In our work, we share a wide variety of resources on fostering adaptive leadership in schools. Below are some of our favorites:

 

Critical Conversations

Leading is Learning Resources

Recommended Resources from Others

  • “The Power of Vulnerability.” In this TED Talk, Brené Brown discussed the power of sharing our story with courage. This is a great primer for school dialogue about having authentic conversations on difficult topics.

Creative Collaboration

Leading is Learning Resources

Recommended Resources from Others

  • Introduction to the Waterline Model. The waterline model is a core concept for group process that we teach to mentors and Leadership+Design students. It outlines the concepts of task and maintenance – two modes that all groups need, and effective leaders must be able to navigate – as well as a framework for systematically analyzing broken group dynamics.
  • Task and Maintenance. Task and maintenance are core concepts we teach our young leaders: effective groups balance both. This is a 30-minute exercise designed to help groups clarify which leadership roles are task and which are maintenance. By clarifying the task/maintenance dichotomy, it should become easier to notice when either task or maintenance is being neglected.
  • “Groupthink.” This New Yorker article by Jonah Lehrer talks about the problems research has exposed with the traditional model of brainstorming (e.g. “don’t criticize”), while re-affirming the value of creative team collaboration – and outlining the ways in which creative collaboration can be more effectively structured.
  • “Calibrate Before You Collaborate.” This article outlines some simple questions creative teams can use to determine how they’re going to work together, before they actually jump into things. The result? Spending time at the front end saves time on the back end.

Feedback and Assessment

Leading is Learning Resources

  • “The Gradebook as a Design Problem.” My PowerPoint presentation from Wednesday, June 12th at the Martin Institute Conference on Transformative Learning in Memphis is here.
  • The Twitter stream captures notes, ideas, and photos of the workshop shared on Twitter by participants in our workshop on “The Gradebook as a Design Problem” at the Martin Institute in June 2013 (see above.)
  • “Assessment for Resilience,” by Greg Bamford. This slide deck accompanied our 2012 presentation at the PNAIS Fall Educators’ Conference, and due to attendee request, we are posting it here.

Recommended Resources from Others

  • “Learning a New Way of Being.” This TEDxOverlake talk, by Alison Whitmire, discusses the human challenge of leadership: accepting feedback, seeing your blindspots, and adjusting along the way.
  • “The Perils and Promise of Praise,” by Carol Dweck. This article outlines how the wrong kind of praise creates self-defeating behavior, but the right kind motivates students to learn.
  • “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback,” by Grant Wiggins. This great article helps to differentiate feedback from advice and grading. Learning to offer better, different feedback can help students learn more without requiring additional time.

Design Thinking

These resources are what we use to introduce educators to design thinking. We typically share them ahead of time, flipping the PD experience so our first day can focus on discussion and experience, rather than introducing new concepts for the first time.

Leading is Learning Resources

  • “Shoe Design Offers A Trojan Horse for Problem Solving With Design Thinking.” This Edutopia article covers a shoe design studio we organized at Catlin Gabel Schoolin Portland. In it, Suzie Boss outlines the benefits that such an intensive, design thinking experience can offer.
  • “Needfinding.” This is a one-page worksheet that we have created to help young leaders understand the unmet human needs at the source of any design problem. It’s a quick warm-up exercise that emphasizes the human-centered nature of the design thinking process.
  • “Interviewing for Understanding.” This is a one page worksheet that introduces how to conduct a design interview and contains space for students to generate their own questions.
  • “Developing a Point of View.” This is a one-page worksheet that includes an overview of a POV as well as a quick exercise, adapted from the Stanford d.school, called “POV Mad-Lib.” This helps students quickly develop a Point of View for their design problem.

Recommended Resources from Others

What is Design Thinking?

  • Tim Brown at TED. This video offers a broad, big-picture overview of this shift from design to design thinking.
  • Tim Brown of IDEO in Harvard Business Review. This 10-page article hits the right balance of “more substantive and thoughtful than Wikipedia” but also “interesting and doesn’t require you to read 200 pages.” Though focused on applications in the business world, we’ve found it to be a meaningful, accessible primer for leaders in non-design fields.
  • IDEO Redesigns the Shopping Cart. This clip from Nightline shows IDEO going through the process of redesigning a shopping cart. Hilarious 1990′s clothes are a bonus.

What Does Design Thinking Look Like In Schools?

  • Ewan McIntosh at TEDxLondon. In this talk, hybrid teacher/investor Ewan McIntosh shows how really using the design thinking model requires a shift in teacher behavior to “get out of the way” and allow students to find solutions to relevant challenges.
  • “Design Thinking for Independent School Educators.” This webinar by Leading is Learning co-founder Greg Bamford provides a 100-level introduction to design thinking and why is matters in the independent school environment.
  • Design Thinking in Education. This partnership between IDEO and Riverdale Country Day School (NY) focuses on how design thinking is used in schools, often to help schools solve problems about where they should go, what they should do. It includes case studies and nice short videos about educators using design thinking here.
  • The Stanford d. school K-12 Wiki has a range of resources for K-12 educators.
  • Stanford REDLab (Design and Education) has scholarly articles on design thinking and education, videos, and a few models of design thinking units in middle school math and high school science here.
  • The Nueva School in northern California, a K-8 independent school, is a national leader in using Design Thinking. Information on their curriculum and iLab facility is here.

Tools for Teaching Design Thinking

  • Stanford d.School Crash Course. This crash course provides an 80-minute challenge, allowing you to practice the design process. You’ll need a partner and some prototyping materials (whatever old arts and crafts materials you have are fine. Sneak them from your four year old.) Related resources (e.g. handouts) are here.
  • Stanford d. school Mixtapes. One you’ve introduced the overall design thinking process, these mixtapes offer a well-packaged “deep dive” into three specific phases:empathy and understanding the user; into ideation and idea generation; and into prototyping and experimentation.
  • Stanford d. school Bootcamp Bootleg lists specific, practical exercises that can help you lead groups through each phase of the design thinking process – and it includes handouts that are useful for groups. You can look at the exercises individually here  or the download the whole thing as a “bootleg.”
  • Hands-on exercises for students learning design thinking. We use the “wallet challenge” on the first morning of Leadership+Design Studio to provide an overview, but there are other great exercises and case studies available here.
  • Ideas for Prototyping Ideas from Google. Building prototypes is a simple, tactile way to teach students to develop ideas and get early feedback. And prototyping in the classroom can go way, way beyond pipe cleaners. This page from Google Think Insights outlines simple, classroom-appropriate ways to prototype ideas beyond leftover cardboard.
  • This toolkit from Development Impact and You (DIY), is a rich resource with many Design Thinking templates.
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