 

DT4E October 19/20 Conference ~ SIGN UP NOW!

 

 

UPDATE: CONFERENCE MOVED BACK TO FURTHER TBD DATE ~ We’ve received feedback that the timing of the conference is difficult for many teachers and, as a result, have decided to reschedule the conference to later in the year.  We will let you know the new dates as soon as possible. We are all very excited about the conference and look forward to hosting at a more optimal time.

Design Thinking For Educators October  19/20 Conference ~ Join IDEO, Riverdale Country School & Parsons School in NY for a two day Design Thinking For Educators workshop where you will learn and use the design thinking process, connect with other educators and have the opportunity to create a project plan where you can apply this process to your own work. This is a great opportunity to experience the design thinking process first hand and see how it can be successfully applied to education challenges. **SPACE IS LIMITED: SIGN UP NOW***

Register today: Design Thinking Workshop for Educators (7/30 – 8/31)

 

So excited to announce the Design Thinking For Educators Workshop, a 5-week, FREE virtual course brought to you by IDEO, Edutopia and the Riverdale Country School.

Registration is now open! Go to Edutopia.org and sign up before the workshop starts on July 30th.

Enjoy and rethink…*

Design Thinking Workshop Schedule

Each Monday we will post a new assignment. Participants will use Edutopia.org and a Ning site to complete the assignments at any time during the week. The workshop exercises are designed to take roughly 2-5 hours/week. We will send detailed emails once a week with links and resources for that week’s assignment.

July 30 – August 3 (Week 1): Introduction to the Design Thinking Process 
What is Design Thinking? How does it work? 
We’ll do some exercises to familiarize ourselves with the process and help us get into the Design Thinking mindset.

August 6 – 10 (Week 2): Discovery & Interpretation Phase 
I have a challenge. How do I approach it? I learned something. How do I interpret it?
We’ll define a group challenge, prepare research, and gather inspiration. To interpret, we’ll tell stories, look for patterns, and frame our opportunities.

August 13 – 17 (Week 3): Ideation
We have a better understanding of our challenge. What are some solutions? 
Now we brainstorm. No idea is wrong or too stupid. This week, we generate ideas, and refine them.

August 20 – 24 (Week 4): Experimentation & Evolution 
I see an opportunity: What do I create? I tried something new: How can I use it? 
We’ll create prototypes and refine them using real world feedback.

August 27-31 (Week 5): The Future 
In our final week, we’ll work to apply Design Thinking in our school or community setting.
At the end of the five weeks, the content will be archived, but we will continue the conversation about Design Thinking in education on Edutopia.org and social media.

Want to learn more about design thinking and how it relates to education before signing up for the course? Go to designthinkingforeducators.com to download a free toolkit that explains the design thinking method and tools and presents some case studies on the successful use of design thinking in education. You can also read about past design thinking workshops held on the RCS campus in partnership with IDEO here.

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