Rule Breakers, Risk Takers & Innovators | Harbord & Khan | 4 Min Read

December 15, 2022

In the book The Sandman, Neil Gaiman refers to rules and responsibilities as “the ties that bind us.” But should we always be bound by these ties and follow the rules? There are times when breaking the rules offers greater creative opportunities for powerful change and can inspire new, innovative ideas. We love new, improved, updated versions of the products we use, as they support the new, improved, updated versions of the lives we want to lead. Leonard Mlodinow, theoretical physicist and science author, calls our love of novelty neophilia, the love of the new. New as change. We take risks to break the rules because as humans we are excited by change. Change is a form of rule-breaking. If breaking the rules is synonymous with punishment, how can we advocate it as something that is in our students’ best interests? We clearly are not saying anyone should break the law. Rather, is breaking the rules always wrong? 

Sometimes it is essential to break rules for change, so let’s have a look at some famous rule breakers. Steve Jobs is a great example as he often broke design rules throughout his time at Apple. One…

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Harbord and Khan

Meredith Harbord EdD and Sara Riaz Khan are global educators who use ethical dilemmas to enrich and transform curriculum. Their student centric approach is driven by an ethical model and innovative tools that support critical thinking and creativity. Meredith and Sara’s collaboration as Design teachers at ABA Oman International School in Muscat, focused on sustainability, ethical design and global mindedness and inspired them to establish Harbord & Khan Educational Consultants. They develop units of work based on real world issues to engage and challenge students for diverse curriculums (IB, PBL, Common Core and Australian) and are available for professional development and to create programs to meet the specific needs of your school. Meredith and Sara have authored two teacher curriculum books ‘Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 1, 2 & 3’ and ‘Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 4 & 5’ (2020). Website: