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.



Schools driving progress and well-being in local communities

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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.


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