Teachers as Designers of Learning Environments

The Importance of Innovative Pedagogies

image of Teachers as Designers of Learning Environments

Pedagogy is at the heart of teaching and learning. Preparing young people to become lifelong learners with a deep knowledge of subject matter and a broad set of social skills requires a better understanding of how pedagogy influences learning. Focusing on pedagogies shifts the perception of teachers from technicians who strive to attain the education goals set by the curriculum to experts in the art and science of teaching. Seen through this lens, innovation in teaching becomes a problem-solving process rooted in teachers’ professionalism, rather than an add-on applied by only some teachers in some schools.

Teachers as Designers of Learning Environments: The Importance of Innovative Pedagogies provides a snapshot of innovative pedagogies used in classrooms around the world. It sets the stage for educators and policy makers to innovate teaching by looking at what is currently taking place in schools as potential seeds for change. At the heart of all of these approaches is a sensitivity to the natural inclinations of learners towards play, creativity, collaboration and inquiry. To illustrate how teachers use these innovative practices, the publication presents examples from 27 national and international networks of schools.

It is now generally acknowledged that the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. This volume goes a step further to argue that a teacher cannot help students meet new educational challenges by continuing to draw on a limited and perhaps even inherited set of pedagogies. And here lies the genuine importance of innovative pedagogies.




Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

The use of videogames in innovation and teaching is a major new trend. Part of this importance lies in the attractiveness of making learning as fun and engaging as videogames. The challenge of using gamification as pedagogy comes from the generalised idea that it is rather a pure ‘motivational’ resource to make lessons more appealing, but not a new way of thinking about teaching and learning. This chapter covers the concept of gamification as an approach seeking to transfer the pedagogical mechanisms of games into formal teaching. The discussion then looks at key elements for the effective implementation of gamification, including the identification of particular challenges that need to be addressed, like using gamification as ‘chocolate-covered broccoli’ to reinforce traditional teaching. A key idea outlined in this chapter is the need to connect gamification with formal pedagogies in a way in which guides students to perform these tasks they cannot yet perform independently.


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