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Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer

Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer
Innovative Pedagogies for Cultivating Every Student’s Potential

First Edition

Foreword by Yong Zhao

Other Titles in:
E-Learning | School Culture

May 2022 | 248 pages | Corwin

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.

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

This book is brilliant. It is astonishingly practical and insightful. We create the conditions for each child’s brilliance to manifest by a strengths-based approach in a culture of true caring. We may know these truths but have been too casual in practicing them. Today’s world demands unfamiliar levels of courage and commitment to implement these practices wherever we can. It’s now or never. A truly remarkable work!

Margaret J. Wheatley, Ed.D

Gamwell and Daly have done it again. With Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer, they provide parents, children, teachers, administrators, and anyone else interested in schooling with an antidote to narrow-minded thinking and stifling technocracy. Key takeaways and practical ideas you can run with end each chapter. If you’re tired of testing mandates and one-size-fits-all curricula, start earmarking your favorite pages of this book now. Mine already looks like an accordion.

Joel Westheimer,
University of Ottawa

Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly challenge our understanding of what resiliency can mean. They introduce us to educators and other leaders who are succeeding (or creatively failing) as they seek to allow resiliency to flourish. Read this book: you will gain valuable tools to bolster your own skills and growth. You will be given insight in educating and engaging others towards their better lives.

Kate White
United Nations Association in Canada

This is an indispensable work for anyone deeply committed to an education system that will inform not only students’ minds but also their hearts. Education innovation really flourishes at the magical fusion of top-down strategies and bottom-up initiatives. Educators will find a practical framework to implement and create a support base for their innovation strategy or practice.

Piet Grymonprez
MyMachine Global Foundation

This book is both compelling and informative, filled with invaluable nuggets that resonate. The links to the videos punctuate the text with a creative and personal dimension that offers a kinaesthetic engagement for the reader. At a time when education is faced with an undeniable need for change, this book is a must-read for everyone—teacher, parent, and student!

Derek Brown
Actorshop Ltd

Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly use powerful and moving stories to lay out what schools can do to help students fully develop their potential and become the dreamers, doers, learners, and thinkers we need. This book provides specific actions educators can take to create a better educational environment where students can grow their potential and follow their passion. It is a book education needs in the effort to rethink and reimagine a better future for all children.

Yong Zhao
University of Kansas

This is a new kind of book—one that invites us to perceive the innovation capacities within us all. Its bold goal is to inspire environments that enable our inherent brilliance. Read it—as it will help you emerge spaces that enable leadership, engagement, and thriving futures in the Age of Complexity.

Goran Matic, MDes
UN’s World Creativity and Innovation Week (WCIW)

This book is outstanding. Its unique perspectives are stimulating, thought-provoking, inspiring, challenging, and enlightening. I recommend this book to fellow scholars who are interested in innovation education, as well as teachers, trainers, and anyone curious about innovative pedagogies for cultivating every student’s potential.

Prof. Dr. Taisir Subhi Yamin

Peter is a creative leader and educator who speaks and leads from the heart. He is a proven nurturer of the seeds of brilliance in others. He is a curator and a cheerleader of the innovative practices of educators. All of this comes alive in the book Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer. As leaders and educators, we want to ensure the active engagement and development of each student and each adult with whom we work. Peter and Jane inspire and offer insight on to how we can do this better.

Kandace Jordan
Schools Golden Hills School Division

Through charming recounts of authentic experiences inside and outside of the classroom, Thinker, Learner, Dreamer, Doer weaves together lessons to be learned in the dynamic intersection of leadership, learning, and living . . . and it does so brilliantly! The book’s voice is its greatest strength! The stories, shared with grace and humour, description and detail, and tact and tension (at times!), make it an intriguing read from start to end. The book’s relevancy is as clear as can be: the creation of conditions for stakeholders to flourish in the systems they inhabit!

Pino Buffone
Renfrew County District School Board

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ISBN: 9781071837221

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