Innovation entails…

Hello, my name is Ms. R and I am currently studying Education at Colorado College. I am interested in innovations and social justice in education and am starting this blog as a platform to reflect upon my experiences in and out of the classroom.

I have found my education courses at Colorado College interesting not only as a basis for becoming a teacher, but also because I find the topics we investigate to be extremely relevant to the world beyond education. Innovation and social justice are both very important beyond the classroom in our changing world.

Innovation entails many different things in education. What comes to mind for me are innovative and creative educators, transformed curriculums, and supportive communities. Innovation comes out of creativity  – it requires an ability to think and act beyond what is usual or expected. Innovation in education involves and entire community willing to adjust what is already common practice. Educational innovation requires teachers to be culturally responsive and create relevancy in students’ learning. As Chen (2010) suggests in chapter 2, the curriculum in schools should be flexible enough to relate to the real life context of each individual student. In order to be flexible like this though, innovation is necessary.

Teachers need to be creative. Learning must have meaning to students.

It is important to understand how innovation might change depending on place. Through looking at the maps during our GIS lab today, I can tell that place plays a significant role in much of the data that was collected. The question is – HOW does place play a role? Ideally, place would influence educational policies but I think I will need to look more closely at the data we have to try and make sense of how exactly these two things relate.

I hope that through further research I can answer this question of how place influences educational policies. The GIS lab today was slightly overwhelming but I think that is to be expected when trying to make sense of such a large array of data. In chapter 1, Chen (2010) refers to the need for classrooms to be relying on the outside world. It seems important therefore that all this data – # in household, age, gender, location – be considered when creating education policies. I hope that as I research more I will discover this to be true but we will see…

Check back soon!




Chen, Milton. (2010). Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass.



3 thoughts on “Innovation entails…

  1. Interesting post. You really brought me to think more about the role of place in education. Of course, it’s not new information that place is a largely determining factor in quality of schools and educators. However, it is bringing to light the sociological lenses of gentrification and modern segregation that I am extremely interested in studying in the framework of policy. I wonder if the effect of the sense of place is as significant in other cultures and nations as it is in ours. I’m looking forward to exploring this more, and will especially have this at the forefront of my mind while in the Denver schools.


  2. When trying to make changes I agree that a community needs to be supportive. Innovation definitely requires an entire community to be on board. You can start changes as an individual, but you also need support. As I am thinking about this idea a question comes to mind: How do you get a community on board when no one is buying into the idea? This is something we could think about during our time in Denver. Especially when seeing how the struggling schools are getting everyone to truly invest in their school and the educational opportunities to prove they can be successful.

    I also made a lot of connections to culturally responsive teaching in my blog. I completely agree that content needs to be relevant to students lives. Without this component, students will struggle to see the importance of their education. Teachers who are not afraid of change will do well in these situations. They will be able to understand lessons may need to change to fit the needs of every learner. These teachers embrace innovation.



  3. I agree with you about the GIS lab being overwhelming. There is such a huge amount of data we have collected about schools and communities, but it’s time we use it all to bring meaning to students’ learning. Your comment about communities coming together to adjust common practices is great and speaks to a possible area where solutions can arise. Basing innovation in cultural and linguistic responsiveness is important and I wonder what you think CRI (culturally responsive innovation) might look like in practice. It will be interesting to see how the outside world of Denver impacts the inside world of the schools we will be visiting. I look forward to learning more about your thoughts on place, data, and how they influence policies!


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