Educational Research and Innovation

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

2076-9679 (online)
2076-9660 (print)
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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
Schools at the Crossroads of Innovation in Cities and Regions

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Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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25 Sep 2017
9789264282766 (PDF) ; 9789264284326 (EPUB) ;9789264282759(print)

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Many people would not consider schools among the most innovative institutions of modern societies. This perception is not entirely accurate, since education is innovating in many ways in order to meet the demands of the 21st century economies and societies. But teachers and schools cannot do it alone. They should be seen as actors and partners in broader ecosystems of innovation and learning at the local and regional levels. Schools are networking organisations, making important contributions to the regional economy and local community. Businesses, industry, organisations and communities can help and support schools, and can also benefit from their roles in learning, knowledge development and innovation.

This report serves as the background report to the third Global Education Industry Summit which was held on 25-26 September 2017 in Luxembourg. On the basis of recent OECD analysis, it discusses innovation in education, schools driving progress and well-being in communities, the role of industry and employers in supporting schools and suggests policies towards better ecosystems of learning and innovation. The report argues for better networking and partnerships between schools, regional industries and local communities.

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  • Foreword

    In the past couple of years we have seen an increasing number of arguments and appeals for innovation in our education systems. Most of them focus on internal components of education systems: teachers, pedagogies, curricula, school organisation, leadership etc. The implicit assumption is that education systems have to generate the energy and capacity for innovation internally, and the fact that schools and education system generally seem to be unable to do so is seen as one of their biggest failures. Very few accounts of innovation in education have looked at the broader context and the external relations of schools as drivers of innovation. The outside world is mostly seen as generating the rationales and urgency for innovating schools, such as technological change or societal complexity and diversity. This report argues that we need to see schools as networking institutions and part of encompassing ecosystems of learning and innovation. It is only by conceptualising schools as part of broader ecosystems that we can understand and foster change and innovation.

  • Executive summary

    This background report for the 3rd Global Education Industry Summit examines the role of schools within a broader ecosystem of innovation and learning. These summits bring together ministers and high-level education officials with representatives of industry and business, specifically the growing education industry, to discuss innovation in education and how policy makers and industry leaders can jointly contribute towards fostering it.

  • Innovation, education and learning: An ecosystems approach

    This chapter provides a general introduction to the theme of the 3rd Global Education Industry Summit. It considers the need for innovation in education to raise productivity and efficiency, increase equity, and improve outcomes overall, and how best to define and measure innovation in the sector. Given the complexity of modern learning systems, which now extend well beyond schools, it introduces new ways to think about whole-of-system change and an ecosystems approach to education, learning and innovation. It discusses the relevance of the local and regional dimension, including learning cities and regions, to developing innovation. Finally it considers the changing demands for skills in the 21st century and the critical need to include the voice of employers and industry in any discussion on innovation in education.

  • Innovative schools

    This chapter looks at the characteristics of innovative schools. Drawing on the findings of the Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) project, it uses case studies to illustrate how schools can innovate by regrouping the four elements of the pedagogical core: learners (who?), educators (with whom?), content (what?) and resources (with what?) to rethink how traditional schools work. It then considers schools as learning organisations themselves: how they can become formative organisations with strong learning leadership, constantly informed by evidence. Finally, it discusses how technology has the potential to enhance innovation in schools by improving engagement and motivation and support student-driven learning and inquiry, interaction and collaboration, and considers the evidence for improved outcomes from investment in information and communications technology (ICT) in schools.

  • Schools driving progress and well-being in local communities

    With schools no longer seen as secluded spaces for learning, this chapter asks what can be learned from schools that partner with businesses, other educational services and cultural organisations, and truly engage with and contribute to their local community for the benefit of all concerned. Using case studies from the Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) project, it shows how schools can serve their communities through extracurricular and service-learning, teaching their students lifelong civic engagement, and how schools benefit from partnerships with businesses and cultural organisations. Noting the multidimensional nature of learning ecosystems, with learning taking place in families, workplaces and communities as well as schools, it considers how the barriers between formal, non-formal and informal learning can be broken down as networked learning systems evolve. Ultimately, such networks could become more than the sum of their parts, and make schools more widely accountable to their students, parents, and the community as a whole.

  • Local economy supporting schools

    This chapter looks the role of employers in innovation and some of the most important ways that they can engage in education and support schools. It outlines the benefits of employers being involved in vocational education and training (VET), particularly through work-based learning which offers students a high-quality real world learning environment, and improves labour market outcomes for employers and employees. It considers the key factors for successful VET systems, including the involvement of employers and trades unions, and effective local implementation. It goes on to consider enterprises as learning organisations themselves and the relationship between firms which put learning at the centre of their organisation, and levels of innovation and lifelong learning more widely. Finally it discusses the engagement of employers in education policy making and their priorities for education reform.

  • Policies for better ecosystems of innovation

    This chapter considers the role of local, regional and central government policies in creating the conditions for schools to engage in innovation ecosystems. It examines the role of schools as partners in regional and local renewal, by delivering the skills on which local economies depend, acting as key nodes in the social fabric of their communities, and raising aspirations among local people to sustain change and innovation. It lays out a practical strategy schools can use to open up to businesses and the wider community and goes on to look at how businesses, not-for-profit organisations and other associations can benefit from developing partnerships with schools in their area. Finally it lays out the role of the regions in supporting innovation, and the policy principles behind creating learning cities and regions.

  • Report from the 2015 Global Education Industry Summit, held in Helsinki on 19-20 October 2015

    The following text provides a report, drafted by the general rapporteur and the session facilitators, of the discussions that took place at the first Global Education Industry Summit in Helsinki on 19-20 October 2015.

  • Report from the 2016 Global Education Industry Summit, held in Jerusalem on 26-27 September 2016

    Prepared by the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel, the host of the Summit.

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