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Creating Innovators

Creating Innovators

The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World

  • freshman reading
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. In profiling compelling young American innovators such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple’s first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania, Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures 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 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 road map for creating the change makers of tomorrow.
     Creating Innovators will feature its own innovative elements: more than sixty original videos that expand on key ideas in the book through interviews with young innovators, teachers, writers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, including Thomas Friedman, Dean Kamen, and Annmarie Neal. Produced by filmmaker Robert A. Compton, the videos are accessible via links and QR codes placed throughout the eBook text or by visiting www.creatinginnovators.com.
  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451611526 | 
  • April 2012
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Video

Where Our Next Great Innovators Will Come From

Educational institutions across America are teaching their students to "learn by doing" in a effort to create the innovators of tomorrow.

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Hear an Excerpt

About the Author

Tony Wagner
Photograph by PJ Blankenhorn

Tony Wagner

Tony Wagner is the first innovation education fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the founder and former co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Wagner consults widely to public and independent schools and foundations around the country and has served as senior adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A former high school teacher, K-8 principal, and university professor in teacher education, Wagner is the author of five books, including The Global Achievement Gap. Visit TonyWagner.com.

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