Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Finding Value in Really Bad Ideas Part 2

This is the follow-up to yesterday's learning.

Once we identified where value might lie in turning the gym into a chicken coop ...

we explored meaning a little more deeply. I began by selecting common themed values:

1. entertainment: (hunt a chicken game, have a fair with egg painting and egg dying, other egg-related games) and asked the class what benefit these kinds of entertainments at school would have. We determined that it would add more fun to the school day. Unfortunately, we can't turn the gym into a chicken coop so how can we get that benefit in  a different way? Students began brainstorming and making suggestions. Eyes lit up as they recognized the learning - it is possible to turn a bad idea into a good idea and you can do this systematically by approaching problem solving strategically. We continued on with 2 and 3.

We then discussed the purpose of our two days of work. They got it.

"don't automatically reject bad ideas"
"bad ideas can be turned into good ideas"
"you need to stop yourself from going up the Ladder of Inference" (I cheered at that one. Students are beginning to use the language of integrative and design thinking to frame their responses).

Students will present their own bad ideas on Tuesday. I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with.


  1. My name is Daphney McFadden and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama which is located in Mobile, AL. I think this is the most interesting idea I have ever heard. I remember as a child that there was a such thing as bad ideas, now you are giving kids the opportunity to change all that. You are basically teaching them that there is not such thing as a bad idea...I LOVE THAT!! I'm all about encouragement of creativity :) I would really enjoy furthering my conversation with you and pick your brain for more ideas. My email is GREAT WORK!!

  2. Hi Daphney,
    I agree that these are very interesting ideas. My students and I are having a great deal of fun exploring them. Good luck with your studies.


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