Educational Research and Innovation

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

English
ISSN: 
2076-9679 (online)
ISSN: 
2076-9660 (print)
DOI: 
10.1787/20769679
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This series of books from the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovations provides the results of OECD work on innovation in education.

Also available in French
 
Measuring Innovation in Education

Measuring Innovation in Education

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Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

English
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Author(s):
OECD
17 July 2014
Pages
332
ISBN
9789264215696 (PDF) ;9789264215689(print)
DOI: 
10.1787/9789264215696-en

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Do teachers innovate? Do they try different pedagogical approaches? Are practices within classrooms and educational organisations changing? And to what extent can change be linked to improvements? A measurement agenda is essential to an innovation and improvement strategy in education. Measuring Innovation in Educationoffers new perspectives on addressing the need for such measurement.

This book’s first objective is informative: it gives readers new international comparative information about innovation in education compared to other sectors. And it documents change in a variety of dimensions of school practices between 1999 and 2011. Its second objective is methodological: it assesses two approaches to capturing the extent and type of innovation occurring within and across education systems. The third objective is exploratory: this book showcases a large-scale pilot that presents over 200 measures of innovation in education using existing international data. Last but not least, the fourth objective is prospective: this report proposes new approaches to measuring innovation in education in the future.

This book is the beginning of a new journey: it calls for innovations in the field of measurement – and not just of education.

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Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Innovation drives improvement, either incrementally by advancing existing processes or more radically by introducing new practices. Improving people’s life and education requires to better document and understand what is (and will) change in education, a central mission of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.

  • Executive summary

    The ability to measure innovation is essential to an improvement strategy in education. Knowing whether, and how much, practices are changing within classrooms and educational organisations, how teachers develop and use their pedagogical resources, and to what extent change can be linked to improvements would provide a substantial increase in the international education knowledge base.

  • Overview: Why and how to measure innovation in education

    This Overview highlights the importance of measuring innovation in education, presents the methodology, objectives and findings of the book, and proposes new ways to improve measures of educational innovation in the future.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Comparing innovation in education with other sectors

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    • Highly innovative workplaces in education and other sectors
    • Employee participation in innovation in education and other sectors

      A proportion of graduate employees have characterised their workplace as having high or very high levels of innovation. These highly innovative workplaces may focus on one type of innovation or incorporate several types. The existence of highly innovative workplaces within the education sector can be compared with other sectors, such as manufacturing or other public services. Exploring differences in the proportion of such highly innovative workplaces at different levels of education provides insights into how these are spread across primary, secondary and higher education.

    • Speed of adoption of innovation in education and other sectors

      Employees may or may not have a role to play in introducing innovations into their workplace. For those who do, such participation may be focused on a specific type of innovation, or across various types. The extent to which employees participate in innovation within the education sector can be compared with other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing or other public services. Differences across primary, secondary and higher education can also be explored to understand whether participation is more common at some levels than others.

    • Highly innovative jobs

      A workplace may sometimes be at the forefront of adopting innovations or new knowledge or methods (described as lead innovation adoption), whether or not it is highly innovative. Analysis of lead innovation adoption can identify the extent to which such activities are observed in the education sector within more innovative organisations. The education sector can also be compared with other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing or other public services and across primary, secondary and higher education.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Innovation as change in classrooms and schools

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    • Innovation in teaching style

      It is possible to measure the percentage of recent graduates who have highly innovative jobs - that is jobs in highly innovative workplaces where they themselves participate in introducing the innovation - by deriving a new variable from their responses to the two questions reported in Chapters 1 and 2. Such highly innovative jobs may combine various kinds of innovation or focus on a specific type of innovation. The education sector can be compared with other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing or other public services to see which have the largest proportion of highly innovative jobs. Exploring differences between innovative jobs across levels of education is also important, highly innovative jobs may not be equally distributed amongst primary, secondary and higher education.

    • Innovation in instructional practices

      Innovation in the classroom in terms of teaching style could incorporate more or less use of front-of-class teaching such as lecturing in class, reading aloud or demonstrating science experiments. The aim of innovation with regard to increasing the use of front-of-class teaching could be, for example, to ensure that basic principles are explained to the whole class, whilst a reduction may occur as a result of the introduction of a more individualised approach to classroom teaching. Innovation could also take the form of more or less time devoted to independent work. An increase in independent work may reflect a move towards engendering greater autonomy whilst a decrease could indicate a change towards more direct teacher guidance.

    • Innovation in class organisation

      Innovation in instructional practices could incorporate changes in the extent to which students apply their knowledge and skills to their real lives or to activities such as interpretation of data or reasoning. The aim of such innovation may be to encourage engagement and motivation by making lessons more salient or to encourage students’ critical thinking skills. A reduction in these practices may occur if teachers explore innovative alternatives or seek to spend the time on different activities.

    • Innovation in the use of textbooks in classrooms

      Innovation in the classroom can also be seen through different ways of organising the class for different instructional purposes. Teachers may innovate by adapting the organisation of the class according to the subject and type of content they are delivering. Teachers may also give more or less autonomy to students through self- directed work or provide students with individualised instruction. The aim of increasing these types of instructional practices could be, for example, to facilitate collaborative learning between students, or to address specific educational needs whilst a decrease might reflect a wish to reduce the extent to which students regroup and move around the classroom or to increase the time they spend learning directly from the teacher.

    • Innovation in the methods of assessment used in classrooms

      Innovation in the classroom can also incorporate different approaches to the use of textbooks as instructional material. Teachers may choose to make more or less use of textbooks either as a basis for instruction or as supplementary tools. The aim of innovation with regard to the use of textbooks could be, for example, to align classroom curriculum with standards through a stricter or a more lenient adherence with textbook contents, while reduced use of textbooks could reflect an intention to introduce alternative sources such as Open Educational Resources, or to champion more active pedagogies.

    • Innovation in the availability of computers and the internet in the classroom

      Innovation in classrooms can include a change in the methods teachers use to assess the students over time. Teachers may innovate by administering different types of tests, as well as by evaluating students through their daily activities and outputs. The aim of innovation in this respect could be, for example, to change the type of assessment in order to better monitor student performance or to better address students’ needs and identify potential solutions for improving their learning outcomes.

    • Innovation in the use of computers in the classroom

      Innovation in the classroom can take the form of providing students with access to computers and the internet. Schools may choose to invest in more computer and network equipment in their classes to be used as a tool for instruction during lessons, or they may reduce computer use in the classroom, possibly in favour of using technology in other ways or collecting ICT together in dedicated technology suites. The aim of innovation with regard to increasing computer and internet availability could be, for example, to make students familiar with the use of ICT and to facilitate the pedagogical use of technology in classrooms.

    • Innovation in the provision of special education in schools

      Innovation in the classroom includes different possibilities for using computers during classroom instruction across subjects. Teachers may choose to integrate their instruction with a wider or narrower use of computers to serve different pedagogical purposes. The aim of innovation with regard computer use could be, for example, for students to develop an adequate set of digital competencies in primary school and to make students more aware of the usefulness of computers for their learning. A reduction in ICT use in the classroom may result from innovations such as a decision to provide computers for the home, or a preference for providing hands on experience through real objects and experiments rather than virtual ones.

    • Innovation in the extent of teacher collaboration in schools

      Innovation in schools can take the form of providing special education opportunities for students. Schools may choose to offer remedial education to students who need additional support to catch up or keep up with the required skill level of their grade. Schools may also innovate by offering enrichment education for students who have specific interest in a certain discipline and would flourish with extra challenges. The aim of innovation with regard to increasing the use of special education could be, for example, to reduce the inequality in terms of student outcomes and avoid grade repetition, while giving talented students the opportunity to reach their full learning potential. A reduction in the use of remedial education may reflect an innovation such as a move to whole class activities.

    • Innovation in feedback mechanisms in schools

      Innovation in schools can take the form of increased or reduced collaboration among teachers in different ways. Teachers may collaborate with their colleagues by sharing knowledge or by preparing instructional materials together, or they could work independently to develop materials that are highly tailored to their specific class. The aim of innovation with regard to teacher collaboration could be, for example, to foster the diffusion of particularly effective practices and to favour collaborative learning environments for teachers. Additionally, teachers could learn about new practices by observing what happens in their colleagues’ classrooms. Alternatively, change may occur to reduce the potential stress of being observed, or the time commitment required to observe colleagues.

    • Innovation in evaluation and hiring in schools

      Innovation in schools can take the form of a change in the use of benchmarking, monitoring and feedback activities. Student assessment and achievement data may be used for comparing a school’s performance against national benchmarks, against other schools or for monitoring its progress over time to better understand its strengths and weaknesses. Feedback received from assessments can be used for further instructional and curriculum improvement. The aim of innovation with regard to increasing the use of benchmarking, monitoring and feedback activities could be, for example, to improve teaching quality through increased feedback. A decrease may result from the desire to decrease between-school competition or limit the burden of data collection by reducing these activities.

    • Innovation in schools' external relations

      Innovation in schools can also include changes in practices such as evaluation, hiring and retention. Teachers may be evaluated externally by inspectors or through internal review by their peers. Schools may also innovate by changing the extent to which they use achievement and assessment data to evaluate teacher and principal performances. Innovation in schools could also concern the use of incentives for recruitment and retention purposes. The aim of innovation with regard to teacher evaluation could be, for example, to improve the quality of teaching and teachers’ effectiveness, while an increased use of incentives could be a response to a greater degree of competition among schools, to ensure the presence of talented teachers on the staff.

    • Composite indices of innovation in classrooms and schools

      Innovation in schools can incorporate changes to external relation practices whether aimed at informing parents on their child’s performance or to involve them in certain activities as well as for self-promotion purposes. The aim of innovation with regard to external relations could be, for example, to create a stronger and supportive sense of community between schools, parents and students as well as to promote the schools and extend their outreach to previously under served students.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Change in educational outcomes

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    • Innovation and educational outcomes

      Combining information about the extent to which school and classroom practices have changed provides important insights into the extent and focus of innovation within education in different education systems. An education system may be widely innovative, changing many practices at different levels and across subjects, or it may focus on certain aspects more than others. A focus on school change rather than classroom change may indicate innovations designed to improve whole school results, whilst those education systems with more innovation at 8th grade than 4th grade may be seeking innovations that improve higher education options and labour market opportunities for students. Innovation activities that focus on one subject over another may be designed to address identified weaknesses or to build on perceived strengths within the wider economy, for example.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Annexes

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    • Data sources and methods

      Measures of innovation can be used to better understand how innovation relates to educational outcomes. The extent of innovation may be associated with various types of educational outcome, including learning outcomes, equality and equity. It may also be related to expenditure trends. A positive association between innovation and specific outcomes might occur if the innovation led to some improvements at the classroom or school level. This could also be implied through a positive association with innovation and changes in outcomes across time. Innovation may also be positively associated with equity, particularly if innovation occurs to tackle previous inequalities or to drive improvements across the whole school. Conversely, certain outcomes my lead to more innovation at classroom or school level, either because they increase the freedom or the pressure to innovate. If no association between innovation and outcomes is observed, it may be that innovations are expected to have an impact over the longer term or that other confounding factors have prevented an improvement in outcomes. Indeed, it is possible that innovation was necessary in order to arrest a potential fall in outcomes caused by issues such as budget cuts or staff shortages. Alternatively, it is possible that these innovations were not intended to target the outcomes analysed. This chapter explores some of the complex relationships between innovation and outcomes in education and considers plausible explanations for the patterns found. More regular assessment would help to build on this knowledge to better understand the driving factors behind relationships observed.

    • Composite innovation indices

      Annex A presents the different data sources, the coverage of the statistics (target, countries, years), as well as sample sizes for the different data.

    • Countries' top 5 areas of classroom-level innovations

      This Annex explains how the composite innovation indices have been computed.

    • Countries' top 5 areas of school-level innovations
    • Country index
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