TEACHER CORNER | Trends that drive innovation in education

by Ma. Belen Q. Lurcha

With the advent of the 21st century, a great paradigm shift is happening worldwide, be it in industry or in the educational system.

Such is clearly visualized with the implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, wherein our system is trying its best to be at par with its neighboring Asian countries. 

However, the question is, what really drives these changes? What drives innovations?

According to Dr. Roy B. San Buenaventura of the UP College of Education, there are three (3) classifications of trends that drive innovations.

One of them is called as hurdles. Hurdles appear to be the pesky obstacles, but are actually important markers that force educational institutions to slow down, prepare themselves and with sufficient practice, tools and knowhow-- make the leap.

Before the implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum, our teachers have undergone rigid trainings just so they will be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude before they will be exposed to the actual practice. This is considered as one of the hurdles – on-going professional development. Added to this are the skills development of our teachers along technology, especially with the use of computers so that they will be able to upload instructional materials, be it videos or video clips that could further enhance the teaching-learning process. Still, there is the pedagogy (the usual classroom strategies as against technology gap) and digital equity.

Such things may really be considered as hurdles to our teachers, especially those who are having difficulty in the use of technology. However, one can expect the positive result of all these hurdles—scaling innovation.

The second trend that drive innovations are called accelerators. Accelerators are megatrends that drive the needs and skills expected of the learners and the educational practitioners. Some shifts are moving rapidly (even suddenly) with others happening so gradually that the effects may not be felt for years to come.

What are these accelerators? Of course there is always technology. Yes, technology is considered as a hurdle but on the other hand, it could also be considered as an accelerator. Whether teachers like it or not, they have to have that skill in the use of technology otherwise, they would be left behind. It can be considered as accelerator because once the skill has been developed, the teacher would always look forward to the use of it, looking for more instructional materials, reading materials, activities that would greatly help them in their task as a teacher. It may be a hurdle at the start but later, teachers will consider them as accelerators.

Tech enablers is the third trend that drive innovations. These are the supporting tools, where the rubber meets the road, greasing the wheels for smoother solutions and more expansive opportunities for learning and teaching.

It is said that our teachers today are bombarded with so much training – from content to pedagogy to assessment – hurdles which can be considered at the start, which later become accelerators. Definitely, along the way, our teachers are still struggling as to the best or most effective way of making classroom instruction very effective. Thus, technology in the real sense of the word. One could consider very important the technical assistance or technical support that may be provided by experts – along subject area, or even the District Supervisors and School Heads along classroom management and other related functions expected of from a classroom teacher.

With all these trends in innovations, indeed, we can expect a leap (not really quantum at the moment but a slight leap) that would picture and justify the impact of all these hurdles in the performance of our leaders.