How do we support innovation in our schools?
In 1963, Fred MacMurray, in the film Son of Flubber tells us in a dramatic courtroom speech what we should do.
When asked by the prosecutor if he would continue to encourage his students to experiment, he tells the courtroom that his students may not be studious, but that they were unafraid. And that because they were unfraid to make mistakes, he tells the courtroom, they may someday save the world. The professor’s unwavering faith in teaching his students’ to learn through exploration and experimenting is undeterred.
How do we handle the Professor Brainards in our schools? Do we squelch or encourage them? Do we question their way of viewing the world? Do we only believe things when we see them with our own eyes? Do we support, tenaciously, the power of experimentation for our students? Do we believe that by sowing the seeds of innovation, that the fruits of our efforts will later crop up?
In 1963, Professor Brainard understood. Do we, 48 years later?