Saturday, October 1, 2011

Collaboration IS a 21st century skill

Watch the video below

No this is not me trying to rep the new Amazon prduct, instead it is a testament to collaboration. Our school has recently started a program to give students more choice in the arts curriculum. Teachers pair with community members to teach a specific genre of art. We have offerings like drama, digital arts, photography, and drawing. Previous to this experiment, our middle schoolers had very limited art choice. I am moderating the digital arts elective with a very passionate parent. One session in and I learned a ton from him.

He works in marketing and explained just how necessary it is to collaborate. Even seemingly simple ads such as the one above can take weeks to develop. You have teams working on the music, you have teams working on the graphic arts, you have teams working on the transitions. And then you have to bring them all together to finalize a great product. He was telling the students how necessary it is to collaborate to be creative. Bouncing ideas off of each other in an autonomous setting leads to innovation. He even said that getting something right the first time is not really getting it right. If you get it right the first time you can not possibly exhaust different viewpoints and opportunities.

If this is what new wave companies are expecting, why do we run schools in total contrast?  I passionately believe that schooling is for more than producing economic agents and effectiveness, but cooperation, teambuilding and collaboration are simply values we want people to have. After reading Daniel Pink's Drive this summer, I am absolutely convinced that we need to shift schooling to meet the true dynamics of creativity. By valuing collaboration we not only make schooling more relevant, we make it more enjoyable, meaningful, and human.

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