Features of Our Book

Foreword by Drew Boyd

We were excited and honored that Drew Boyd, coauthor of Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results wrote the foreword for our book. Here is an excerpt: “As parents and educators, we have a tremendous responsibility to teach our children to be more creative. They must know how to generate and implement high-quality, novel ideas over and over again. Creativity is a lifelong skill applicable to every walk of life. Creative thinking can be used in every challenge we face. Without creative abilities, our children will be at the mercy of others and the vagaries of a harsh world. Sadly, most people believe creativity cannot be taught. They believe you’re either born creative or you’re not. That simply isn’t true. Creativity and innovation are skills that can be taught and learned as with any other skill. I should know. I’ve taught systematic creativity to college students, high schoolers, third graders, and even kids with cognitive disabilities such as Down Syndrome. It can be done. But it takes a coordinated and dedicated collaboration between our schools, our families, and our communities. That is the aim of this book.” Please click on the picture to the right to find out more about Drew and the work that he is doing related to creativity and inside the box thinking!

Examples from the Field

We collected stories from teachers and community members about their work with young children and ways they nurture young innovators. These examples are embedded throughout the book. In chapter 3, Peg shared the following, ” Families become engaged when we Skype in the evenings. It builds excitement within the families and encourages them to try Skyping with others. Also, with all the digital resources and technology we use the parents are excited and curious what their child is learning and how they are learning it. Our class has Skyped to join an administrative meeting to discuss blended education as well as Skyped with other classrooms in our district.”  

Community Connections

In each chapter, we provide Community Connections, stories from community members to help us in our work with young children. For example, in chapter 1, Jim McLaughlin (Community Member and Aerospace Engineer) shared the work he did through his employer and the local school district to talk to students and teach them about Systematic Inventive Thinking. This demonstrates the importance of working with the community and teaching students simple ways to think creatively and to innovate. See the resources shared to find out more about Systematic Inventive Thinking and a graphic Jim created to describe SIT: Resources Page

If Doing This, Why Not Try This?

Each chapter includes a section of If Doing This, Why Not Try This? In chapter 5, one of the suggestions is if you are already “Encouraging an Environment That Values Mistakes and Risk-Raking” why not “Implement a Failures Box. Have children document their making experiences by drawing pictures and writing (if appropriate) about them . In the book Meaningful Making: Projects and Inspirations for Fab Labs and Makerspaces (goo.gl/UoEvqL), Susanna Tesconi (2016)  provides more information on using a “failures box” to help children build shared knowledge and practice telling their stories.” 

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