Posted by: kbater | October 10, 2011

Innovative Learning Environments

CRPS trustees acting as the judging panel on Minister Hancock's remarks

Education Minister Dave Hancock











Alberta Education Minister Dave Hancock opened the OECD Innovative Learning Environments conference in Banff Oct. 10-12 with some interesting comments:

  • No longer acceptable to focus on sustaining education as is
  • Transformation is necessary to create a fluid and adaptive system
  • We need to close the gap between students who succeed and those who don`t
  • Because the world is changing – we need to be a knowledge-based society and economy
  • The challenges and transformation need to be owned by all – by the community
  • Alberta education has 6 action-based agenda`s
  • Students need a sense of belonging and they need choice
  • The Teacher-Student relationship is key to effective learning
  • We need to engage with students around their passion, interests and abilities

Barbara Ischinger – OECD Directorate for Education also welcomed delegates with these comments:

  • Despite high levels of investment education is not delivering on innovation
  • Policy makers are concerned about making measurable improvements
  • OECD has developed a strong battery of tools for measuring
  • PISA tests 500,000 students (15 year olds) around the world
  • TALIS (teaching and learning international survey) shows how teaching practice is changing (or not)
  • It shows that traditional teaching practices are still the norm
  • Important for skills demand and skill supply be matched – education must focus on this
  • OECD innovation strategy asks – what competencies should be developed to enhance innovation? and how can we make education systems more flexible
  • How to make innovation mainstream practice instead of living in small pockets that depend on individual teachers or schools that are inn0vative
  • This conference will provide an opportunity for players from many roles in education and areas of the globe to come together to address how to innovate

    Creating Innovative Learning Environments



  1. We place a lot of emphasis on choice in educain for the parents of students. We have gone to great lengths to offer these choices through Charter Schools and home scholin goptions. I assert that parents are not the best judges when it comes to assessing what is best for students in terms of education. The growth in Calgary of Charter Schools focused for instance on a “back to basics” approach as in Foundations for the Future is disturbinbg. The CBE has opened it’s own Traditional Learning programs at schools to compete with these schools and lure students – actually their parents – back into the public system. I think that money talks and the Province should require School Boards to support through incentive money, grants, bonuses, the experimentation with new curricula, learing environments, philosophies, rather than defaulting to a consumer driven approach which to my mind plays to the lowest common denominator.

  2. […] for tomorrow project and the Innovative Learning Environment project.  Last fall the latest OECD Innovative Learning Environment meetings were held in Banff at the Banff Centre and Sir Ken Robinson was a key note speaker.  Sir Ken has […]

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