- A student at One Stone, an independent, tuition-free school in Boise, ID shares how the personalized student-led approach to learning at his school allows students to explore their passions in a innovative, creative environment, EdSurge reports.
- One of the biggest surprises at the school is its focus on vulnerability, a quality that this student says leads to inclusivity, deeper relationships, a high level of creative collaboration and a willingness to explore new ideas by failing forward fast.
- The students apply these concepts in a Design Lab format where students work in groups to identify and work to solve real-life problems through project-based learning.
Though the innovative structure of One Stone might not be easily replicated, some of the ideas there could be applied to other school settings and are certainly worth consideration. The application of design thinking to project-based learning, for instance, applies these concepts within a framework used by some companies today. Certainly, these practices are more likely to foster creativity and student engagement because they focus on results.
However, the idea of fostering vulnerability in learning is not a common concept. Learning and student achievement is often competitive in nature. While this approach might allow the best students to rise to the top, it fosters an atmosphere of idea-hoarding and destruction of the ideas of others, which, ultimately stifles creativity and leaves students who are not “the best” unmotivated and uninspired.
Most great ideas are born in collaboration, which requires the willingness to be vulnerable, to fail forward, to listen to feedback, and to build others' work. Creating a school culture that promotes this notion can help students see the value in their own ideas and foster social-emotional learning in a rich, collaborative learning environment.