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Measuring Innovation in Education

Earlier this year, the OECD’s Centre for Educational Innovation and Research published their 2019 report, “Measuring Innovation in Education.

They define innovation as “a significant change in selected key practices in education.” They use the PISA, TIMSS, and PIRLS databases to cover and identify these key practices at the classroom or school levels.

The publication covers three other areas of interest:

A major drawback about this publication is that it does not cover emerging/recently-introduced teaching practices such as flipped learning because “there is no international dataset covering the uptake of these practices.” So, in that sense, their use of the word “innovation” is slightly misleading. They actually say that they don’t assume that innovation is necessarily an improvement.

What they are measuring is “how much change students have experienced in their learning environment over a decade.” So, in a way, the report is a useful indicator to get a sense of what is mainstream/conventional practice and what is alternative practice.

Pedagogical innovation in mathematics, science and reading lessons is the main focus of the publication. On average, it has been moderate in the last decade. These are a few salient quotes that make for dismal reading:

The report focuses mainly on the developed world, particularly, N. America, Europe, and Australia. No doubt, things would not be any better had they also focused on India, China, and Africa.



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Rohan Roberts

Director, SciFest Dubai | Director of Innovation and Future Learning, GEMS Education |