Innovating Pedagogy Report 2019


The Open University UK produce an annual Innovating Pedagogy Report, which explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment. It considers ten innovations which are likely to have a significant impact on education.

The report quotes Downes:

The core of learning is found not in what is defined in the curriculum, but in how teachers help students discover new possibilities from familiar things, and then from new things.

Linked to this quote the report states:

Technology can help us to do new things, rooted in our understanding of how teaching and learning take place. Learning can be playful, wonderful, and a way of understanding and making sense of the world. Pedagogies change and develop in response to changes in society. They open up new possibilities rather than reproducing what happened in the past.

The ten innovations are:

  1. Playful learning: The benefits of play in learning are well known and include the fact that play evokes creativity, imagination and happiness. The focus is more on the process than the outcomes and allows for exploration of different issues from different perspectives.
  2. Learning with robots: These can replicate the important dialogic engagement teachers have with their students. They can help learners understand something through conversation or they can provide answers to queries.
  3. Decolonising learning: This prompts teachers to think about what we are teaching from new perspectives, extending beyond the focus on male, white and European. It helps teachers to recognise, understand and challenge the ways in which the world is shaped by colonisation.
  4. Drone-based learning: Drones are typically used to take photos or make videos. They can be used by learners to access inaccessible places or to collect data from places that are difficult to access or dangerous.
  5. Learning through wonder: Wonderous encounters motivate learners to see a phenomenon from multiple perspectives. Teachers can include wonder in a variety of ways, such as: magic shows, cabinets of curiosities, nature tables or outdoor quests.
  6. Action learning: This is a team-based approach to professional development that addresses real or immediate problems. The aim is to improve existing skills and to solve problems of significance.
  7. Virtual studios: These are not just an online version of physical spaces, they have their own educational value and offer new possibilities.
  8. Place-based learning: This considers location to be a trigger for learning and an active part of how people learn. Of particular note is the fact that mobile devices are opening up new opportunities for place-based learning.
  9. Making thinking visible: Learning can be more effective when students can visualise their thinking. This can include: setting goals, writing down the steps when solving a problem, and making annotations. Teachers can also see and assess the students’ progress.
  10. Roots of empathy: This is designed to teach students empathy. The central tenet is that if students understand how they feel and how others feel, they will find it easier to cope in social situations.

As always this is a really interest and important report, each innovation is described and links provided to useful resources.

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