Critical Creativity in the K-12 Classroom

Dan Ryder

Success & Innovation Center Education Director by title, idea wrangler, design thinker, improviser and educator by practice, co-author of Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom (, Dan Ryder has taught for nearly 20 years at Mt. Blue Campus in Farmington, Maine.  He has presented his work on critical creativity, empathy fueled problem solving, and the improviser’s mindset at numerous conferences and workshops, including SXSWedu and Stanford d.School’s K12 Summit. Co-founder of education consultancy, Wicked Decent Learning, Apple Distinguished Educator,  and an advocate for online tribe finding, Dan can be followed @wickeddecent across the social media edu-sphere.  He lives with his brilliantly beautiful librarian wife and their two creatively hilarious kids in western Maine.


How might we choreograph a short story, remix a political party, sketchnote an equation, costume a scientific phenomenon, or hashtag a nutrition plan? Veteran classroom educator Dan Ryder, believes intentional acts of creative expression enables deeper learning, turning the creative spirit into a force for authentic understanding. During this MasterClass, learn how to apply critical creativity to formative and summative assessments for any learning environment.  Expect to complete the course with a collection of activities and assessments ready to implement at a moment’s notice, as well as the mindset necessary to remix, mashup, and design your own rigorous whimsy experiences.     

Additional Speaking

Accept, Communicate, Trust: Innovating with an Improviser’s Mindset

Empathy Fueled, Human Centered Literacy:  Design Thinking the Humanities

No More Dumpster Projects:  Adopting the Design Thinking Mindset

The Rigorous Whimsy Mindset