A Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness

Children and their communities have a right to schools
that prioritize inventiveness.

In this time of massive environmental, political, cultural, technological, and economic change, prioritizing children’s inventiveness is a critical pedagogical shift. The materials found here emerge from Opal School’s two-year collaboration with Project Zero’s Mara Krechevsky and Ben Mardell to articulate an approach that inspires and integrates children’s and teachers’ inventiveness into the school day. This project, funded by The Lemelson Foundation, was guided by research into Opal School’s practices, a study of related literature (including the fields of invention, creativity, and neuroscience), and consultation with other stakeholders in the emerging field of invention education.

We hope these materials will catalyze experiences and conversations that lead to new frontiers of inventiveness for you, your colleagues, and the children you teach. We offer the following springboards for you to play with and adapt to your unique context:

  • Principles that articulate the core values and beliefs of schools that inspire inventiveness
  • Practices used by inventors that support inventiveness in the classroom
  • Tools that help teachers adapt these practices for the classroom
  • Windows into Practice that provide images of the principles and practices in action