Innovative Education

What is innovative education?

I once made a continuum. Although I can't figure out how to make the image bigger on the screen. It starts on the left with rather traditional teaching models. Read the textbook, do the packet, / listen to the lecture and take notes, take the test, repeat. Then it moves on to slightly higher quality forms of instruction, like the whole class doing the same learning activity with support and monitoring and venturing into some engagement in meaningful tasks with critical thinking as a whole class.

Continuum of Innovative Teaching


(a parenthetical note: I'd really like to make this image much bigger, but I can't figure out how to do it. #KidsTheseDays are into images ... and I think I'm noticing that this is a text-heavy medium that seems to lack the image-capacity that I desire.)

I once went to a talk by Frank Chimero, a graphic design whose work I like, and he shared how his favorite ads are squishy not slick. He used the example of a VW car ad that had the music synced up to the windshield wipers. It was not your typical car ad, which is sleek and fast and shiny. This was whimsical and — this is his term — squishy. He then launched into an explanation of how that was the way that design needed to go. I was hooked and knew that I wanted the same thing to be true of my teaching and the learning experiences in my classroom.

Much later I found out that there was already terminology and systems for much of what I was trying to implement. UDL — Universal Design for Learning — and Project Based learning captured most of it.

Is the next step moving from Nested Hierarchies to Networked Relationships? These ideas come from Harvard's Richard Elmore