Education, being a social institution serving the needs of society, is indispensable for society to survive and thrive. It should be not only comprehensive, sustainable, and superb, but must continuously evolve to meet the challenges of the fast-changing and unpredictable globalized world.
This evolution must be systemic, consistent, and scalable therefore, school teachers, college professors, administrators, researchers, and policymakers are expected to innovate the theory and practice of teaching and learning, as well as all other aspects of this complex organization to ensure quality preparation of all students to life and work.
Here we present a systemic discussion of educational innovations, identify the barriers to innovation, and outline potential directions for effective innovations. We discuss the current status of innovations in US education, what educational innovation is, how innovations are being integrated into schools and colleges, why innovations do not always produce the desired effect, and what should be done to increase the scale and rate of innovation-based transformations in our education system.
We then offer recommendations for the growth of educational innovations. As examples of innovations in education, we will highlight online learning and time efficiency of learning using accelerated and intensive approaches.
From the US to the UK to Singapore to Canada, innovation is taking many different forms. Consider, for example, the meditation room in one school in Baltimore. When students have behavior problems, they don’t go to the principal’s office. Instead, they go to the meditation room where staff walk students through various breathing exercises and discuss reasons for their behavior. Students aren’t punished but rather given the opportunity to think and reflect on their own behavior.
A similar approach to behavior can be seen in one school in the UK. Their SEAL Initiative, which stands for Social and Educational Aspects of Learning) aims to increase mental and emotional health through teaching. Teachers emphasize important skills like self-awareness, social skills and empathy in order to promote well-being.
The infographic also takes a look at the progressive curriculum of schools in Finland where teachers are replacing subjects with an interdisciplinary approach to topics instead. Instead of students learning about one particular subject (i.e. math), students learn about various topics like World War II through a mathematical and geographical lens, and so on and so forth. In Singapore, teachers-in-training are learning how to incorporate technology into the classroom so that students gain a real-world perspective on important topics.