Creativity and the Story of the One-Legged Stool

stool sample

Image by JKönig via Flickr

I woke up the other night with a memory from childhood. From an early age, I remember thinking differently than other kids. I believed there was something wrong with me; that I had an affliction of some sort. Now I realize it wasn’t an affliction, but creativity.

When I was in elementary school,  I remember debating with one of my teachers about a three-legged stool. My teacher made a point about teamwork and used the analogy of a three-legged stool to support his argument. While I agreed with his teachings on teamwork, I questioned the fact a stool had to have three legs. I knew a stool could have one leg, or even more than three legs. Anxiously, I raised my hand and suggested a stool didn’t necessarily need three legs to stand. But, I was not allowed to explain my reasoning.

Many, many years later, this experience still sticks with me. I wonder what would have been different had my teacher encouraged critical thinking and creativity.

This post is dedicated to the teachers and schools supporting discovery and new modes of teaching and learning. Please click on the links below for some examples of great strides in education from Hats off to one legged stools!

Five-Year Olds Pilot their own Project Based Learning





Multiple Intelligences Thrive in Smartville


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