[Cross posted from the Leapfrog Institutes Newswire]
Ron Fuller is an emeritus teacher at Edison High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Recently, Ron prepared this step-by-step format for creating self-organizing Innovation Cells in schools. With his permission, we are sharing his framework for building ICs in educational settings.
Students are grouped with a licensed staff member by area of interest. (Example: Music, Writing, Computer Programming, Politics, Painting, Robotics, etc)
- The cells would meet daily during advisory time. The cell becomes the students advisory for the year. Cells would have students from all grade levels.
- The cells would select a project or projects to focus on for the school year. (Example: Build a robot, Create a short play, Design a new computer program, Complete a community service project, Study global warming, Lobby for a political cause)
- The cells would meet an additional ½ day once a month to complete work on the project.
- The cells could elect to meet before or after school to complete a chosen project.
- At the end of the year, one cell would be chosen to receive the Thomas A Edison Innovation Award. (Maybe the Superintendent or Mayor could help select the winning cell.)
- An Innovation Fair would be held in the Spring to share innovation ideas and projects with the Edison School Community.
- Innovation Cells could have displays at school open houses and other community events.
- 12th and 11th graders could be academic coaches for 9th and 10th graders in their cell.
- All Licensed Staff would advise an Innovation Cell. Staff would be chosen for cells depending on interests or expertise.
- Business and Community Leaders could come in during the ½ day each month to advise students on cell projects.
- The Innovation Cells would provide a learning focus for advisory and help students develop their creative skills.
- Upper classmen could serve as role models for under classmen.
- We could start with a few Innovation Cells next year and phase them in over the next few years.
(Created by Ron Fuller 2-7-08) (Revised 3-26-08)