Connecting educators interested in innovation
Yesterday I attended the DEECD Innovation Showcase (hashtag #deecdIS) which is a Department of Education sponsored event that is run on an annual basis to encourage and foster Innovation within Education in Victoria and across Australia.
One of the most interesting speakers was keynote speaker and author Charles Leadbeater. In his talk, he spoke about the Innovator's Challenge and the Inside/Outside Dilemma.
The Inside/Outside Dilemma is the natural problem that occurs in system where Innovation becomes necessary. The essential question is "should Innovation come from within the system or outside the system?" In the context of education, this is a very important and insightful
Fundamentally within the Victorian school system, we have examples of Innovation coming from both within the system and outside of the system. The truth is that there are advantages and disadvantages to both sides of the equation. Those outside of the system are empowered to
make powerful decisions and see things differently without being constrained by the rules and 'bureaucracy' of the system.
On the flip side, those inside the system typically have more access to resources, funding and a natural connection that allows for the change to spread more easily. They, however, tend to the lack the 'unique' perspective that can often required to drastically reinvent and redesign a system and may even fiercely resist such change (as it is often interpreted as a direct attack on the system itself.)
The advantage of understanding this model of Innovation is that it allows both parties to work together more coherently. The 'outside' innovators could stand to benefit from the resources of the 'inside' innovators and those on the inside could stand to benefit from learning about the different ways of doing things, that are more easily created outside the context of the school system.
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