International Journal of Innovation in Education (9 papers in press)
Virtual Reality in Education: A Tool for Learning in the Experience Age
by Elliot Hu-Au, Joey J. Lee
Abstract: Educators face major challenges as a result of the shift from the Information Age to the Experience Age (Wadhera, 2016). For example, students are passive and disengaged (Kapps & Crawford, 2013) and may struggle to see the relevance of what they are learning to their lives (Gee, 2009); also, important skills needed for 21st century learners -- such as empathy, systems thinking, creativity, computational literacy, and abstract reasoning -- are difficult to teach (Smith & Hu, 2013). Virtual reality, an immersive, hands-on tool for learning, can play a unique role in addressing these educational challenges. In this paper, we present examples of how the affordances of virtual reality lead to new opportunities that support learners. We conclude with a discussion of recommendations and next steps.
Keywords: virtual reality; virtual environments; experience age; education; technology; 21st century skills.
Policy-shaping graduate follow-up studies: The case of a program for excellent students in colleges of education
by Rama Klavir, Judith Goldenberg
Abstract: Too often insufficient use is made of findings from research and evaluation studies in educational programs. This article presents the REGEV Program for Excellent Student Teachers as an example of a program that views research as an inseparable part of its development, and employs it to aid the formulation and implementation of policy changes. Two examples are presented in which policy changes were made in the program as a result of findings from eight nationwide graduate follow-up studies. A theoretical model is presented to illustrate the five factors inherent in forming and maintaining a productive relationship between research and policy-making. In this model, policy initiates research, which yields findings and conclusions, and in turn leads to policy changes and additional research, leading to the educational programs development and improvement.
Keywords: Key words: policy and research; excellence in education; Regev; program for excellent students; graduate studies.
Managerial Staff Perceptions on the E-Learning Recommender System: A Case of Saudi Arabia
by Hadeel Alharbi, Kamaljeet Sandhu
Abstract: This paper explores the managerial staff perceptions on the factors affecting the acceptance and continuance usage of e-learning recommender system in Saudi Arabia on the basis of a qualitative data that were collected using the case study methodology. In this research, the case study design was selected for the qualitative methodology and semi-structured interviews were employed as the data collection method for the case study. The case study is based in a Deanship of a university implementing an e-learning recommender system in Saudi Arabia. We conducted interviews with five management staff and thus qualitative data were collected. Data analysis was performed and NVIVO 10th version software was also utilised. Data were coded and themes were then generated. Findings indicate several factors that affect an e-learning recommender system adoption that include user experience, service quality, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Various suggestions were offered in this study and we also propose practical implications according to the identified insufficiencies.
Keywords: E-learning; Recommender system; Saudi Arabia; Adoption.
Special Issue on: Re-configuring Learner Experiences Opportunities and Systemic Challenges
An imagined 'haven' for refugee Muslim families: slowly remaking the school
by Hannah Soong, Barbara Comber
Abstract: This paper explores how one Catholic school in Australia set out to reculture its practices with the goal of increasing the social and academic capabilities of their refugee students. It draws on Appadurai's (1996) meditation on social imagination to show that educational innovation requires new ways of thinking and doing, both in and beyond the school. Rather, the work of imagination is what enables the remaking of the ethos and practices of a school. Drawing on qualitative data produced through a rapid ethnography approach, our analysis shows how the gradual negotiation of whole-school sustained innovation can begin to produce a space of haven for Muslim refugee families. The study found that it takes time and perseverance to contest the deficit discourses that surround refugee students and their families. The school community has to work across many sites of practice to become a hopeful and enabling space.
Keywords: whole-school innovation; Muslim refugee families; imagined future; reculturing of learning and teaching; cultural and religious diversity; school ethos.
Shifting power at school: youth participation in teacher professional learning settings as educational innovation
Abstract: This study explores the non-normative inclusion of students in teacher professional learning settings. It demonstrates the potential for change in top-down power relationships between teachers and students when students are included as legitimate participants in educational innovation and improvement efforts. In this community-based design research (Bang et al., 2015) in one urban indigenous school in Thailand, we found that the legitimate participation (Lave and Wenger, 1991) of students in dynamic, integral roles in teachers' professional learning was key in shifting power through (1) student ownership of ideas and (2) dialogue to shift teachers' deficit frames of students' expertise.
Keywords: student voice; agency; legitimate participation; Tutoría; professional learning reform; heterogeneity in learning; indigenous education; 'indigenous highland' education; Thailand.
A tale of two schools' journey in educational change: comparing approaches to designing and implementing pedagogical innovations
by Peter Seow, Gean Chia, Shu-Shing Lee, David Hung, Eva Moo
Abstract: This study compares the pathways of two schools in implementing pedagogical innovations for improving student learning outcomes through technology-mediated inquiry-based pedagogies. The two schools implemented innovations with similar goals but with different implementation approaches and resulting outcomes. The intent of the comparison is to shed light on what shapes school's implementation of innovations. Multiple sources of data were collected from workshops for teachers, teachers' lesson design meetings, lesson plans, classroom observations, and interviews with teachers and students. We analysed each school's implementation process of the innovation by understanding the factors and noting the decisions made by the school's middle managers and school leaders, reviewing teachers' lesson enactments and their reflections, and students' learning outcomes. There were differences and similarities in how the schools implemented the innovation. From this study, a key finding is that context, school practices and pragmatic considerations influence the implementation of innovations.
Keywords: educational change; pedagogical innovations; inquiry-based learning; innovation implementation.
What lessons can innovation education learn from childhood and adolescent education of the Nobel Prize winners in chemistry?
by Larisa V. Shavinina
Abstract: Nobel Prize is the highest achievement and lessons from Nobel laureates are of great value for fostering the next generation of scientific innovators. This paper presents some findings from the project about early childhood and adolescent education of the Nobel Prize winners in chemistry. It considers the important role of 'nuclear' and extended families in nurturing innovators-geniuses, the availability of at least one outstanding teacher, who had a great impact on developing talents, and of good schools, as well as an evidence of academic acceleration. Early interest in science and the three other interests - reading, sports, and music - of Nobel laureates-to-be were identified, as well as their high curiosity, love to learn, and easiness in learning. These findings will be compared with the main conclusions from a similar study of Nobel laureates in physics published earlier. The implications for innovation education are of exceptional importance for cultivating tomorrow's geniuses of Nobel caliber.
Keywords: innovation education; innovator; scientific innovation; Nobel laureates in science; early childhood and adolescent education; Nobel Prize.
Negotiating the complexity of curriculum integration: metalanguages as levers that shape the innovation process
by Letchmi Devi Ponnusamy, Liang See Tan, Suriyani Rahamat, Nur Amira Mohammad Ibrahim
Abstract: This paper describes an instrumental case study that examined interactions amongst school teachers and curriculum leaders in the midst of developing integrated curriculum. Using the dual framework of curriculum as a socio-cultural entity and of curriculum as praxis, the study found that the school-wide curriculum vision that anchored the curriculum integration process catalysed teachers' negotiations and collaborations. This intensified attention to learners' thinking and creative production during lessons. Teachers began to question their personal connections to other disciplines which prompted them to re-consider their routine instructional practices. Analysis of teacher exchanges and interviews pointed to metalanguages, an assemblage of abstract ideas and symbols that supported and sustained the process of curriculum integration. We argue that understanding the ways that metalanguages tie together subject matter considerations, teachers' perspective of teaching the subject and their desire to meet learners' needs inspires greater meaning and commitment for all stakeholders during curriculum integration.
Keywords: curriculum integration; curriculum innovation; teacher conversations; metalanguage; curriculum vision.
Evidence-informed innovation in schools: aligning collaborative research and development with high quality professional learning for teachers
by Toby Greany, Bronwen Maxwell
Abstract: Innovation efforts in schools commonly wrestle with two challenges: how to secure ownership of change among teachers and how to ensure that improvements are based on evidence. This paper draws on findings from a two-year collaborative research and development (R&D) project in England which involved 66 school clusters (teaching school alliances (TSAs)) in implementing and evaluating school-based innovations and a separate umbrella review of evidence on effective continuous professional development and learning (CPDL) for teachers. We find that collaborative R&D can enhance the ownership of change among participating teachers and ensure that innovations are based on evidence. We define a framework for integrating R&D and CPDL which could enable evidence-informed improvement to be scaled up, impacting on all staff. Drawing on Winch et al.'s (2015) model of teachers' professional knowledge we argue that the proposed framework could enhance the potential for teaching to be accepted as an "evidence-informed professional endeavour".
Keywords: schools; teachers; leadership; change; innovation; evidence-informed practice; research and development; R&D; continuous professional development and learning; CPDL.