At Saint Andrew’s School we challenged our community to innovate. A team of educators set out to explore and find meaning in the oft-used expression: “innovation in education.” As a team, we were committed to thinking more deeply about teaching. We also want to contribute to the execution of our school’s five-year strategic plan launched in 2014. We will “renew our school’s commitment to innovative teaching” with a focus on the education of creative thinking learners. Being a forward-looking college preparatory school, one of our objectives is to “provide innovative and appropriate technology to support instruction in all areas… to strengthen the school’s commitment to education relevant to the global community and to establish best practices.”
Innovation: With these ideas in mind, we are exploring the global Internet, peruse the latest books in the field, and are asking questions of our colleagues and ourselves. In particular, we examining the stages of innovation already occurring in the SAS curriculum, with a desire to support and improve these practices.
Creativity: Adding creativity to the traditional classroom dynamic stresses a different type of skill from that of collaboration. Creativity showcases originality and individuality and fosters the development of a personal-learning paradigm and network. Idea creation guides a student through her personal lines of inquiry and methods of inquiring.
Integration and Collaboration: Whether writing an essay, completing a science lab, putting on a play, or building a robot, students are more likely to engage meaningfully because their reputation for quality work is at stake within their peer group. Additionally, when creating video or team-teaching a class, students experience firsthand how divergent ideas can push creation further or, conversely, how ideas can be modified or crafted for a comprehensive, unified effect. Finally, students have the opportunity for goal setting and self-reflection when asked to project and assess their own contribution to the group effort.