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Innovation and Creativity: A New Education for a New Era


Post-Capitalist / Post-Socialist / Post-Ideology Society. Post-Modern Society ... Present Day: the New Millenium (the 00's) Digital revolution in the overall culture ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Innovation and Creativity: A New Education for a New Era

Innovation and CreativityA New Education for a
New Era
  • Eduardo O C Chaves

A New Era
  • The last 60 years have introduced a new era
  • The new era has been variously described
  • Information / Knowledge / Post-Industrial Society
  • Post-Capitalist / Post-Socialist / Post-Ideology
  • Post-Modern Society
  • The Creative Society
  • The Third Wave (Alvin Toffler, 1980)

The New Era and Change
  • Change is the most visible feature of this
  • Change greatly increased in quantity
  • Change greatly increased in speed
  • Change became pervasive (affects all domains)
  • Change seems to have a basic direction

Founding Period Late 40s 50s
  • End of last really global conflict
  • Creation of the United Nations
  • Beginning of the Cold War
  • Great expansion of automobile use
  • Great expansion of air travel
  • Invention of the computer
  • Appearance of truly mass media television

Middle Ages The 60s
  • Appearance of counter-culture and protest
    movements (It is forbidden to forbid)
  • Expansion of civil and social rights
  • Invention of the pill and the appearance of the
    sexual revolution and feminism
  • Invention of the Internet (1969)

Modern Period the 70s, 80s, 90s
  • 70s Personal computers are invented
  • 80s The digital revolution begins in the
  • 80s Women invade schools and the workplace
  • 90s No more Communism (almost!)
  • 90s Internet becomes comercial and truly global
  • 90s Cell phones and wireless communications
  • 90s Cable and satellite TV
  • 90s Economic and cultural globalization

Present Day the New Millenium (the 00s)
  • Digital revolution in the overall culture
  • Access to multimedia information over the
  • Mass media converge to the Internet
  • Leisure over the Internet (Web, Chats, Games,
  • E-Mail and instant messaging (business and
  • Distance Education / Learning
  • Digital revolution in the home
  • CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, Digital TV, home theaters
  • Digital cameras (still photography and video)
  • Latest generation videogames, digital toys of all

The Old Era One-ness and Stability
  • One country, one region, one city
  • One culture, one set of values, one language
  • One house, one partner, one family
  • One profession, one job (for the man of the
  • One religion, one church
  • One political loyalty, one party
  • One club, one team, one hobby, one kind of
  • Clear distinction between work, leisure, learning
  • Little virtuality in life (literature, cinema)

The New Era Multi-ness and Instability
  • We live in multiple countries, regions, and
  • We combine multiple cultures, values, languages
  • We have multiple houses, partners and families
  • We go through various professions and jobs
  • We are flexible towards religion and churches
  • We do not have long-lasting political loyalties
  • We are members of various clubs and associations
  • Boundaries of work, leisure and learning are
  • We work, communicate, access information, shop,
    play and sometimes love largely in virtual space

Change, Creativity and Innovation
  • Stability means no or little change
  • A society or an organization is stable when it
    does not change or changes very little or very
  • A stable society or organization has little need
    of creativity and innovation it faces few
    changes and generally knows how to deal with the
    changes it faces
  • Change, however, especially when pervasive and
    rapid, makes creativity and innovation imperative

The Role of Technology
  • Technology is important as a catalyst for change
    (the automobile, the airplane, the pill, TV,
    computers, Internet...)
  • But changes starts with individuals
  • When widely adopted, however, they become social,
    cultural, economic, and political changes
    sometimes of the greatest importance

  • Education does not take place in a vacuum it
    happens in a historical context
  • What we do in education must be clearly affected
    by changes in the social, cultural, economic and
    political context in which education takes place
  • It is difficult to conceive that we could enter a
    new era in social, cultural, economic and
    political aspects and yet continue to educate the
    same way weve always done

Changes Relevant to Education
  • Quasi-universal availability of information and
    ease of access to it
  • Globalization of communication and ease of travel
  • Learning taking place anytime, anywhere, anyhow
  • (All of these reasons have to do with

Information and Knowledge
  • Information, today, is easily available, to be
    acquired as needed, and access to it is simple
    and easy
  • Knowledge (differently from information) is seen,
    today, as something to be built by each person
  • So, information need not, and knowledge cannot,
    be transmitted, transferred, delivered . . .
  • This is the collapse of the view that education
    is content delivery, transmission of information
    and knowledge

Communication and Travel
  • Not only is access to information easy but access
    to experts anywhere in the world has become
    possible, costless and easy (from a technical
    point of view)
  • If an urgent face-to-face encounter is necessary,
    technically it can take place within 24 hours
  • So, the teacher is far from being the only expert
    to whom the student can resort, in case of need

  • Anyone can now learn anytime, throughout life
  • Anyone can now learn anywhere, wherever one has
    access to the Internet
  • Anyone can now learn anyhow, in tacit, non-formal
    and formal ways
  • So, learning need not, and perhaps even should
    not, be concentrated in a given period of life
    (school age) and in a particular place (the
    school) nor ought it to be standardized, one
    size fits all

  • Education, and especially schooling, needs to
    face considerable change if it is going to be
    able to do what is expected of it in the new era
  • These changes will probably be drastic, profound,
    broad, far-reaching not gradual and incremental
  • These changes should lead to true transformation
    (going beyond present form) not to mere reform
  • These changes will certainly require great
    creativity and innovation

  • Schools are complex organizations that are
    supposed to provide the best environment for
  • In the ecology that schools provide for
    learning, many factors affect performance that
    is, learning outcomes
  • Teachers
  • Principals and administrators
  • Vision of education, of children, of learning
  • Curricula and methodologies
  • Resources (among which are books, computers,
  • Infrastructure (libraries, laboratories, etc.)

Technology and Schools
  • By changing only one of these elements we will
    not bring about the changes that are necessary
    for schools to deal competently with the changes
    that the 21st century presents
  • These changes will not happen without technology
    but the mere introduction of technology into
    the ecology, all the other elements left
    unchanged, will not be enough
  • The School of the Future still needs to be

The Focus of Change
  • The focus here is on positive, voluntary change
    in organizations and individuals responsible for
  • Organizational change What changes are needed in
    present educational organizations (mostly
  • Individual change What changes are needed in us
    as educators (mostly teachers and school
  • Effective change is a product of both individual
    and organizational change
  • Effective change begins with individuals even
    if their goal is to change organizations

Types of Change
  • Changes can be incremental or radical
  • Positive incremental changes lead to improvement
  • Radical changes lead to transformation
  • A series of improvements leads to reform, a
    process in which present form is maintained but
  • Transformation means transcending present form
    and can only be reached through innovation a
    process in which there is search for a totally
    new form

Technology and Change
  • Technology can be used
  • To sustain and support what we are already doing
    (conservative use does not lead to change)
  • To supplement and extend what we are doing (leads
    to improvement and reform)
  • To subvert and transform what we are doing
    (leads to transformation and innovation)
  • (George Thomas Scharffenberger, 2004)

Reform or Transformation?
  • As the quality of a given school or school system
    goes down, the degree of radical innovation that
    is acceptable in it goes up !
  • As the quality of a given school or school system
    goes up, the degree of radical innovation that is
    acceptable in it goes down !
  • (Nicholas Negroponte, 2005)

Transformation and Innovation
  • Innovation has to do with what is new, with
    searching a new form
  • The new is not the old, refurbished, warmed over
  • Innovation is more radical than mere improvements
    that lead to reform it is a true
    transformation, that leads to transcending
    present form
  • New and old are context-bound terms and the
    context, in this case, is defined by the changes
    that have been taking place in the last sixty

How does Innovation Come About?
  • Creative people
  • Open environments
  • Resources and tools

Present Schools and Innovation
  • There certainly are creative people in our
  • There are resources and technology in our schools
  • But there is no culture of innovation, that is,
    the right kind of environment is missing
  • So innovation is rare and difficult to sustain
    (and technology is not used innovatively)

The Right Environment for Innovation
  • Creative people, even when they have resources
    and tools, have difficulty generating sustainable
    innovations if the environment is not right . . .
  • The right environment for innovation . . .
  • Is open, relatively flat, non-bureaucratic
  • Stimulates initiative and risk-taking
  • Requires and promotes continued learning
  • Views mistakes as an integral part of learning
  • Rewards competent, successful innovation

The Right Environment for Innovation
  • This kind of environment attracts creative
    people see Richard Florida, The Rise of the
    Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative

What Innovation in Education is NOT
  • Teaching technology to students
  • Integrating technology into the present
  • Using technology to improve teaching

Real Innovation in Education
  • Real innovation in education requires us
  • To reconceptualize education
  • To reinvent schools
  • To transform ourselves (educators, teachers,
    school administrators)

In Other Words . . .
  • How can we reconceive education, so that it goes
    beyond (transcends) the present paradigm?
  • How can we reinvent our schools, so they can
    become open environments that stimulate
    initiative, require continued learning and reward
  • How can we recreate ourselves, so we can become
    truly creative and innovative in facing the
    demands and the expectations that the 21st
    century places upon education?

Education and Human Development
  • Education has to do with human development, with
    realizing human potential
  • Human beings are born totally incompetent and
  • But they are born with an incredible capacity to
  • Education is the process by which incompetence is
    translated into competence, dependence into
  • This process takes place through learning

  • To learn is to become capable of doing that which
    one was not able to do before
  • To learn is to build ones competence to act with
  • The learning that is essential to human life has
    two sides to it
  • To become able to freely define ones life
  • To become competent to transform it into reality

How do we Learn?
  • Observing expert or acceptable behavior
  • Desiring to do the same (motivation)
  • Attempting to do it
  • Generally failing
  • Receiving feedback (collaboration)
  • Attempting to do it again
  • Succeeding in a limited way
  • Receiving incentive and more feedback
  • Improving behavior until its performance becomes
  • Sometimes seeking to become experts

Education, Learning and Collaboration
  • No one educates any one else. Nor do we educate
    ourselves. We educate one another, in communion,
    in the context of living in this world
  • (Paulo Freire, 1979)

Creative Learning Environments
  • Living a life that is fulfilling and leads to
    personal realization is the most creative
    accomplishment anyone can achieve
  • Helping students to learn how to live this kind
    of life is the most challenging task of education
  • This type of learning requires rich and
    stimulating learning environments that are
    centered on the needs and interests of the
    learners and that are clearly focused on human
    development and on competence-building

A Learner-Centered, Creative School
  • Learning is active, hands-on
  • Learning is collaborative and yet individualized
    to the level of personalization
  • Learning takes place when needed (just in time)
    in small modules (just enough)
  • Learning is lifelong and always focused on the
  • Built into life (related to the learners life
  • Centered on the learners needs and interests
  • Driven by demand
  • Aimed at problem-solving (project-based)
  • Focused on building competence autonomy
  • Learning is deeply personal and yet always
    enhanced and often mediated by technology

Innovative Teachers (1)
  • The most innovative thing teachers can do in this
    kind of school is stop teaching ... (well, unless
    students insist that they do so !)
  • Teachers should listen and watch first, and then
    try to orient, advise, support, cheer,
    facilitate, instigate, ask questions (rather than
    give answers), open exciting new horizons, gently
    provoke, give incentive, be coaches, mentors,
    role models . . .
  • These roles for teachers are more important than
    their role as content deliverers !

Innovative Teachers (2)
  • Innovative teachers are the ones that use their
    creativity in order to help students become truly
    creative in the living of their lives
  • Innovative teachers are the ones that use their
    creativity to support the building of this kind
    ofschool of the future (needed in the present)
  • Innovative teachers are not the ones that learn
    to use technology well, but rather the ones that
    empower their students to use technology to learn

  • Leadership, to be effective, must be spread
    through-out the organization
  • A leader seeks to develop the leadership
    potential of others
  • Leader, therefore, is not only the manager or the
    boss everybody should be a leader in their own
    sphere of action
  • The success of a leader is directly related to
    their ability to make other people successful
  • It is only this way that an organization can

Leading for Change in Schools
  • An innovative leader is one that is capable of
    making the school the sort of open environment
    that is conducive to ongoing innovative change
  • An innovative leader is one that is capable of
    developing leadership in others on an ongoing
  • There is no other factor as important to creating
    and maintaining an organization culture conducive
    to ongoing innovation in a school as innovative
    leaders be they principals, supervisors or, nor
    infrequently, teachers themselves

Thank you !
Eduardo O C Chaves
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