Schools at the Crossroads of Innovation in Cities and Regions

image of Schools at the Crossroads of Innovation in Cities and Regions

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.




Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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.


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