E4I: Fostering an innovative mindset in youth needs to start as early as kindergarten

by Canadian Innovation Space
May 03, 2022

Dr. Maria Cantalini-Williams makes a strong case that fostering an innovative mindset in youth needs to start as early as kindergarten.

In her talk, she describes the definition of innovation, the process of creating the resources and the Innovation Cycle which guides youth to design their own innovations to make an impact. Results that demonstrate the positive effects of the initiative are increased engagement and understanding through Student Innovation Projects, School Innovation Centres and Community Innovation Celebrations. Through her work with The Education for Innovation initiative, supported by the Rideau Hall Foundation of Canada, Maria and a team of others intended to inspire a culture of innovation among youth, using stories of ingenious Canadian innovations. A committee, including faculty members and teacher candidates from Nipissing University, school teachers and national partners, created a free set of resources titled ‘Education for Innovation; Kindergarten-Grade 12’ to support educators working with youth to make innovation a foundation to build upon.

Dr. Cantalini-Williams is the Dean of the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. She received her Doctor of Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in the Department of Applied Psychology. Her research is focused on innovation in education, collaborative inquiry, early childhood and work-integrated learning models. She has authored and co-authored numerous books, chapters in books and academic journal articles on these topics. Dr. Cantalini-Williams worked in the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University (Brantford campus) from 2003 to 2018 and recently received the designation of Professor Emerita. She taught in the Bachelor of Education and Graduate Studies programs and was Director and Associate Dean of the Laurier-Nipissing Concurrent Education program in Brantford for six years. Maria also founded and was the faculty lead for Nipissing’s international practicum program in Italy for 12 years. Since 2016, she was Chair of a Rideau Hall Foundation committee working on the Education for Innovation project, designed to develop innovation skills and mindsets in Canadian students.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxKitchenerED, an independent event. Read more about TEDx.

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