Play, Passion, Purpose

Tony Wagner at TEDxNYED

Thank you to  Karen Melhuish Spencer for reminding me about this TEDx talk.

Tony Wagner discusses that it is no longer important what we know, instead the question is:
What can we do, with what we know?

Based on extensive research Wagner identifies the requirments to be an innovator.

1. Critical thinking and problem solving and being able to ask the right question.
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
3. Agility and adaptability
4. Initiative and entrepeneurialism
5. Effective written and oral communication
6. Accessing and analyising information
7. Curiosity and imagination

Wagner asks: What do we need to do differently to encourage innovators?

Wagner believes the culture of schools are radically different from the culture that produces Innovators.


1. Schools focus on individual achievement. 
Yet, innovation is a team sport
2. School are about specialisation. 
Yet, the world of innovation is about interdisciplinary problem based learning. 
3. The culture of schooling is about risk aversion and penalising failure. 
Yet,  Innovation is about risk. 
4. The school culture of learning is about passive consumption. 
Yet, Innovators are about creating a real product for a real audience.
5. Schools are about motivation through good grades. 
Yet, Innovators are intrinsically motivated.

Wagner found the central ideas that all innovators experienced was engaging with their
Play, Passion and Purpose!

Questions for myself:

Q: Where and how am I encouraging my students to engage with play, passion and purpose in the classroom?
A: Using the 21st Century Fluency Project planning template. Unit called I am Curious. Focus on questions  (sometimes big) within the science and arts. Sharing this template with others to question and reflect on 21st century teaching methods and our own assumptions about teaching and learning.

Q: Where and how am I starting to engage with the core competencies towards being an innovator?
A: Using the 21st Century Fluency Project planning template.
Reading Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner

Q: What risks and failures am I modelling in the classroom?
A: By being explicit about the mistakes I am making during the day. eg saying: "Goodness I just made a mistake. I wonder.. what did I learn?"

Q: Where and how am I willing to take risks and model innovation?
A: Using and relying on digital technologies in the classroom, trying science experiments that just might not work, move with a students interest and be prepared to apply learning to a new context, model all the things I am curious about, model asking questions and embracing complex questions that may result in more questions.

Q: Where and how am I working with my passion?
A: Every day the sun rises and I drive to my school towards a new day of learning and creating. Secondly, everyday I connect with the digital community of educators who want to engage with how they can contribute towards realising dynamic change in schools and education in the 21st century. Thirdly, reading, reading and more reading about educational theory and practise and applying the 'why' and 'how' to classroom teaching and learning pedagogy. Placing my practise alongside rigorous academic thinking and research.

Q: Where and how can I place the importance of play, passion and purpose into Sugata's model of SOLE. Student Orientated Learning Environments?
A: I believe, without deep student engagement, achieved through play, passion and purpose the self orientated learning environment is not able to be realised.

Q: Play + Passion + Purpose = Finding your Edge?
This equatation introduces the heart of my thinking. In order to understand what is "our own edge" we must engage with our own play, passion and purpose!  (Watch this space!)

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