Envisioning Innovation in Education
About the Envision Stage
The first year of the three-year Envisioning Innovation in Education project commences with the Envision stage.
During the Envisioning process, participants were: i) introduced to new pedagogical frameworks and thinking tools, so as to provide inspirations for discovering personal areas of growth and interest; and ii) invited to dream systemically, in order to understand the parts, purposes, and complexities in the school system and identify wishes, opportunities, and challenges for innovation.
Milestone in the Envision Stage
At the end of the year, each participant drafted an Inquiry Focus Question (IFQ). IFQs represent participants’ areas of interest/growth (e.g. students’ motivation, student agency, educators’ professional development) in promoting innovation in education. IFQs serve as a clear reference point and focus for participants’ journey transitioning into Year 2 Inquire Stage.
1) Study Group Sessions
To sustain innovation in school, it is crucial to nurture pioneers and create a safe and brave space for idea exchange between individuals. Educators were encouraged to meet regularly with their teacher cohort members and to self-facilitate the study group sessions.
In order to support innovation to happen step by step, pedagogical frameworks and ideas (such as Teaching for Understanding, Pedagogy of Play, and Agency by Design) were introduced. Participants studied the concepts together in the study groups, which provided them with stimulus to identify their own area of growth and accumulatively generate an inquiry focus leading to innovation for the coming years.
In addition, study groups also served as a platform for participants to dream systemically with colleagues for education innovation. Participants investigated parts, purposes, and complexities in their school context and identified wishes, opportunities, and challenges for innovation.
2) Learning Community (LC) Events
To foster system-wide change, collaboration among educators is the key. The quarterly Learning Community events include day-long activities where all educators and administrators from the 11 participating schools gather to learn from, and share with, one another.
Innovation does not necessarily need to be a significant change or overhauling of an existing system. It can be small steps towards improvement and adjustment of current practices. To bring about innovation, participants were asked at the first LC event (Program Launch) to reimagine and visualise what the future of education could look like in order for learners to thrive in the coming decades. By envisioning the possibilities, participants identified the opportunities for innovation in spite of the many challenges that persist.
Later in the year, participants had the opportunity to share their innovation experiments in a visible manner. The Vision Board Sharing activity enabled participants to make their learning and thinking visible, which encouraged the cross-pollination of ideas across schools. Each participant prepared a vision board to share their area of growth and inquiry focus for innovation. These sharings encouraged feedback and interaction among educators from different backgrounds.