Posted by: kbater | October 10, 2011

Why school systems must innovate

Nelson Gonzalez – Stupski Foundation addressed the OECD Innovative Learning Environment Oct. 10th. 

He put forward some key ideas about why we must innovate:






We have a Mandate:

  • We must democratize education
  • How do we reach all kids – especially those in publicly funded education
  • $2.3 Trillion loss in GNP for United States due to lagging approach in education over last 25 years
  • We are underutilizing our human capital
  • Demographic shifts require a complete overhaul of  our approach education
  • With economic and political shifts and uncertainty we have to adapt

We  have Consensus:

  • Broad agreement that we need to change and innovate

We need to go to scale:

  • Innovation is happening in small pockets
  • Systems are very rigid and are very change resistant

Change mechanisms:

  • We need to develop adaptive design approaches
  • Students need to be at the centre of design – to really focus on R&D
  • Create a network of networks to learn from each other
  • How can we measure our return on investment?
  • Student-centered R&D – in education we spend less than 1% on R&D in industry the norm is 7 to 15%
  • Students must own and drive their own learning – Student Agency
  • Academic knowledge needs – passion for learning, growth mindsets and learning strategies
  • Examples of R&D – Five US schools – learning lab network
  • Focus on 14 and 15 year-old students
  • Need to look at improvement science – the how to of innovation
  • The institute for health care improvement – three big questions – What are we trying to accomplish? How will we know that a change is an improvement? What change can we make that will result in an improvement?
  • Planning cycle -Plan, Do, Study, Act
  • Carnegie Foundation for teacher improvement The Improvement Guide – book on understanding change management – a practical approach to enhancing organizational performance
  • Full-system alignment is also key – how to align the school, district, state (province) – including students, parents – everyone is committed through contracts
  • We need to change culture, reward risk, create identity as knowledge workers
  • Innovation needs a bubble-up approach – change on local level that bubbles up to impact systems

The Opportunity:

  • Create a network of networks – perhaps with OECD leading the process
  • Networks have the power to build new systems

Important questions to ask as we look at the transformation agenda:

  • What is our definition of learning?
  • How do we do R&D with a networked approach to increase it`s effectiveness and to increase speed of change?

    Valerie Hanon's Change Model for innovating in education


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