The Wonder Wall

Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity

Foreword by Sir Ken Robinson

Sometimes our attempts to foster creativity can actually stifle it. Author Peter Gamwell, a former teacher and superintendent who has spent more than three decades studying creativity, along with co-writer Jane Daly, share a fresh perspective on how to nurture creativity, innovation, leadership, and engagement in a variety of settings.

You’ll learn how to:

·         Tap the creative and leadership potential in everyone

·         Think bigger by moving from a deficit model of thinking to a strength-based approach

·         Develop the lost arts of listening and storytelling to optimize learning

·         Handle the inevitable pushback and fear that transformational change can bring


Purchase The Wonder Wall directly from Corwin Press


Endorsements for The Wonder Wall

“The Wonder Wall focuses on tapping into the creativity within ourselves to instill fundamental changes in the way people lead organizations and schools. Peter and Jane capture the pragmatic ways in which creativity and innovation can be stimulated and harnessed by bringing the best out of people in every sort of organization. This book isn’t just another bag of tricks for managing organizational change. It is a heartfelt, deeply grounded manifesto for the more visionary and creative styles of servant leadership.”

Sir Ken Robinson, Author/Consultant
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

“All of my life I have been enthused by two things; creativity and simplicity. I’m proud that I got in on the creativity thing before it became uber trendy amongst adults. It’s always been at the heart of our children’s agenda. As time has gone by, I have become increasingly concerned that something as primal and elegantly human as creativity has been stripped of its simplicity by so many, and as a result, turned into something almost mystical and increasingly complex. That’s why, from the day I first met Peter Gamwell, I knew we’d get on. First, because he got it long before I did and second, because he is one of the gifted few who can strip back the nonsense and help us all to rediscover the joy of our natural creative state. This book is Peter bottled; I love it!”

Richard Gerver, Author of Change: Learn to Love it; Learn to Lead it
United Kingdom

“At last, a book which stands courageous at the crossroads where creative theory and practice meet; that Shangri-La where innovation and imagination thrive. Packed with suggestions and practical ideas, it draws a map for all those who believe there is always a better way. It gives leaders the confidence and the strategies to develop those conditions in which individual and group potential can be released. A must-read for all threshold adventurers. I have only one criticism – I wish I’d written it.”

Sir John Jones, Author of The Magic Weaving Business
United Kingdom

“The Wonder Wall has so many important and creative ideas, I suggest everyone read it more than once.”

Ellen J. Langer, Author and Professor
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


“I love this book. I am a huge fan of storytelling, and this book is one great story blended with cutting-edge academic work in the field of human mind and creativity. In The Wonder Wall Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly bring together decades of firsthand experience in creativity, leadership and learning into this volume that I indeed will, as the authors suggest, read twice. I would urge you to do the same if you want to be in the frontline of finding ways to improve your schools.”

Pasi Sahlberg, Author
Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland, Helsinki, Finland

“Inspiring and insightful, The Wonder Wall shows that educational organizations can change, for the better, with the “right” leadership: leadership that sees brilliance in everyone and encourages creativity in all.”

Yong Zhao, Ph.D., Foundation Distinguished Professor
School of Education: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Be brilliant at what you’re best at. Build on your strengths. Belong to something. These are the three imperatives that this great book sets out for young people and those who teach them. It does so with wit, wisdom, up-close experience and a magnificent capacity to tell a good tale of why all people in schools really matter. This book is its own Wonder Wall. When you’ve closed your Ken Robinson book, open this next. You’ll not be disappointed. 

Andy Hargreaves

Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

“In The Wonder Wall Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly speak with honesty, integrity, and insight about ‘Leading Creative Organizations in Times of Complexity’ and express it all with wit, clarity, and humanity. A delight to read and a read that delights and informs – both clever and entertaining! This book is a must for anyone involved in leadership roles or with ambition to find a more successful model for management.”

Derek Brown, CEO
Actorshop, London, England

“Peter Gamwell understands creativity like few people on this planet and now, thanks to this stirring, entertaining, and illuminating book, we’ll all understand it much more. If you’re at all concerned with making the extraordinary happen in your organization, you need to read The Wonder Wall.”

Lou Aronica, New York Times Best-selling Author
President and Publisher of The Story Plant and Fiction Studio Books, Lanham, MD

“Effective and memorable anecdotes will stay in the reader’s mind long after the conclusion of the book. The book acknowledges the drive toward innovative and transformative practices and provides a framework to foster creativity in complex organizations. A strong theory of action, the text highlights creativity, structure, change, and inclusive practices.”

Jill Gildea, Superintendent
Fremont School District 79, Mundelein, IL

“This important book lays out a journey leading to improvement that is strengths-based, and focuses on talent and inclusivity, with the outcome of a creative, innovative, and engaged organization.  For engaging students in school, this book is essential.

Lynn Lisy-Macan, Visiting Assistant Professor
University at Albany- SUNY, Albany, NY

“This book will inspire educators who may be stuck in their current context and encourage them to think out of the box.”

Karen L Tichy, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership
Saint Louis University, School of Education, St Louis, MO

“The authors present a compelling and refreshing narrative that transcends much of the pedestrian nature of education dialogue.  The focus on learning is wonderful.

Peter Dillon, Superintendent of Schools
Berkshire Hills Regional School District, Stockbridge, MA

“Peter Gamwell and Jane Daly have written an alternative manifesto for boldness, innovation and risk in education. They do so with respect and regard for the enormous expectations communities already place on educators. This is an essential read that holds a code as the global community commits to attain the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #4 “Quality Education for All.”
Kathryn White , President and CEO | Présidente et directrice générale
United Nations Association in Canada | Association canadienne pour les Nations Unies , Ontario, Canada