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.



The complex interaction of teaching and learning: Understanding innovative pedagogies

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter starts by locating the work on pedagogy in the wider literature, and identifies some shortcomings surrounding the concept of pedagogy. It then discusses the concept of pedagogy as located in the dynamic interactions of knowledge and practice, of research sciences and creative implementation, and of educational theories and particular practices. The pedagogical continuum is presented as a conceptual tool to identify clusters of innovative pedagogies. The second part of the chapter expands the conceptual framework by including critical reflections about the purpose, effective practice and combinations of pedagogies, the influence of content areas and context, and how to frame system-based pedagogical change. In the last section the building of the compilation is briefly explained, as well as the work with the innovative networks of schools, and the role of these networks to balance the conceptual work of the report, with examples coming from the field.


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