The Innovation Lab at La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS) reflects the understanding that true innovation forwards the tenants of a sound education: effective problem solving, comprehensive understanding and creative application of knowledge.
Our courses and activities are aimed at moving students through a series of three tiers, with the goal of achieving innovation:
Knowledge: “the stuff we know” is depicted by the outermost ring and is the easiest tier to accomplish.
Skill: application of our knowledge is indicated in the next tier represented by the second inner ring.
Understanding:true understanding, not to be confused with rote memorization, is represented in the last tier, which is the most difficult and rarely achieved tier. When students truly understand something, they are able to create intentional impact—the ability to leverage knowledge, skill and understanding of the context of our topic to manipulate our environment in order to create change. Only then are our students poised to be future innovators.
The Three Lenses
The Design and Innovation program creates intentional impact by developing short- and long-term strategic plans to guide our course development. Specific key skill sets and processes have been identified from the Lower to Upper School to fully prepare our students to become successful innovators by the time they graduate from LJCDS.
These skills and processes are seen through three lenses, the physical, the digital and the human, to determine at what point in a child’s development to incorporate each aspect of the skill/process.
The Strategic Plan
Our strategic plan allows us to continually develop new courses that will collectively cover all aspects of the skills and processes we have identified below. This approach to course development ensures that we're covering learning levels from Grades 1 through 12 while providing flexibility to keep courses current, relevant and exciting for our students.
As we develop and teach each course, we follow basic design principles and processes. Students perform inquiry-base research where they make observations, have conversations and ask “why” to understand their problem. They develop quick iterative solutions in order to test their understanding and gain new knowledge. This process is effective to gain a deeper understanding, not just for innovation but for almost any educational topic from basic arithmetic to ancient history.