From a prominent educator, author, and founder of Harvard’s Change Leadership Group comes a provocative look at why innovation is today’s most essential real-world skill and what young people need from parents, teachers, and employers to become the innovators of America’s future.
In this groundbreaking book, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. He profiles compelling young American innovators, revealing how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imagination, while teaching them to learn from failure and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern—a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators. Wagner then looks more widely at the education system and shows how we can apply this knowledge as educators, and what parents can do to compensate for poor schooling. He takes readers into the most forward-thinking schools, colleges, and workplaces in the country, where teachers and employers are developing cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and intrinsic motivation. The result is a timely, provocative and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a roadmap to creating the changemakers of tomorrow.
Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab. Previously he has worked as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and the author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap.