Exploring educational innovation… by skateboarding with a UCLA professor.

Remember yesterday’s post on looking at adjacent domains for exploring innovation and learning? [No matter if you don’t.] Thanks to a conversation with a division head yesterday, we were reminded of Dr. Tae of UCLA.

There’s a lot to think about by going to the “skateboarding school.” [Contrast this with “bicycle school” ;-)]

TEDxEastsidePrep – Dr. Tae – Can Skateboarding Save Our Schools?

  1. Failure is normal. “It took me 58 times to get that trick.”
  2. Nobody knows ahead of time how long it takes anybody to learn anything.
  3. Work your ass off until you figure it out.
  4. Learning is NOT [always] fun. “A better word… is FLOW.” “Fun is very different from flow.”
  5. NO GRADES. “The goal in skateboarding is to learn the trick. The reward in skateboarding is landing the trick. Layering grades on top of this adds nothing to the experience at all. Skateboarding is not brought to you by the letter A.” [great visual of this point in minute 9:00!]
  6. NO CHEATING. “When learning is the goal and learning is the reward, there is no cheating.”
  7. NO TEACHERS. “Real-time meaningful feedback.”
  8. Spectrum of learning and spectrum of school are not currently aligned, equivalent, etc. [Really cool physics lesson and metaphor starts near minute 12:00!]

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Related post:

What I learned from skateboarding at age 41 and 11/12…

What I learned from skateboarding at age 41 and 11/12…

I learned so much from this TED talk – “Rodney Mullen: Pop an ollie and innovate!” – and I have no intention to literally pop an ollie. But I can think of 1,000 ways that Mullen’s lessons apply to schools and school change. Here’s just one…

Context informs content.

Mullen also provided incredible wisdom about creating for the sake of creating and contributing to one’s peers and to one’s community…not for earning the championship (read – highest grade, as I was listening). In fact, after winning 35 of 36 competitions that he entered in his 11-year pro career, he shared that the loss at the end really allowed him to create most joyfully.

Out of the grind and out to grind.

It’s about the intrinsic. It’s about learning.