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Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer

Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential
First Edition
By: Peter Gamwell, Jane Daly

Foreword by Yong Zhao

From case studies to actionable steps, this book provides direction on how schools can reimagine learning environments to foster innovative thinking when the Age of Complexity is always at the forefront.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781071837221
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2022
  • Page Count: 248
  • Publication date: May 04, 2022

Price: $30.95



Master the Age of Complexity through innovative growth.

From far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 to environmental and economic concerns, we’re living in the Age of Complexity that will likely be with us for generations to come. How then can schools and organizations change their learning environments to foster innovative thinking in students when the Age of Complexity is always at the forefront? Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly answer that question and more by demonstrating how to understand problems the world faces as living, changing systems.

Built on the philosophy that the prosperity of any organization is directly proportional to how it values its people, affords them autonomy, and gives them creative rein, this book provides resources including:

  • A new way to define brilliance, and 10 specific ways you can shift your organization to prepare your school and community for the Age of Complexity
  • Detailed case studies from schools excelling in the Age of Complexity
  • Links to videos showcasing real-world students and educators in action
  • Key takeaways highlighting each chapter’s critical content
  • Reflective questions to facilitate the application of ideas into school and district settings
  • Actionable strategies to use in classrooms and school communities

As the world continues to grow more complex, this resource provides timely direction on how to think big about innovative growth, even if the first step is small.

Key features

Readers will find:

  • Links to videos where you can hear student and teacher Thinkers and Dreamers describe their work in their own words
  • 8 detailed case studies from schools that are excelling in the age of complexity and fostering "seeds of brilliance"
  • Criteria for schools as learning environments that foster seeds of brilliance, and a tool for measuring their impact


Peter Gamwell photo

Peter Gamwell

Born in Liverpool, England, Peter is the co-author, with Jane Daly, of The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity, 2017, Corwin, foreword by Sir Ken Robinson; and Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer: Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential, April, 2022, Corwin, fore­word by Yong Zhao.

An insightful, entertaining, and knowledgeable speaker, presenter, and consultant, Peter brings decades of academic research, experience, and insightful knowledge, gleaned from his award-winning career as a teacher and administrator at all levels of the education system. Through his presentations, workshops, books, YouTube channel, and website, he explores learning, leadership, and innovation and their impact on individual and organizational health and culture. Peter has worked across Canada and throughout many parts of the world, showing students, educators, administrators, schools, districts, com­panies, and policy makers how to foster that vibrancy in their own organizations.

Through the course of his work and research, Peter has captured the voices of hundreds of students and adults alike, video clips that provide unique and insightful glimpses into the lived world of our classrooms, schools, and organizations. These clips also provide criti­cal insight as to how we might imagine our learning cultures in a way that reawakens the brilliance that lies in all of us, with a central focus on individual, group, and organizational well-being.

An adjunct professor with the University of Ottawa, Peter has been the recipient of many awards throughout his forty-year career. In 2013, he was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association for the work he led in Learning, Leadership and Creativity with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. In 2015, he was awarded the Global Distinguished Leadership Award by the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

In 2020, he cofounded the Canadian Network for Imagination and Creativity, @CNIC, which holds monthly IdeaJams on a wide range of topics—and which evoke lots of lively interactive conversation.

Jane Daly photo

Jane Daly

Although Jane’s career took her into the marketing and communications world, she was always fascinated by the field of education and the seeds of potential in every individual—especially when one of her own sons had difficulty reading and thus became “a problem to be solved.” She has worked on numerous communications projects for educational institutions and has taught at the college level. She has often observed the chal­lenges and opportunities that both educational organizations and businesses share when it comes to organizational learning.

Jane was happy to join Peter Gamwell as coauthor for The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity and again with Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer: Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential.

Jane freelances as a communications strategist and commercial writer by day and enjoys fiction writing by night, as well as spending time with her husband John, and their kids and grandkids, at the small MacLaren’s Landing beach community outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Videos

Foreword by Yong Zhao

Chapter 1: Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer: Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student's Potential

Chapter 2: The Uncomfortable Chapter

Chapter 3: What is Brilliance?

Chapter 4: Seeds of Yesteryear: Jesus Christ Superstar

Chapter 5: Fiona's Story: Finding Fertile Ground

Chapter 6: Rebecca's Story: The Courage to Do Things Differently

Chapter 7: Blue Sky School: Rooted in Innovation

Chapter 8: Road Trip: Seeds Take Flight

Chapter 9: Golden Hills: Seeds Take Root

Chapter 10: Mud Lake and Carseland: Where Learning Comes Naturally

Chapter 11: Odyssey's North Star: How to Build a Strong Community

Chapter 12: The But, But, But, But Chapter: Assessment & Evaluation



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