14 Future Forwards: Exploring Frontiers in Education
going", who wish to verify that their methods are having impacts on student learning are the prerequisites
for excellence.” (p. 9)
Global Social Entrepreneurship at ASB is an example of an ethical prototyping process. After exploring and
studying global social entrepreneurship in the fall of 2013, a prototype was created. The prototype in this
case was the creation of a Global Social Entrepreneurship Summit. It was designed to support ASB high
school students co-leading and co-facilitating the summit. Detailed planning and learning were required
in order to take the summit from a concept to an always beta prototyping stage where the R&D
department and the students could lead and facilitate a high quality successful summit. In all 33 students
from 9 schools around the world participated in a high quality prototype summit.
This prototyping process is allowing us to:
Develop, test, refine, and iterate methods for teaching students about global social
Develop, test, refine, and iterate methods for teaching students about design thinking.
Develop our capacity to know what works and what doesn’t work in providing a meaningful
context for practicing global social entrepreneurship.
Develop insights for how this prototype might be scaled, modified, or applied in a different
learning context such as a classroom.
This deliberate learning and development has taken place requiring only one day of the student’s
instructional time for eight student leaders. By starting small and learning through iteration, we have
insourced knowledge and insight we need to create a high quality, rigorously developed, always-beta
prototype that can be ethically scaled and applied in different student learning contexts.
Learning Through Prototyping in School
Learning from prototypes is essential for sustainable innovation in schools. Developing high quality
prototypes that can meet real needs for teaching and learning over time requires a mindset that places a
high value on what is often misattributed as failure. The quote “ I have not failed. I've just found 10,000
ways that won't work”, attributed to Edison, illustrates that Prototyping is a rigorous process for bringing
new innovations to school. School prototypers must view failures as informative grounds. In this Harvard
Business Review article, Barthelemy & Dalmagne-Rouge make a case for lingering in what they call the
“problem space” during prototyping. They make the case that lingering in the problem space helps
prototypers push past psychological limits and assumptions, in order to cause a deeper consideration of
the problem that can lead to breakthrough insight and innovation (Barthelemy & Dalmagne-Rouge, 2013).
Here are some other ways we’re learning through prototypes:
We’re learning how to meet the needs of real students in real contexts - During our Day 9
Prototype where we created a new school day in the elementary school where students learned
through day long projects in multi-age groups, the first prototype was about designing something
and trying it out with our students. The next two iterations were about paying close attention to
how Day 9 went, gathering feedback from users, and making changes to the prototype based on
the needs of students and teachers.