I am extremely lucky to work in an organization that sets enormously high standards and one that accepts disequilibrium as part of the change process. I’m also well aware that this is uncommon in most school districts. Twenty-first-century challenges need 21st-century approaches; however, school leaders are often quick to adopt minor improvements to existing systems in lieu of larger changes that would upset the status quo. What is needed in the current state of education are more moonshots.

What is moonshot thinking?

Moonshot thinking is going 10x bigger or better. While most organizations try to improve by 10 percent, organizations that think outside the box and strive for 10x better tend to approach problems in drastically different ways and—more times than not—achieve 10x better results.

Why is moonshot thinking needed in education?

Classroom teachers and school leaders are hampered by poor educational policies at all levels, cash-hungry textbook publishers, and a school system that is often slow to adopt innovations. If we are truly going to prepare students for their futures, it is time we all start thinking 10x bigger. At Garnet Valley, we have begun to do just that with several of our most recent projects. Moonshot thinking has enabled our medium-size district to achieve extraordinary results within the last few years and all without increasing our budget.

Next page: How has moonshot thinking helped districts improve?

About the Author:

Samuel Mormando (@SamMormando) is the Director of Technology, Innovation, and Online Learning for the Garnet Valley School District in Pennsylvania. Under his leadership, Garnet Valley has become recognized as a model for authentic and purposeful innovation focused on student achievement and student experiences. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate in School Leadership at Widener University.


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