NINE STRANDS OF INNOVATION
President Jim Kubacki consistently invites the faculty of St. Edward to be the kind of learner they aim to inspire in the classroom; his phrase, “First, we model," is a motto we revisit consistently, both in orientations prior to the start of school and throughout the year.
In turn, as stewards of the future, our teachers are called to be lifelong-learners who exemplify curiosity and humility in a ever expanding quest for knowledge, meaning and Holy Cross fellowship.
To that end, we believe that education is the intersection of three circles. The first two circles focus on our core Holy Cross values and our longstanding, college prep rigor;
the third circle represents our ongoing
response to an ever-changing world, which we have come to call “teaching to the future.” Teaching to the future begins not with a program of innovation, but a more encompassing, holistic culture of innovation. From our most rigorous IB courses to our newest co-curriculars, we have identified nine strands that we believe lie at the core of all of our richest endeavors and are foundational to creating an authentic culture of innovation.
1.) Students must see the world through multiple perspectives
Students who will be successful in the future must create the "new and useful". They must be able to connect the dots that others might not see. In order to do so, they must understand a problem from every angle. They must be able to acknowledge, be open to and hold in tension multiple perspectives. By definition, every person has one perspective; our goal is to disrupt silo-ed thinking and thereby enhance students' emotional and creative intelligence.
2.) Students must think in an inter-disciplinary manner
If we accept the premise that understanding a question from every possible perspective is critical to solving complex problems, then why would we choose to teach in silos? We do not live in silos and solve problems day-to-day from a single perspective.
From our smartphones to morning cup of coffee, we use the fruits of interdisciplinary thinking every day. With International Baccalaureate's interdisciplinary learning framework, we are committed to intentionally empowering students to access this rich approach to problem solving.
3.) Students must collaborate and develop emotional intelligence
Students must be able to work together toward a common goal or solution. Our students must develop competence in social interactions if they are to become effective teammates.
4.) Students must gain confidence in rigorous creative problem solving
Students must experience challenging, collaborative, project-based and problem-based learning; by doing so, they stand to gain the confidence necessary to tackle uncertainty when working collaboratively toward solutions. Very few complex problems are solved in isolation. They depend on the input of many people. Our students must learn perseverance, must learn to draw on reserves of creativity and strength to accomplish their richest, most meaningful work.
5.) Students engage more when they confront relevant problems
Students are more engaged when the complex problems they approach have real world implications. Additionally, with the rise of online-based educational resources, many of the barriers to valuable knowledge have dissipated; in turn, many question the necessity of traditional higher education. We are called, then, to enhance students' traditional college prep skills with real world experiences when possible in order to make our students more engaged and competitive.
6.) Students must understand how to access relevant and accurate information
In a world awash with information, the skill to ascertain accurate and useful information is a skill that every student needs today.
How to thoughtfully access, verify, and prioritize usable information is critical.
7.) Students must have an understanding of the ever-increasing role of data-analytics in the world
In the near future, a comfort level with data analytics will be a 'have to have’ not a ‘wish to have’ skill.
8.) Students must develop at least a baseline understanding of/facility
with the rapid evolution of technological capabilities
Our students must have an understanding of the latest technological applications, as well as upcoming developments in AI, AR, VR, etc. that will continue to transform education, workplaces, economies and the world at large.
9.) Students must develop competence in digital story-telling
Our world is becoming a hand-held device universe, a dramatically multi-media world. Just as the stakes regarding students' ability to leverage big data rise, so to do the stakes rise in regards to digital storytelling. We are committed to setting a standard for how adept students can become as digital storytellers.