DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3416-8.ch007
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Our educational system is in need of disruptive leadership, and it will take disruptive leaders who are able to lead change and influence a collaborative mindset. The shortage of talent in the workplace is a sign that education is not fulfilling this basic need. In countries rated the highest in education, businesses are complaining that candidates have the basic skills but lack critical thinking skills, communication skills, creativity, and the ability to handle ambiguity. Educators lecture on the importance of disruptive leadership and creativity, but fall short in providing the graduates ready for the current modern workforce. However, disruptive educators are starting to change the old norms of academia and disrupting the educational systems. Systems of silos are being replaced with collaboration based on disruptiveness, heightened creativity, divergent and critical thought, and decision-making. A new disruptive education is on the forefront. This chapter explores this.
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Learn to see a problem from a higher level of understanding. Then, it dissolves before your eyes- Vernon Howard

Foundations of leadership studies include higher-order thinking, decision-making, and divergent learning. Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) is a concept popular in American education and its roots lie in Blooms Taxonomy. Benjamin Bloom created Bloom’s Taxonomy in 1956, as a classification of learning outcomes and objectives. Since 1956, these classifications have been used for everything from framing digital tasks and evaluating applications to writing questions and assessments. The classification was based on a sequence of cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Lorin Anderson and David Krathwohl removed the synthesis, and added the creation to produce the highest-level of Bloom’s Taxonomy (2001). The highest level being the most complex or demanding cognitive skill, or at least the representation of a pinnacle for cognitive tasks (Krathwohl, 2002).

Good pedagogy leads to informed ways to generate ideas that is divergent thinking, and we analyze these ideas with convergent thinking. When we learn divergently, we use brainstorming, spontaneity, and increase our ability to randomly associate information, which develops our cognitive and metacognitive abilities. Divergent learning and decision-making are a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.

The divergent creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas. While convergent thinking is straightforward and simple, divergent thinking is complex. Personality traits that promote divergent thinking are important, more important than IQ. Research has determined that a high IQ alone does not guarantee creativity. Divergent thinking is found among people with personality traits such as non-conformity, curiosity, willingness to take risks, and persistence (Dyson, et al, 2016).

Divergent thinkers and decision makers become self-disruptive leaders. Self-disruptive leaders are the drivers of change. They can accelerate the flow of information to reach business goals. They can build trust, and influence others to share their vision. They foresee what needs to be done, before problems occur. Our education system needs to develop self-disruptive leaders quickly, because they are currently in short supply. For our socio-economic health, our workplaces need the self-disruptive leaders to thrive (Korn Ferry, 2019).


Higher Order Thinking And Pedagogy

In education, the framework is used to create assessments, evaluate the complexity of assignments, increase the rigor of a lesson, and simplify an activity to help personalize learning, design a summative assessment, plan project-based learning, frame a group discussion, and more. Because it simply provides an order for cognitive behaviors, it can be applied to almost anything. There are six levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

  • Remember

  • Understand

  • Apply

  • Analyze

  • Evaluate

  • Create

Putting the elements together to form a coherent or functional whole, reorganizing elements into a new pattern or structure through generating, planning, or producing are all important. Creating requires users to put parts together in a new way or synthesize parts into something new and different that creates a new form or product. This process is the most difficult mental function in the new taxonomy. Bloom was very aware that there was an acute difference between knowledge and the mental and intellectual ability to use knowledge. He identified specific types of knowledge as:

  • Terminology

  • Specific facts

  • Conventions

  • Trends

  • Categories

  • Criteria

  • Methodology

  • Generalizations

  • Structures

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