Non-Conformists and Creatives in our Schools



Many teachers have been introduced to the concept of fixed and growth mindsets through Carol Dweck’s book, MINDSET. As educators, we work to nurture the hope and creativity that are strong components of a growth mindset. We know this is fulfilling a mission of our public schools – that our students act upon their convictions and civil principles in service to society. Adam Grant’s, Originals: HOW NON-CONFORMISTS MOVE THE WORLD gives us powerful research and examples for ways we can model these skills as educators. We have multiple opportunities to nurture those he calls originals, not only in our classroom, but also in our faculty meeting, families, and community.

Any teacher that has experienced success, failure, frustration, exhilaration, and the will to try again; will find encouragement within Grant’s book. His research can be applied to shaping and inventing more effective classroom environments and practices. Grant’s research might also support teachers that continually try new strategies to engage students in the classroom, tweaking their practices to be more effective. Teacher originals create opportunities and hope through their ongoing inventions and craft. His research reflects that, “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most because they try the most.”

Reading Originals gives us insight into specific students, friends, and family.
In addition, his TED talk ( offers surprising research around procrastination and the quality and creativity of our students’ project products. In a world of performance and product measurements, Grant’s research may shed light on the dynamics behind some our most creative students. His work offers a glimpse of understanding into our students that clearly have the ability to move the world. Grant offers some help in guiding and encouraging these originals to most successfully achieve their potential.

Adam Grant. Penquin Press; 2016.


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