Why do we want innovation in education? What do we want to transform? Which changes do we want to achieve? What visionary practices can innovators bring for the future of education?
Innovators want to build pleasing environments for learning in the classroom and outside. They want to empower teachers to help and encourage the children. They see educators in some cases as listeners and in others as “performance teachers”, conducting an “orchestra of learners” where everyone will play his or her own part in a harmonious way.
The need for adaptive learning has much to do with the willingness to gear education to children’s needs. The tools developed by these innovators create learning opportunities in and outside of school. Their apps use multi sensorial approaches to make learning more creative and entertaining. All view children as active actors in their own development and want to develop children’s learning intelligence. They see education as a set of relationships and specific social media tools aim at reinforcing this community dimension.
Today’s innovators may ignore the names of Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, Loris Malaguzzi, A.S. Neill, Kurt Hahn, Celestin Freinet and many more that for the last 100 years have continuously challenged our understanding of learning. What we should not ignore is that Europe has always been the cradle for innovative learning.
The way of thinking that is required to transform education is based on decades of progressive thinking about education and most of these thinkers are… Europeans.
Europe will be the leading place for edtech entrepreneurship because it is the only place that can revindicate a tradition of innovation in the classroom. These visionary thinkers had to fight back the inertia of their own education systems. They were badly treated in some cases, rejected in others. However their experimental schools remain as living proof of their thinking.
The time has now come to support innovative schemes that will enable European educators and entrepreneurs to connect all classrooms with today’s technology, as the visionaries of the past did in their experimental schools.
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