Producing good ideas

Having a couple of hours to myself this morning, I was essentially lazing around and I had a little look at Twitter to catch up on some recent posts. I stumbled upon Ewan McIntosh‘s ( tweet asking his followers for any good ideas of TED / TEDx talks questioning what we mean about ‘good’ (and ‘mistake’, but I’m just going along the good lines here).

It got me thinking about how this can apply to education and the following question came to mind: what’s the most effective way of encouraging learners to come up with good ideas? Now, this can be long and complicated and obviously there’s considerable scope for educational theories and other such details shining light on the topic. However, I – as I tend to do – keep it simple. What’s the most effective way? Collaboration between learners.

I suppose I take my inspiration from Steven Johnson’s TED talk and the shorter (rather stylish) RSA Animate of his talk ‘Where good ideas come from’. In this, which you can access below, he outlines how good ideas tend not to be immediate eureka moments as it’s often described; rather it’s usually a more drawn out process requiring several people’s ideas to come together and eventually a very good idea is formulated out of these.

In a secondary education setting, collaboration inside and outside of the classroom will result in these good ideas being formulated. I think it’s (almost) that simple. This is what teachers need to do to encourage students to be better thinkers, and learners.



RSA Animate – Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

TED Talk – Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

A blog post comprising of some of the key ideas collated by Ewan McIntosh (found at the bottom of the link):



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