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 Innovative Pedagogies for Powerful Learning networks

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter provides an overview of the features of a large set of networks working on innovative pedagogies. The networks are classified into three categories: “Pedagogical Approach Networks”, which includes networks implementing the same innovations and defined by common pedagogical principles; “Innovation Promotion Networks”, which features those networks that share their different innovative pedagogies; and “Professional Learning Networks”, which are focused on providing professional development to schools and teachers. Using the responses to a questionnaire completed by 68 different network members, including practitioners and main organisers, the chapter links lessons from classrooms with the views of those leading and managing the network according to their mission and principles. The chapter concludes by discussing the factors describing why many networks have grown and continue to do so, while others are deliberately maintaining stable membership. It additionally discusses those elements which hinder growth.


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