Innovating to Learn, Learning to Innovate

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Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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03 Nov 2008
9789264047983 (PDF) ;9789264047976(print)

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OECD economies have experienced the transformation from their traditional industrial base to the knowledge era, in which learning and innovation are central. Yet, many of today’s schools have not caught up: they continue to operate as they did in the earlier decades of the 20 century. This book summarises and discusses key findings from the learning sciences, shedding light on the cognitive and social processes that can be used to redesign classrooms to make them highly effective learning environments. It explores concrete examples in OECD countries, from alternative schools to specific cases in Mexico, in which the actors are seeking to break the mould and realise the principles emerging from learning science research. The book also asks how these insights can inspire educational reform for the knowledge era, in which optimising learning is the driving aim and in which innovation is both the widespread catalyst of change and the defining result.
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  • Executive Summary
    OECD economies have experienced the transformation from their traditional industrial base to the knowledge era in which learning and innovation are central. Yet, many of today’s schools have not caught up as they continue to operate as they did in the earlier decades of the 20th Century. How can learning within and outside schools be reconfigured in environments that foster the deeper knowledge and skills so crucial in our new century? To succeed in this is not only important for a successful economy, but also for effective cultural and social participation and for citizens to live fulfilling lives.
  • The Search for Innovative Learning Environments
    This chapter starts with the core competences and knowledge that OECD education systems aim to develop in their students for the 21st Century to argue that the current organisation of OECD education systems may well not provide the optimal environments to facilitate the acquisition of these skills. It analyses four sources to enrich the reform agenda: a) findings and principles derived from the learning sciences; b) research-based innovations; c) the experience and lessons of alternative schooling; and d) some highly innovative cases in the field. It concludes that these offer the basis of a new paradigm at the centre of the educational reform agenda.
  • Optimising Learning Implications of Learning Sciences Research
    This chapter introduces the field of learning sciences, and outlines some of its key findings in recent years. It explains that while the standard model of schooling was designed to prepare students for the industrial age, the global shift to the knowledge economy will require the rethinking of schooling in order to accommodate evolving needs. Several key findings of learning sciences research and how they align with the needs of the knowledge economy are explained.
  • Toward Research-based Innovation
    This chapter focuses on defining and exploring the area of research-based innovation in education. The authors provide an overview of several new approaches of research-based innovation in the learning sciences, and propose five dimensions of comparing other educational approaches to their own approach of Knowledge Building.
  • The Contribution of Alternative Education
    This chapter introduces the concept of alternative education in its various different forms and approaches. The author explores the context, history and development of several alternative forms of education utilised worldwide. In addition she explores the notions of the culture of learning for each, including the conception of the learner, realisation of the learning environment, role of teachers, curricula and culture of assessment. The chapter also calls for a reassessment of alternative models of education in light of what the learning sciences reveal on cognitive and social processes which result in effective learning.
  • Situated Pedagogies, Curricular Justice and Democratic Teaching
    This chapter explores new forms of teaching and learning – pedagogical alternatives which are committed to challenging unquestioned school traditions. The notion that the transformation of traditional grade school pedagogy can enlarge the possibilities of personal, community and social development is explored.
  • The Construction of Learning Environments Lessons from the Mexico Exploratory Phase
    This chapter provides an overview of the main outputs of the analysis undertaken during the exploratory phase of CERI work on innovative learning environments. Main themes are introduced, with reference to key ideas and research on innovations, which are largely gleaned from the four study cases explored in Mexico.
  • What Makes Innovations Work on the Ground?
    This chapter outlines ways in which we can view innovations as managerial processes, and how the various factors inter-relate. Three sets of innovation processes and features of innovative educational processes are defined, forming a theoretical scheme through which the innovative field experiences as the four Mexican cases can be analysed.
  • The Dynamics of Innovation Why Does it Survive and What Makes it Function
    This chapter explores the various dynamics of the processes of innovation and change. The author suggests that it is through the examination of actual endeavours that truly innovative procedures may be successfully activated. To this end, she defines four phases of innovation in the context of the transformation of education, which are illustrated utilising the four Mexican case studies.
  • Open Learning A Systems-driven Model of Innovation for Education
    This chapter introduces the idea of a systemic approach to open innovation: one that is driven by demand from learners and those funding learning. The author details the way that in this approach, innovative practices can be incorporated directly into systems at a small scale and then diffused such that they influence governance and, in turn, larger scale reform. He furthermore cites recent examples in which this approach to innovation is applicable.
  • Annex A
    As explained in the foreword and Chapter 6 of this publication, CERI started the analytical work on innovative learning environments as part of the "Schooling for Tomorrow" project. From July 2005 to June 2006, with Mexico in the lead role, a network of national and international experts was selected to reflect together about this issue. The concluding event of this exploratory phase was the OECD-Mexico International Conference "Emerging Models of Learning and Innovation" held in Merida, Yucatan, on 14-16 June2006.
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