United States Copyright
This paper is an initial look at the concept of Innovation Education and Learning. It is divided into four sections including:
- Innovation Education and Learning
- How We Learn and Think
- Learning Theories
- Academic Behavior
- Achievement Motivation and Engagement
- Innovative Learning Environments
- Pedagogical Methodology Models
- Classroom Praxis Management
- Physical Classroom Management
These sections contain many of the preliminary tools necessary to guide the implementation of a K-12 innovation education and learning program including the next generation curriculum and assessment techniques. Some of innovative education’s characteristics include the concepts of personalized learning, authentic learning and life-long learning through student agency. If we are to facilitate creative thinking, we must teach content in ways that support, rather than threaten, habits and mind-sets that allow creative ideas to blossom. Any subject can be the basis for creative thinking, if we provide students with opportunities to learn information, methods, and strategies and then teach how to use them in new ways.
Digital technology has opened contemporary K-12 education to virtually unlimited possibilities of teaching and learning. Traditional academics such as language arts, mathematics, sciences, and social studies are now being innovatively redesigned to be a more modern, personalized, interdisciplinary, curriculum that reflects the knowledge and skills needed in real world work environments. But because the U. S. K-12 education system for the most part has failed to inspire, motivate and engage a large segment of today’s youth, alternate methodologies of teaching and learning have emerged and are continuing to gain traction. In public education today, there are many innovations in practice taking place in small pockets across the country but this ecosystem is currently disjointed and fragmented.
Traditional content teaching that emphasizes facts and single correct answers is not going to help students learn ﬂexibility or originality. However, it is not enough for children to just play with creative puzzles and games. They must know enough about something to question it, change it, elaborate on it, or do something new with it, and they must have been taught strategies to accomplish these tasks (Cornett, 1999, p. 27). Actually, standards of excellence have never really been forgotten. For years teachers have struggled to maintain high academic standards and also to lament, often alone and unheeded, the slow erosion of the quality of academic life in our schools. Clearly, maintaining high standards is vital; if we expect little of our children, little is what we will get. But more is needed. The pursuit of high standards must also be safe and free from the fear of failure (p. 73).
New technologies offer hope for more effective ways of teaching and learning, but also engender confusion and even fear; too often the shiny new technology is used as little more than window dressing (Khan, 2012). The challenge is to create a classroom environment and experiences that are equal to what is realized by today’s youth at home and after-school online activities. As time goes by, cultures, especially those surrounded by technology, change rapidly. Unfortunately, too often, schools and curriculum are not capable of keeping pace by making the changes necessary to match the changing culture in a timely manner.
Kincheloe, et al, (2000) found that “if schools hope to help improve society and resist injustice, educators must enter contemporary social debates and move beyond the “transmission of knowledge” model that currently dominates schooling. Rather than isolate pieces of memorized information readily available at the touch of a computer key, students need to navigate the maze of conﬂicting ideologies and understand the complexity of living in our postmodern society” (p. 38). It is hoped that this paper will contribute to the ultimate goal of maximizing student motivation and engagement in our digital age.