Engaging Students in Synthesis and
the Making of Good New Ideas

Join Jamie McKenzie for an exciting day of hands-on learning
activities devoted to the concepts of synthesis, invention, imagination and novelty.
Bring him to your school or district for a full day wokshop.

This seminar will provide participants with a toolkit of synthesis skills required to invent good new ideas along with strategies to equip their students with these creative capabilities.

Learners use skills, resources and tools to:

1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.
2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.
3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.
4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.

AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

Schools and districts that have adopted the 21st Century Skills model for schooling will find this seminar on target, especially for Information Literacy, Media Literacy and ICT (Information, Communications & Technology) Literacy:

  • Using digital technology, communication tools and/or networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge economy
  • Using technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information, and the possession of a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information

9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM
Laying the Groundwork

What do the ISTE and AASL standards expect in the way of thinking and invention? How does that contrast with old fashioned topical research and copy and paste thinking?

What do we mean by synthesis? invention? novelty? imagination? originality? inquiry?

How do questions and questioning support inquiry? What kinds of issues, challenges and concepts lend themselves most powerfully to inquiry by various age groups? How will we know when they have moved from knowledge to understanding? When is inquiry worthy of student time and when is it mere ritual? How does a teacher orchestrate inquiry?

10:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Coffee Break

10:45 - 11:45 AM 
Synthesis and Puzzling
Meaningful inquiry involves students in wrestling with mysteries, puzzles, conundrums and difficult questions and issues that deserve thought and consideration. We expect students to weigh the thinking of experts and elders but then come up with their own positions, decisions and suggestions.

Research should take students beyond the mere gathering of information to the construction of new understandings. They will need a firm grounding in synthesis skills in order to combine the information in ways that may resolve puzzles and mysteries.

11:45 - 1:00 PM

1:00 - 2:00 - A Half Dozen Synthesis Strategies

Module Six - - SCAMPER

Module Seven - - Slice-and-Dice

Module Eight - - Idea Box

Module Nine - - The Phoenix Checklist

Module Ten - - The Six Traits of Effective Writing

Module Eleven - - Brutethink

2:00 - 3:00 - A Half Dozen Synthesis Strategies

Module Twelve - - Hall of Fame

Module Thirteen - - Analogies - Rattlesnakes & Roses

Module Fourteen - - Just Suppose - What if?

Module Fifteen - - Dream On

Module Sixteen - - Play, Experimentation & Improvisation

Module Seventeen - - PMI

Contact for information.
FNO Press
Inquiries via email please