Inventology: Book Club Discussion, Part 1

Inventology: Book Club Discussion, Part 1

As indicated in the intro post, this round’s Opal School Book Club pick is Pagan Kennedy’s Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change The World. Thrillingly, Kennedy’s book isn’t about school and it’s not clear that she had educators in mind as readers. That’ makes it a really fun book to read with a group considering its implications to schools.

There is much for teachers and others interested in formal and informal learning communities to chew on in this section of the book. Kennedy identifies a number of invention pathways that seem almost directly contrary to many schools today: a prioritization of imagination and speculative thinking; a welcoming of surprise that involves freeing oneself of overly focused goals in favor of paying attention when something odd happens; an attention to open-ended research (which she describes as “spending a lot of time playing”.) She writes of inventors’ deep interest in other people and their desires – while valuing things others don’t see at all.

In the comments section below, please share connections you’re making as you read the first parts of the book: Introduction, Discovery, and Prophecy. We’re eager to explore what you notice and wonder as you relate the text to your experiences working with young people as well as to the Framework for Inspiring Inventiveness resources we recently published with Project Zero.

What comes up for you in your reading? How do the first sections of this book reveal values of your practice – and nudge you toward new possibilities? How does it suggest new purposes for school in 2019? What questions arise for you?

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