Innovation in Education Course

"There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns."  Edward de Bono

 

How is entrepreneurship anchored in the field of education? How may the learning processes be understood and handled according to an entrepreneurial approach? Can innovation and entrepreneurship be taught?

It’s an age-old debate!! The answer is both yes and no. Education plays an essential role in shaping attitudes, skills, and culture – from the primary level up. Innovation and entrepreneurship in education provide a mix of creativity, experiential learning, skill building and most importantly, a shift in mindset. Certainly, the earlier and more widespread the exposure to innovation and entrepreneurship, the more likely students will consider entrepreneurial ideas at some point in the future.

The implementation of the entrepreneurial idea in the future will reflect the progression in the level of skills and qualifications students need to acquire in the course of their education. Thus the aim in primary and secondary schools is that students develop competencies such as creativity, initiative, inventiveness and personal qualities within all the standards and performance indicators to apply the 21st-century skills that are necessary to adapt to our changing world.

The innovation and entrepreneurship educational policy must, therefore, be anchored in the specific skills and pedagogic methods of the different academic disciplines. The main focus is on developing cross-curricular approaches and making it easier to coordinate the various educational programs as pupils conduct research and prepare written and visual presentations of their work.

 

The pedagogical methods should promote the following:
 
*  Open learning – in which learning outcomes are determined by the students.
 
*  Active learning – different situations in which students choose the areas of implementation for their projects.
 
*  Learning experiences beyond the classroom- through the use of different information sources (resources, experts) and materials from society and the natural environment.
 
*  A learning atmosphere – which promotes and fosters collaboration and teamwork, encourages new ideas and creativity, tolerance for trial and error and tolerance of failures.
  

*  Thinking strategies – identification of significant questions, and problem-solving skills that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions.

 

Another main point to consider is the position of the educators as role models in a dynamic and social process where individuals alone, or in collaboration, identify opportunities for innovation.  In this process, it is essential to build up the educators' skills to act upon these aspects by transforming ideas into practical and targeted activities, whether in a social, cultural or economic context. This should be done through capacity building, competence development, practical experience and research with ongoing training in innovative teaching and learning methods.

As one of the practical levels of innovation and entrepreneurship in education, the school becomes a place for experimenting, a place to develop and participate in project-based learning environments, a place where entrepreneurship is part of the organizational and educational culture and where the teacher and the director are entrepreneurs themselves. 

Above all, this training course is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. In a time of change and uncertainty, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education are crucial subjects to take into account if countries want to provide Quality Education (Goal 4). Moreover, the transformations in Education inspired by these two subjects will provide the students Decent Work and, in a broader view, promote Economic Growth (Goal 8).  An educational system that contemplates these factors will guaranty a "…resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation" (Goal 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure). 

Aims of the course 

*To provide new tools and knowledge on the implementation and development of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the educational system. 

*To promote and create a learning environment that leads the students to experiment Innovation and Entrepreneurship methods and practices. 

* To share experiences of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in education. 

*To create tools for communication, collaboration, and teamwork.  

*To provide educational tools for quality innovative educational pedagogies.  

*To support the integration and the implementation of 21st-century education skills.  

*To present innovative teaching methods for specific subject-matters (science, language, etc.), as well as interdisciplinary subject areas, enabling participants to choose the methods and tools suitable to the particular needs of their environments.  

*To empower the educational staff and promote their Innovation and Entrepreneurship programs.  

*To provide a base for future training activities in the Education for Innovation and Entrepreneurship training according to the needs of the different countries and institutions.

 

Course Content 

*Development of ways of thinking: critical, creative, strategic and tactical thinking.  

*Development of social skills, collective performance techniques, and teamwork.  

*Analyzing the incorporation of innovative ideas.  

*Presenting the importance of a supportive environment and a community of learning.  

*The influence of motivation for learning and self-improvement.  

*Becoming an entrepreneur: skills, concepts, and practices.  

*The Educator / Teacher / Entrepreneur: Education & work culture, curricula development, educational initiatives, project development, project-based learning, innovation in education, success stories, the educator as an entrepreneur and a leader.  

*Student-based Learning: Student entrepreneur communities, examples of initiatives.  

*The school and the community as entrepreneurs.  

*Presenting the idea of experimental schools as entrepreneurial environments.