Over the past several months I have been doing a tremendous amount of research and reading about the future of education, the challenges associated with change, and the need for innovation. There is no doubt that the rate of change in education has increased with the introduction of new technologies, creating exciting opportunities and a heightened need for skills such as adaptability, collaboration, and critical thinking.
There is a huge responsibility- and tension- in ensuring that our girls are prepared for the future. We are preparing them for a future that is, in many ways, unknown. It is also important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater; we must ensure that we are maintaining all that is unique and impactful for our girls, whilst also keeping our eyes on the ever-changing world.
Uncertainty is a feeling that can cause anxiety. In our fast-paced world these days, it is a feeling that seems often to be present. Having said that, I have been learning a lot about coping strategies including that when dealing the unknown it is important to have confidence to dig deeper. The answer is questions.
Over the summer and into this fall our Administrative Team has been reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berg. Berg speaks to the importance of building a culture where people are encouraged to ask questions to delve deeper into possibilities. While I am providing a simplistic synopsis, I believe that the results of this approach can be very powerful. Questions enable us to think further and differently about assumptions, beliefs and decisions.
The power of questions was highlighted again for me this weekend when I, along with our Director of Information Technology, Kelsey Edmunds, took part in a design thinking ‘boot camp’ at Rotman Designworks. The process of design thinking, working to meld intuitive with analytical thinking, results in actionable innovative outcomes. Our boot camp took us through the three stages of the process: empathy and need finding, prototyping and experimentation, and business strategy; however, what I appreciated most upon reflection was the power of questions and their ability to push one to think differently, and more deeply.
I will be the first to admit that I don’t have all of the answers, but with a desire to ensure that St. Clement’s School and our girls are prepared for the future, I look forward to asking lots of questions.