Innovation (the act of introducing ‘new things or methods‘) is a term used frequently by educationists. As a class teacher, I am always looking for new ways of ‘innovating’ in my practice in order to develop and hopefully (though not always, as is the nature of change!) advance the learning experiences of the children I teach. Evaluation and analysis of such change is the key to understanding its impact. This is not new thinking yet it is crucial if innovation is to be successful in the long term.
After reading this post from 99U.com about the science behind innovation and innovators I began thinking about the implications for education and the links to professional development. Whilst I am by no means claiming to be an innovator in my field, I do believe that many teachers, particularly educators on twitter, do show signs of these 5 traits in their approach to professional development. Perhaps, these traits could even provide a useful model for CPD in schools or at least a nice frame on which to mount a model.
Picking apart these traits even further perhaps they are also behaviours that, if explicitly built into learning experiences, would benefit the learners we teach. Certainly, in many ways, I hope that the children I teach experience and have the opportunity to explore these behaviours in our classroom. And I am sure that this is the case for many teachers around the world. Certainly, many innovations in learning such as ‘Design Thinking‘ from NoTosh are beginning to take into account the processes involved in empowering learners to develop a ‘robust learning mindset for their future’.
Perhaps, equipping learners with innovative traits and skills could be an innovation in teaching and learning practice with great impact.
Then again, are innovative traits something that can be learned? Is innovative behaviour actually innate and naturally developed? I’m not sure but perhaps it is worth experimenting with!