Teachers as Education Pioneers
Many governmental organisations, NGO’s, scientists and companies are working on innovation of education. However, relevant and sustainable innovation can only take place during everyday practice at schools. ‘Average’ teachers on ‘average’ schools embody this everyday practice. The magic should happen there. That is why we support teachers to be Pioneers in their own working environment.
Despite mediagenic best practices, an unstoppable wave of new initiatives and increasing attention for innovation, schools keep struggling with innovation processes. This is due to the fact that many school organisations seem to be unable to integrate innovation in their everyday practice. They often lack adequate attention, infrastructure and behaviour that supports innovation. Furthermore, it is only a slow-spreading notion that innovation does not need to be a top-down process, but can be initiated by co-creation of teachers, pupils, parents and school leaders. Whereas the 21st-century network society offers the perfect infrastructure to facilitate such an approach.
Altogether, this is an opportunity and a challenge for teachers to reclaim ownership of the innovation process in their schools. And, a challenge for school management and policymakers to support that endeavor. Fortunately, we see an increasing amount of teachers who position themselves as true creative professionals and take the lead. And more and more school leaders and policies support that. It is this movement that we wholeheartedly try to enforce with a variety of programmes and initiatives.
ForInnovation processes are still challenging for schools. This is due to the fact that many school organisations seem to be unable to integrate innovation in their everyday practice. They often lack adequate attention, infrastructure and behaviour that supports innovation. several years Kennisland has been working on the mission to support bottom-up innovation in schools. This is not a self-evident process, but we have learned by experience that potential for innovation can be found on every school. To bring this mission into practice Kennisland initiated the programme ‘Education Pioneers’++Education PioneersRead more reflection on the Education Pioneers programme in the book Labcraft, a publication on social innovation Labs.. With the help of several partner organisations the programme currently supports about 45 teachers every year and proves how to tap into the potential of teachers. In a nutshell: Education Pioneers supports teachers who want to realise their own innovative ideas to improve their own schools. They are supported for one school year with budget, coaching, a learning network, tips & tricks and a platform to share their initiatives. These ingrediënts provide the answer on the question what could constrain or enforce teachers to realise their own ideas in their schools.
Throughout the years teachers have been improving their schools with a great variety of initiatives. From technological innovation to team development, from new educational concepts to new approaches to specific subjects. However, Education Pioneers is not just about the content of the ideas, it is first and foremost about the process of the teachers as change agents.
Innovatie Impuls Onderwijs (Education Innovation Impulse)
The professionalThis network of pioneering teachers is growing development of Pioneering teachers is not just about individual teachers on individual schools++Individual school boardsWith the lessons and experiences of these national programme’s we also support individual school boards to improve the innovation culture on their schools.. They are a growing network of teacher leaders and are ambassadors of innovation. In this role they support other teachers, school leaders and others with realising innovative projects in schools. Such a peer-2-peer-network is an important component of the project Innovatie Impuls Onderwijs. In this programme more than 150 schools in primary and secondary education are experimenting with new approaches to organise their education.
TogetherIn this programme more than 150 schools in primary and secondary education are experimenting with new approaches to organise their education. they have built up a great amount of knowledge, experience, tips and tricks. Teachers and school leaders are more than eager to share their insights with colleagues on other schools. Especially for this purpose they get extra training in peer-2-peer learning. Throughout the school year they are available to support and advise other schools. We call them ‘Innovationbrigadiers’. We have learned that this approach is very effective, since these brigadiers speak the same language as their colleagues. While the school receive practical support, the brigadiers work on their own professional development. With this approach Kennisland stimulates and supports teachers who want to work on their own ideas to improve education, not only within their own school, but also between schools.
A sustainable, inclusive society starts with young people and education. This is why we are working to develop the innovative capacity of teachers, school leaders and administrators. Our approaches focus on the living environment and perspective of young people, rather than the system environment of policymakers, test designers and developers of teaching methods.