Starting Point
Disruptive Thinking

School Administrator, October 2019

FROM ITS BEGINNING in 2007, the Clayton Christensen Institute has maintained an abiding interest in effecting change in the education sphere with a mission of “improving the world through disruptive innovation.” The nonprofit think tank’s interests have ranged from addressing the shortcomings of hardware and software in the hands of educators to building social capital among students.

We’re honored to feature in this issue on disruptive innovation the work of two of the institute’s primary education contributors, Thomas Arnett (“Districts Disrupted”) and Julia Freeland Fisher (“The Making of a Networked School”). We’ve previously featured the work of Christensen, an esteemed professor of business administration at Harvard, in these pages and as a featured speaker at AASA’s 2009 national conference. His book titles, beginning with his 2008 work Disrupting Class, often show up as a “book at bedside” in our monthly member profiles.

Disruptive innovation in education typically refers to the application of online learning technologies, as Arnett notes. For purposes of editorial coverage, we’ve fleshed out his definition to include work on the maker movement and a Massachusetts school district’s unique brainstorming process. The headline of the latter article — “Stretching the Concept of What’s Possible” — seems like a fitting phrase of purpose behind this month’s issue.

Jay P. Goldman
Editor, School Administrator
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Twitter: @JPGoldman