Why Innovation is Critical in Education
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Why Innovation is Critical in Education

How will education reinvent and remake itself in response to the megatrends shaping the future of our societies in the current era, and then educate learners for their future rather than our past?

Post by RK News on Monday, January 16, 2023

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Dr. SAJAD AHMAD MIR

Innovation is one possible intervention. However, it has become such an overused term that everyone these days strives to be innovative and encourages others to innovate. But, when you think about it, it's overused for a reason. It's a single word that encapsulates everything exciting about any institution or industry—a goal to strive for because it means you're unique, your ideas are innovative, and your work is almost magical. The importance of innovation in the educational system cannot be overstated. We want and need our students to enjoy learning. We can engage students in ways we've never done before by being innovative, which is pretty incredible. Because the term "innovation" is overused, it can be defined in a variety of ways:

  • Innovation in education means change, the change which is doing what is the best for all students in economic way.
  • Innovation is finding any way to reach all of your students. This entails being willing and flexible to change what and how you teach. We can keep our students engaged and excited to learn this way, as well as create a safe environment for them to make mistakes, take risks, and ask questions.
  • Education innovation is always looking for new and unique ideas in instructional techniques that will reach students in more effective and exciting ways.
  • In education, innovation means thinking outside the box and challenging established methods and strategies in order to support the success of all students and ourselves. This transformation may be minor or extensive, but it is carried out with care to support whole students.
  • Allowing imagination to flourish and not being afraid to try new things is what innovation in education entails. Sometimes these new things fail, but when they succeed, it is fantastic. However, without the right attitude, innovation is just a buzzword, and the art of education would miss out on some significant achievements.
  • Being innovative entails staying informed about new educational trends and technology.

Keeping in view above definitions, to me, innovation is a change which is novel, inexpensive and context based. This way, innovation in education means a change through which we can reach to all of the students by exciting them through a novel approach in economic way. The examples below may meet the criteria for innovation in education based on the definition provided above.

Use of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) bins in the classroom and to engage students in STEM-related activities to make learning exciting for everyone might be an innovation. In the same way, It can be also an innovation to recognize a student as a guest teacher and give him or her the opportunity to share their passion with the class for 5 to 10 minutes. Similarly, the use of graphic novels by students to help them remember historical information is an innovation. Also, an innovation can allow students to grade their own exams on tech-enabled devices, where they receive immediate feedback and can take the time to comprehend incorrect answers. In a similar vein, the TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) rubric, which includes various indicators such as objectives, activities, questioning, and feed backing, can be used as a reliable gauge of student improvement on a daily basis and can even be innovative.

Another strategy for encouraging innovation and creativity is project-based learning. Project-based learning combines multiple disciplines into one project rather than having students work on a single project in a math class. It encourages deeper, more active learning. For instance, as part of a project, students must design their own smart city and persuade other students to relocate there. In this project, the community will be designed, a government and educational system will be established, the neighborhoods will be described, the employment opportunities will be outlined, the community's climate will be chosen, and technology viewpoints will be identified. Writing, math, social studies, science, and the arts are all combined. By doing this, students consider every step that goes into building a city or a nation. They gain knowledge about their current political system, society, and standard of living. Nothing is more satisfying for a teacher than to observe the academic development of his or her students

Another project-based learning that the institution's head can implement is a model for a school parliament, which is yet another approach to instilling innovation. It can be developed as a parliamentary-style model for use in primary school student representative council proceedings (SRC). It must be founded on a number of institutional features of our country's Legislative Assembly. There must be a student President, student Prime Minister, student Education Minister, and so on, and they must be given powers in the institution as specified in the Indian constitution. The programme introduces students to a variety of important democratic concepts, such as the significance of elections and the role of elected representatives in a parliamentary system. It can also be done as a school outreach activity, with the Assembly's education and engagement officers leading sessions tailored to the specific needs of individual schools. It could be entertaining for the school's students. This can also be considered an educational innovation.

It is important to promote innovation in schools. As school administrators, the head of institutes (headmaster/principal) plays the following role. Regardless of rank, they should support any employee at the school who is innovative. Innovation goes beyond the basics by fusing various disciplines to produce a new or different result, as opposed to merely teaching ABCs and 123s. However, basic knowledge is a good place to start. In order to find the best solutions, students explore using their prior knowledge and concepts. Now, how can school administrators adopt innovation and technology without making it mandatory? Courses on school leadership are offered by some universities and institutions, including the National School of Leadership in Pune. "Innovative School Leadership" teaches students how to put systems in place that lead to innovation, much like project-based learning concentrates on the whole child by combining disciplines that lead to innovation. Thus, innovation in education through projects that comes from the disciple of a system, the student or teacher, is a bottom-up approach of innovation, whereas innovation in education through school leadership that comes from the head of the institute is a top-down approach of innovation. In either case, educational innovations are desperately needed in the current climate to make the education system qualitative, dynamic and appealing to students. It is rightly said, “Education should not be the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."

Although it is simple to discuss innovation in education, it is time to discuss how we actually know where and how innovation is occurring, as well as whether it is effective. Although the majority of nations and businesses have departments or policies devoted to innovation, this topic is rarely addressed in most educational frameworks. Few systems are aware of the effectiveness of their efforts, even in cases where there is some sort of policy. As a top-down change decision, policy reform is typically preferred, but many policy changes only affect administrative procedures and institutions without having any real impact on classroom instruction and student learning.

It is significant to note that while governments cannot innovate in the classroom, they can support the development and dissemination of the case for change. They can focus resources, create a supportive policy climate, and use accountability to promote innovation rather than compliance. In light of this, education policy makers must create sound innovation policies, more accurately identify and support key change agents, and devise more efficient methods for scaling and disseminating innovation. It includes finding better ways to recognize, reward and give visibility to success, doing whatever is possible to make it easier for innovators to take risks, to encourage the emergence of new ideas-but also to monitor change in educational systems and be able to link innovations with academic performance.

 

(Author is Sr. Academic officer (Physics), Department of Education in Science & Mathematics, State Council of Educational Research Training (SCERT), Bemina, Srinagar. E-mail: sajadphysics@gmail.com)

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