California and Texas Approve EdgeMakers Innovation Courses for High Schools
May 8, 2018
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 innovation courses have been approved for high schools in both California and Texas. California has granted A-G approval for six EdgeMakers courses on innovation and entrepreneurship and Texas has approved EdgeMakers’ foundational Innovative Thinking course. Students can take the courses for elective credit starting in the 2018-19 school year. Practice-based and purpose-driven, EdgeMakers courses teach the how-to of innovation while addressing some of the fundamental gaps in education today.
“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 to continue, as our society is faced with a number of ‘wicked’ problems that appear unsolvable unless we innovate to find solutions. Our goal with these courses 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. EdgeMakers courses are derived from Kao’s work and designed to harness the passion of young people, while empowering them to innovate and change the world.
Texas Approves Innovative Thinking
Innovative Thinking is the foundational course that introduces students to 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 “wicked” problem. Students in Texas will receive one credit upon completion of this 60-hour semester course.
California grants A-G approval to six courses
In California, six EdgeMakers courses are now A-G certified by the University of California and California State University systems as college prep “g” electives for meeting the state’s college-readiness requirements. The individual courses are each designed to be covered over a single semester and students will receive three credits upon completion. The six courses are:
- EM101: Innovative Thinking
- EM1: Creativity & Innovation
- EM2: Storytelling & ChangeMaking
- EM3: Design Edge
- EM4: Character & Collaboration
- EM5: Entrepreneurs & Startups
EdgeMakers Prepares 21st Century Learners
EdgeMakers courses ignite the 4Cs of 21st century education -- creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking -- and take 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, the courses address 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. These courses not only present students with new elective opportunities, but also provide them with the chance to build foundational skills that will positively affect their overall academic achievement and readiness for post-secondary education and beyond.
“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. “These courses 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 providing these courses for their students in the 2018-19 academic year, EdgeMakers will be providing educators with professional development opportunities this summer in multiple locations. Schools can contact EdgeMakers to learn more about these courses and the summer professional development opportunities.
EdgeMakers began offering courses in the 2017-18 school year and is already working with 30+ schools in California, Arizona, and Texas. The organization expects to be working with more than 200 schools in the 2018-19 school year.
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 his or her inherent creativity with a purpose that takes idea to innovation and drives meaningful change.
MindRocket Media Group
For more information, please see the video EdgeMakers in Action.
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