Education Innovation: Where Do Schools Stand?

Education Innovation: Where Do Schools Stand?
Education Innovation: Where Do Schools Stand?

School Head

Innovation is a buzzword in every industry, including education. Heads feel the pressure to enhance many of the ways their schools function, including classroom operations, use of technology, and subjects covered.

So where do schools stand when it comes to innovation in the classroom? Do teachers and leaders believe that you are prioritizing innovation? In what ways do they believe they’re successful and what roadblocks stand in their way?

The Education Week Research Center conducted a nationally representative survey of nearly 500 K–12 teachers, principals, and district leaders to gain their views on education innovation. Although most of these educators work in public schools, their views can provide insight for private school Heads as well.

According to the findings, 57% of respondents felt innovation will be a very high or high priority over the next school year. Many try to innovate daily (23%) or weekly (30%), and 89% of respondents feel that there was at least some innovation in their schools over the past year.

But motivations for innovation vary. The top motivation for innovation was increasing overall student achievement (40%), followed by keeping pace with the changing economy and skills students need for employment (18%) and promoting equity for disadvantaged groups and closing achievement gaps (16%).

However, when the results were broken down by respondent type, teachers (47%) and school principals (45%) were most driven by increasing overall student achievement, while district leaders (27%) most commonly responded with the need to keep pace with a changing economy.

Respondents found inspiration in a variety of places. Many respondents looked to their peers and colleagues for inspiration (57%) while some pointed to the technology community (17%) as well as advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, and think tanks (10%).

When it comes to innovation roadblocks, respondents pointed to workload and day-to-day deadlines (36%), lack of funding (22%), and difficulty gaining support from colleagues and supervisors (9%).

Respondents also shared the resources they’d like to have to promote innovation. The top answers were more time for brainstorming and learning (31%), more funding (23%), more or improved training and professional development (21%). If respondents were given more funding to support educational innovation, they’d spend it on new curriculum (48%), education technology (35%), and personalized learning initiatives (16%).

These findings are interesting food for thought. As innovation continues to be a priority and you look for ways to better serve your students and communities, consider what resources you can provide and how improved technology will impact your school's long-term viability.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for School Heads Vol. 16 No. 10 Five Ways to Help Your Faculty Adopt New Technology
The Source for Private School News Vol. 17 No. 6 How Schools Can Prepare Students for the STEM Workforce

Additional Resources for ISM Members:
I&P Vol. 41 No. 13 Faculty, Facilities, and Technology
I&P Vol. 35 No. 3 The 21st Century School: Curriculum and Technology

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