This afternoon has been catch up time for Module 5, and particularly enjoying the reflective nature of ( 5.3.)

I liked the informality of the Edinburgh coffee mornings (video extract) , and that it is the same time, same place on a weekly basis. I have always had an informal and formal network meetings/get togethers of teacher & teacher librarian friends & colleagues wherever I have lived in my teaching career. Sometimes, they have been a more formal TeachMeets, or teacher librarian network meetings. Sometimes more informally, they have led to sharing a love of books, through book clubs, or even smaller get-togethers – between two or three for coffee or dinner – outside of ‘school hours’ with friends/colleagues from different schools or when our paths cross, bringing us together in the same city at the same time from across the globe. I think the sociality and the face to face aspect of these ‘catch ups’ are as important, as the learning and sharing (both personally and professionally) that happens.

Think: How would you typify the creative culture revealed by the extracts shared, above?How do the attributes of this culture compare with the attributes of the learning environment and the people who inhabit it in your own organisation, or learning organisations like it?The evidence on creative culture is largely anecdotal, based on the experiences of successful, and failed, entrepreneurs in the space. What evidence bases are there on creative culture in the education world that you know of, or can find?

‘Connection’ is the concept  linking the creative culture expressed in all the extracts. Connection and building relationships with people, both informal and formal.  Connections in following a passion, our ideas and taking ownership of them –  as Steve Jobs said, “connecting the dots” and following your curiosity, courage and intuition. Connecting success and failure – how you cannot be successful at everything.   Alain de Botton commented, we have to accept that there will always be an element of loss, and we have to accept the randomness. I guess it takes us back to the beginning of our readings about design thinking… about opening up to the realm of possibilities.

My connections with the learning environment, to the students and your learning/school community. Alain de Botton reminds us  our idea of success and ideas may not be those of others. Perhaps, this may invoke constraints within our work/learning environment.  This idea reminds me of Ed Catmull’s comment:  there must be trust  to share ideas, to be open to critique and feedback from others, while being given the trust and credibility to make our own decisions within our work/learning/personal environment. We have this, when  meeting others in our ‘interest’ or ‘friendship’ groups, and developing these skills and relationships is something our students need to learn too.

Which brings me back to our earlier course notes about what it means as teachers and learners to be good at: Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success
Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning
Providing feedback that moves learning forward
Activating learners as instructional resources for one another
Activating learners as owners of their own learning

As for the evidence bases in education on creative culture – I only need to turn to Ted Talks for inspiration. There are so many educators and people outside education, who impact education. Sir Ken Robinson is one speaker whose ideas have resonated, as does Stephen Heppell. Ah too many…I will keep watching.


Catmull, E. (2014, April). Inside the Pixar braintrust, Fast Company. Retrieved from: