The Right Sized Box

Structure matters in a working or learning environment. This is an important idea to explore for student entrepreneurs and educators looking to reinforce productive problem solving practices. The well known term “think outside the box” is one that is often associated with innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. These traits are commonly exhibited by nearly all successful students and entrepreneurs, and should be rewarded. However, this term is commonly misinterpreted in a way that sometimes devalues the importance of structure and the “box” itself. We have analyzed a collection of data and formed an opinion that seeks to unite “the box” and critical thinking together. Rather than think outside the box, we propose a thought process that encourages individuals to find the right box.

“The simple rules of disciplined innovation Constraints aren’t the enemy of creativity— they make it more effective” (Sull, 2015).

Reclaiming Agency

Attaining a balance in one’s life or mission is generally perceived as positive and productive. Leaning too far in one direction can cause the scale to tip. The idea of the box can sometimes be perceived as a limit or constraint to creativity, a framework that funnels problem solvers into one lane of thinking. On the other hand, chaos and the lack of boundaries may overwhelm the student and construct creative barriers. These observations are why we suggest the importance of simple rules and discipline in this process while still leaving room for the individual to forge their own path (or box). Rigid bureaucracy and systemic micromanagement can hinder the creative ability of the individual. However, there needs to be an organized and strategic approach when looking to accomplish a goal or solve a problem. These strategic frameworks should also adhere to the strengths and needs of the individual doing the problem solving. This sense of structured freedom in a learning environment helps the individual to reclaim agency in their task, removing the monotony of the situation. Students exhibit agency in their process when they are motivated, succeeding, and experiencing satisfaction in their work.

A Universal Design
The creation of free flowing structure and sustainable student agency is easier than ever in today’s world. Technology has become an integral piece of most (if not all) learning environments and workspaces. Educators and administrators have a far greater ability to alter their curriculum and tailor the experience to the strengths of the individual problem or subject at hand. This tailoring can adhere to a specific organization’s culture and goals. Workspace/classroom management softwares are typically at the center of the administration, allocating tasks, lessons, and discussions. These workspace softwares and solutions give the administrator the ability to “create the right box” for each and every student or situation. This practice encourages students to attack their problems in a way that promotes critical thinking and by doing so, creating agency.

This proposed way of thinking falls directly in line with our latest mission of turning students from consumers of content into creators of content. For more information on this subject we highly recommend you to explore more in our blog library and open your mind to the Universal Design for Learning framework.

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Clear Touch, headquartered in Greenville, SC, is a leading US global manufacturer of interactive touch panels and accessories as well as digital signage displays and solutions for education, government, and business. Clear Digital is our sister brand that specializes in digital signage solutions. For more information, visit our websites: getcleartouch.com and getcleardigital.com

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