Texas Approves EdgeMakers’ Innovative Thinking Course for High Schools

The foundational EdgeMakers course is approved for high schools to implement during the 2018-19 school year

SAN FRANCISCO, California ― EdgeMakers, the organization that helps students become highly skillful innovators and entrepreneurs who can make a difference in the world, has announced that its foundational course, Innovative Thinking, is now a state-approved high school elective in Texas. Practice-based and purpose-driven, this course teaches the how-to of innovation while addressing some of the fundamental gaps in education today. Texas schools can begin to offer the course during the 2018-19 school year.

“Innate creativity is inside every student, waiting to be unleashed,” said John Kao, founder of EdgeMakers. “But without intentional programs in our schools, creativity is underdeveloped, and students’ passion, talent, and energy remain some of our most underutilized resources. We cannot allow this continue, as our society is faced with a number of wicked problems that appear unsolvable unless we innovate to find solutions. Our goal at EdgeMakers is to combine students’ natural creativity with purpose, helping them develop as innovators whose work is truly meaningful and makes a difference on issues that matter.”

A leading authority on innovation, business creativity, and emerging technologies, Kao has spent the better part of 30 years creating compelling learning experiences for emerging innovators and entrepreneurs. A former Harvard Business School professor, Kao was Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Innovation and has consulted government and business leaders all over the world. The foundation of the EdgeMakers Innovative Thinking framework is derived from Kao’s work and designed to harness the passion of young people, while empowering them to innovate and change the world.

EdgeMakers’ foundational Innovative Thinking course introduces the EdgeMakers framework and the process of innovative thinking. Through this course, students come to not only understand their innate capacity for innovation, but also develop a foundation in key skills including creativity, storytelling, design thinking, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. They also learn to apply their newfound skills to purposeful activity and develop their own innovative solution to a complex “wicked” problem: a problem that is so complex as to appear unsolvable, but which can be resolved through truly innovative solutions. The 60-hour course is designed to be covered over a single semester and students will receive one credit upon completion.

EdgeMakers ignites the 4Cs of 21st century education — creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking — and takes them a step further by helping students refine their ideas into true innovations that are real world-relevant and designed to make a difference. Importantly, EdgeMakers addresses the three primary gaps existing in most formal education programs: 1) What the new world of work demands versus what is currently available to students; 2) A growing wish for more innovators and entrepreneurs versus the lack of ways to learn the “how-to” of innovation; and 3) The complex problems facing global civil society versus resources available to address these challenges. By participating in Innovative Thinking, students learn to build foundational skills that will positively affect their overall academic achievement and readiness for post-secondary education.

“Through our high school curriculum, along with professional development for educators, we aim to provide the tools and support to teach innovative thinking to every student,” said EdgeMakers CEO Chris Besse. “Our foundational Innovative Thinking course will help educators plant, grow, and harvest the seeds of innovation in each learner so they turn their ideas into real solutions to change the world.”

For schools interested in offering Innovative Thinking to their students in the 2018-19 academic year, EdgeMakers will be providing educators with professional development opportunities this summer. Schools can contact EdgeMakers to learn more about these courses and the summer professional development opportunities.

About EdgeMakers:

Founded by John Kao, EdgeMakers is an organization that empowers students to think more creatively and work on problems more effectively, so they become highly skillful innovators and entrepreneurs who can make a difference in the world. Our education programs are designed to supply the “missing ingredients” in formal education and close the gaps between current curriculum and future readiness. We believe every student can learn to be an innovator by combining their inherent creativity with a purpose that takes idea to innovation and drives meaningful change.

Media Contact:
Andrea Sherman
MindRocket Media Group