Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creating an 'Innovation Ecology' in education and training

In 2009, Jane Figgis and Yvonne Hillier wrote research reports and carried out workshops around innovative trends in teaching and learning in vocational education and training (VET) from within Australia and from an 'international' perspective for NCVER.

Figgis and Hillier's work describes what's required to enable an 'innovation ecology' for educators and trainers. Not unexpectingly, the 'culture' of an organisation plays a major role in nurturing and supporting innovation, with aspects like supporting:
- the development of critical reflective skills
- providing incentives and opportunities for learning especially informal

through personal/continuing professional development (CPD) which enable educators to take risks and not have to be 'perfect'all of the time.

Developing this type of workplace culture requires:
- supported mentoring,
- development of partnerships, including team building,
- developing networks and having networking opportunities, and
- deploying effective change management and continuous improvement processes

It also needs to consider:
- the individual educators' existing values and experiences,
- the different perspectives of the educators/trainers about the innovation and change process,
- the timing of introducing something 'new' into an organisation, from incremental ie you need to learn how to walk before you can run, to disruptive, where changes to work place practices is almost immediate.

The flood of technology into the education and training environment is building, but still a lot of education and training organisations have not fully embraced this 'innovative practice'.

The internet is creating an "emerging force of the collective" which "will shape the direction of society and business", which will mean that education and training organisations are going to be forced to take a 'disruptive' approach to adopting innovative ICT practices. So instead of ignoring (and blocking) technology, they should be embracing and learning how it can enable innovation and improved business practices. ("Shape of things to come", Beverly Head, Campus Review, 2 February 2010)

Can innovation become mainstream? Or is it no longer considered 'innovative' when everyone's doing it?


Janshs said...

great post! very in tune with your points about: critical reflection, CPD, informal learning, mentoring, no blame culture ,,, my blog is ,,,, sounds like spam but just I think we have some similar ideas

theother66 (formally MadMiller) said...

Thanks Janshs

Now we just need to help education and training organisations implement these ideas.... one step at a time