The notion of creativity and innovation in schools is gaining more importance in today’s times. What does this look like in practice? Is it about getting students to a destination or guiding them so they can find their own way?
In this article, we look at some tested and acclaimed ways educators influence the conditions for innovation in schools and classrooms. These ways are based on intentional innovation. It is a process where actions and attitude are moulded to lead to innovative work. Some of the top CBSE schools in Bangalore have had success using these methods.
The focus of this kind of innovation is not on having ideas but empowering ideas; it isn’t about executing plans; it emphasizes on supporting the work and execution of others. Schools that practice the following steps report forming habits that lead to innovative work and a creative mindset.
1. Praise and Assess
To build a culture of innovation, teachers must direct their appreciation towards the efforts put in by students rather than the results or outcome. When efforts of students are appreciated, they learn the value of being punctual with their work, being compliant, and gaining clarity on an assignment or task given to them. Another important aspect of praising efforts is to praise failure. This is vital for removing the fear of failure from the minds of students, so they can view failure to be a necessary part of success. Praising effort which has persisted after failure promotes qualities of grit and determination, which are desirable qualities in students to influence their success as adults.
To foster a mindset of innovation and entrepreneurship, teachers need support from the administration of a school along with other departments. If the focus of a school is merely on standardised assessments, they cannot fully support students in bringing in new ideas and creativity to the classroom. For students to be able to explore and try something outside of the box, they need all the support they can get from the school structure, inside and outside the classroom.
3. Make time
Like anything that is worth doing, innovative work requires time. Teachers and students are often crunched for time which leads to driving up levels of stress and impedes creativity. To avoid such a situation it is essential that time slots are allocated for reflection, self-assessment, sharing, and tinkering with students, so they can continue trying new things.
An increasing adoption of these methods is seen all over the best schools in the country, particularly the best international schools in Bangalore and the other metros.