The HundrED education innovation clearinghouse
Contributed by Josephine Lister, Editor of HundrED and Freelance Writer @Jose_Lister
"Education is like Vegas, whatever happens there, stays there"
There are plenty of good ideas and practices in education around the world, but it’s hard enough to get others in the same school to be aware of them, let alone the rest of the world.
That’s where HundrED comes in.
HundrED is an initiative researching the most inspiring innovations in education from around the world. HundrED’s mission is to help schools change by seeking and sharing inspiring innovations in K12 education, and aims to empower teachers, students, and schools to lead this change from the ground-up.
Annually HundrED will share 100 innovations with all the information you need on how to implement the innovation of your choosing. All findings are shared with the world for free, so that anyone anywhere in the world can improve education where they are.
The first ten global innovations have already been announced, with the remaining ninety to be announced this fall. All the innovations chosen by HundrED are researched by an in-house research team and are assessed by an expert advisory board, as well as student advisory boards too.
The innovations must meet several criteria: addressing an education need in a fresh way, having achieved a demonstrable impact, and allowing for implementation in new contexts. The innovations tackle all areas of education that need updating, such as assessment, personalization, and real-world learning.
Standardized testing is holding young people back
Testing is one area of paramount importance. Students’ grades have the power to open or close doors for them, and their test results help to shape their self-beliefs about what they can achieve. We need to make sure we get assessment right.
Bas Verhart, co-founder of the THNK School of Creative Leadership, explains, ‘Standardized testing is good if you want standardized people. I am more interested in building on the uniqueness of individual children and students (...) Testing for basics is fine but it’s more important to look at the whole person, at emotional, social and creative intelligences - at all the forms of intelligence.’
Blueprints, one of the first ten innovations selected for 2017, tackles the controversial topic of assessment by bringing self-assessment into the classroom. Studies have shown that self-assessment has positive impact on a child’s learning, helping to build their confidence and engage them in their education. However, standardized testing is the norm in most education systems and can be both detrimental to a child’s development as well as not particularly useful for educators, industries, and society as a whole.
Incorporating self-assessment into education can seem like a huge task, and it can be hard to know where to begin. Blueprints presents a practical way of bringing self-assessment into a school. At the beginning of each day students set personal targets, and at the end of each day they review them with the teacher, assessing how they felt they did in each area. The student’s learning is documented on an individual Blueprint, allowing the teacher to overview, document and analyse a child’s real-learning.
By approaching children holistically, taking into consideration their desire to take charge of their own learning, we can better prepare them to become contributing members to their societies.
Personalization is the key to developing a passion for life-long learning
Big Picture Learning, also chosen to be a part of HundrED 2017, has re-formatted the school day to take into consideration individual children’s passions and interests.
Big Picture Learning makes personalized education more manageable by breaking the students up into small groups of fifteen students, called an advisory. Each advisory is supported and led by a teacher who helps the student to discover their own interests, figure out how they learn, and what it is that motivates them.
This style of education not only increases engagement and motivation for all students, but it specifically helps those with different learning challenges, such as dyslexia, who otherwise find standardized education discouraging.
Internships are also an important part of the project. The teacher works with the student to arrange opportunities that suit their interests and could help them on their way after school to find a fulfilling career. Having real-world knowledge again increases motivation as the student can see how what they’re learning in school links to real life.
Real-world learning is a crucial element of contemporary education
‘We should be making sure that students know how subjects relate to industry,’ says Kerrine Bryan, founder of Butterfly Books. ‘What they are learning at school relates to real life things, and knowing that helps them to make important decisions, such as what further education subjects they want to study or what skills they want to go into.’
Education Cities shows how to incorporate real-world learning into education. In this project, schools link with industries in order for students to gain access to real-life experiences in areas they’re interested in.
This increases their motivation in school while also giving them valuable experience and contacts. These industry linkages also help to align the skills children are developing with real-life job opportunities, meaning students are more likely to remain in their city, investing in where they live, rather than moving elsewhere.
Get Involved with HundrED!
These are just a few examples of the projects which are already out there improving education systems around the world. Come this Fall, the remaining 100 inspiring innovations of 2017 will be announced with instructions on how to implement the innovation where you are.