What Picture Should Go Here?

I presented this afternoon at the Lenovo ThinkTank 2011 conference about ways in which administrators can support teacher innovation.

For one of the slides illustrating how administrators could spark innovation, I wanted to represent the idea of healthy discomfort. The kind of discomfort that destabilizes a bit, the kind that makes you move because you’re a touch uncomfortable. I struggled to find a picture to represent the feeling I was looking for. I wasn’t even sure that I had clearly formed in my mind the concept I was imagining, but it felt important to include. I got some good ideas from folks on Twitter, but I couldn’t ever find a picture with which I was happy.

Time was getting close, so I decided to take a risk and ask the session participants what the picture should be. I inserted this slide into the preso…

When we got to the slide, I explained what I was thinking and my difficulty in finding a picture to represent the feeling. I then asked those who were there what picture they would have chosen. It generated some great discussion, from a request for clarification of what I was thinking about in terms of the word healthy to creative suggestions for pictures from a kindergartner teaching a superintendent to someone running in the summer heat.

I hope using a “blank slide” gave the impression that I try to give my students- I care about this time and have prepared for it, but I’m also a learner in this enterprise. I don’t have all the answers.

You can view the rest of the presentation slides below. I had to split it into two, so it would place nice with the Google Docs maximum file size.


3 thoughts on “What Picture Should Go Here?

  1. I’m really interested in this. The closest thought I had was Edward Hopper, but the discomfort outweighs the healthy in most of his work. Thanks for provoking my thoughts, Meredith.

  2. The image that came to mind for me is someone rockclimbing just at the edge of her/his skill level. There’s nothing more exhilating or terrifying. But I wonder if you would have to be a rockclimber, or at least experienced it, to get it.

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