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Educational Innovation Is a Team Effort, Expert Says

 Innovation Is a Team Effort, Expert Says

Will Eden, an educator in a charter school network, finds there are several steps schools must follow to achieve innovation.

First, Eden finds it is a necessity to clarify and define goals before embarking on an innovation journey. This way, he says, the school's team will not easily lose its way and will avoid what he calls "the top down innovation extreme," where innovation becomes principals' orders versus a school wide effort.

"This is the first step towards the top down innovation extreme. We believe it isn’t the principal’s job to define what innovation does or does not look like. The question a visionary leader needs to ask instead is, 'Where should we be innovating?'"

By asking questions, Eden says, the school will narrow down its focus and be able to make change. He says these questions should be developed through school’s vision, teacher input, and evidence from classrooms.

Further, Eden has found that innovation is a "team sport." Eden says the team needs at least one administrator and a handful of teachers on board to best implement the innovation goals and avoid what he calls the "lone wolf approach."

According to Eden, the lone wolf approach happens when educators take on innovative endeavors alone and therefore only pockets of the school experience success.

"A team is better able to consider how an idea might be executed across a range of classrooms, ensuring that the solution isn’t a lone-wolf innovation," he said.

By working through the top-down and lone wolf extremes using these tactics, Eden says innovation will be easier for schools to achieve.

"When leaders provide a direction without dictating a destination, and when individuals work together with the latitude to create, innovative schools can reach their full creative potential."

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/07/2015

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