3 Thoughts on Innovation in Education Heading into the New School Year

The #InnovatorsMindset book study on Instagram just wrapped up, and it was a great learning experience for myself and hopefully, the participants that took their own time (most on a break) to connect, create and model their learning openly.

From their creations, I want to share a few thoughts that I have on “innovation in education.” As I have stressed, innovation in education does not equal technology, but it is a mindset in how we create new and better opportunities for learning.  This will mean that we will always have to look at education through fresh eyes and push our learning and growth as individuals to grow as a system.

Through the reflection of others, here are three of my most immediate thoughts from this process.

1. Why is “success” in education usually defined by others FOR our students, without their input? 

Zach Miller created this image through the #InnovatorsMindset book study:

What one person deems as successful for themselves, could be deemed a failure by someone else, and vice-versa.  This isn’t about getting rid of measures within our schools; it is about not limiting measures of “success” to what the adults see as successful, and having a students’ ownership on their journey and destination.

2. When educators criticize “the system,” we have to realize that we are also a part of the system. How do we create better experiences for our students within the constraints that we work?

This image is from Nanci Greene:

This doesn’t mean that there are outside agencies that don’t have an impact on education in a negative way, but it is focusing on what we can do within education and not wait for someone else to create solutions moving forward.  The best educators do not wait for others to make things happen in their context; they are creating opportunities in their classrooms on a daily basis.

3. We should never hold our students (or colleagues) back based on what we don’t know.

This image was created by @KylaSchooling:

What this DOESN’T mean is that teachers should have to learn everything and have no content knowledge. What it does mean is that we do not know everything, and the learners in our classrooms know things we don’t. What can we learn from them, and how do we create an environment where learning is not limited to the knowledge of the teacher but the wisdom of the community, locally and globally.

I encourage people to take a look at the “#innovatorsmindset hashtag on Instagram as there are a ton of great little videos, reflections, and media created by participants that may help you in your learning, but also can help you create learning opportunities for others.

Source: George Couros