We hear a lot these days about the idea of INNOVATION. Not to be confused with invention, innovation means to improve upon, to make things better.
How do you connect to innovation in your practice?
Jennifer Kranenburg is a teacher from Ontario whose story is an inspirational example of how creative educators, focused on responding to student interest and curiosity, can innovate the curriculum to be relevant and engaging and to solve real world problems. If you take 20 or so minutes to watch her TedX talk, you’ll see how she does an amazing job embracing Ontario’s global competencies.
Jennifer thinks about how students can contribute as global citizens, and from that thinking emerges other valuable elements – the rich learning the students need just in time to solve the problems they want to solve. I’ve probably missed a few things, but here are some of the elements that I’m seeing as I watch – what would you add to the list that stood out for you?
- critical thinking
- co-learning; student-student, teacher-student, and teachers and students together with community partners
- collaboration within school and with experts
- communication within class and with the world
- creativity and problem-solving
- technologies that enable deeper learning, but aren’t the primary focus
- authentic assessment
- global citizenship and sustainability
Students are learning how to learn, how to serve others, and how to empower themselves to make positive changes to their world!
What do you notice as you watch? In what ways do you resonate with Jennifer as an educational innovator? What are the powerful ideas that she strives to amplify in her classroom? What about you?
If we want our students to be innovative, as usual, maybe we should start with ourselves first. Before we ask for a more prescriptive curriculum (adding coding, for instance, as a contemporary example), maybe we should just find out where it connects and GO FOR IT!
To find our more about Jennifer’s classroom, check out her online spaces: