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In the Brilliant Light of Authentic Ideas: Students as Innovators

Garreth J Heidt and Students — Pekiomen Valley School District (High School)

inNOVAtion Lab is a new elective at Perkiomen Valley High School. Based upon similar models from schools around the country, NOVA Lab includes a yearlong exploration of purpose-based learning with the incorporation of Project Wayfinder, a foundational belief in sustainability, and a focus on the ethical implications of all our actions and creations.

The class proceeds from the belief that students spend so much time being told what to do and on focusing on the next hurdle to overcome that they rarely get to test their abilities, play out their interests, and exercise their skills in authentic real-world situations. inNOVAtion Lab offers the space, time, and resources for students to engage in this important, self-validating work.

Conversational Practice

Students from our 1st-year innovation and open-source learning class will drive the conversation in response to audience questions about the successes and opportunities involved in launching a High School class based upon principles of Heutagogy, self-determined learning, and purpose-based learning.

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