The first European incubator for innovation in education

open education challenge

 

The PISA results released last week (see my last entry) tell us about the urgent need to transform our education systems in most European countries.

We must now decide whether this much needed innovation can be brought about from inside the system, or if it must be the result of a “disruptive” process led by committed individuals and “education entrepreneurs” from all over Europe.

My conviction is that education practitioners, technology geeks  and web entrepreneurs will be determinant to change. They have the ability and willingness to invent tools, content and devices that will benefit learners and trainers, alongside students and teachers. For the first time, technology seems robust and user-friendly enough to enable real innovation in the classroom.

But what kind of innovations are desirable, and for what kind of learning?

Opening up education to children: a lesson from PISA

PISA results and education inequalities

PISA results and education inequalities

 

For those who travel in Europe on a weekly basis, the publication of the OECD PISA results just confirmed the heterogeneity of European education systems. This is what you could have read in the press while crossing Member States borders: that Swiss students are the best in Europe at maths; German students have improved their maths scores once again; Italian students have improved in maths; and that Spanish students keep falling short in maths. A more in-depth reading would also have told us that Finland has fallen from the podium, Sweden had entered a period of turmoil… The only certainty we can take from last week is that Singaporean students again emerge world beaters in international assessment.

My dream school

 

The Specialists' Academy by Miguel Gallardo

The Specialists’ Academy by Miguel Gallardo

 

10 years ago The Guardian held a competition, “The School I’d Like”, asking children about their dream school. To paraphrase one of the winners comments, “If schools let children feel inspired by what they do, then education would really work.”

How do we recognise the unique strengths of all kinds of learners? How do we “re-engage the disengaged”?

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