Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What would it mean to teach innovation in schools?

Innovation should not be a separate discipline but rather an approach that is an integral part of all subjects.
There is no doubt that if you support learning processes that are modern, efficient and which invite students to be creative in their daily work – this will help the innovation perspective.

But what is it then specifically that distinguishes ”normal”, good teaching learning methods from learning with an eye to innovation?

In my opinion the crucial factor would be that in learning for innovation, the world is presented as something which is under continuous change – a development each of us has the possibility to affect.

We live in a time in which we increasingly will be expected to act and develop in relation to the contexts we are part of. Thus, we should not merely accept the facts and circumstances that we are presented with as static, but rather see them as stages of a continued process.

This requires that one understands the history that preceded the present, and that one understands the forces that are driving development.
It implies that one decides if a situation is satisfactory and good, or if it should be changed.
And it requires that one feels relatively at ease dealing with uncertainty and change.

This all means that teaching innovation would have 5 distinct assumptions integrated:
- Understanding the world as being under continuous change
- Understanding that each of us has the possibility and is under demand to participate in the further development
- A critical, assessing approach to the existing conditions
- Knowledge of the tools that are necessary in order to act in relation to the development
- A physical environment that can be changed and which invites its users to create and experiment

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