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. I thought about a mosquito, but I think they have negative connotations 🙂 Maybe an itchy collar?

  3. 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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