Educators are innovators.
Teachers and principals are closest to the everyday problems and potential in K-12 education. And, because they are closest to the problem, teachers and principals also have insights into the potential solutions that no else has. Unfortunately, when it is time to solve problems, teachers and principals are often left out of the process and lack a process and the support necessary to be innovators. We believe that educators should be trusted, supported, and relied upon to generate solutions and become engines of innovation in K-12 education. Trust and support are the organizational conditions that allow for individuals to initiate and sustain the activities that will overcome the challenges preventing better outcomes. Trust and support are necessary for educators to innovate.
Innovation is not only a new way of doing things, but it must create get results for the stakeholders that matter most, students. Saul Kaplan (Business Innovation Factory) defines innovation in this way, “innovation is a better way to deliver value.” Innovation must solve an important, real-world problem.
As Anthony Byrk (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) notes, too often in education we “implement quickly and learn slowly.” We believe that by engaging educators in a process inspired by design thinking and improvement science, we can learn more quickly what works before implementing widely. To achieve this, we believe that educators need trust, support, guidance, and a network of like innovators.
We envision educators collaborating to frame problems, design solutions, and test these ideas at a small scale. Innovation Box, when implemented as an innovation incubator, can accelerate the testing and adoption of new ideas. Innovation Box is a step-by-step process that encourages creativity and experimentation.
Principal, Think Strategy, LLC
Designer, Innovation Box