Innovation – Supporting Students as Change Agents

As principals, how do we give permission to innovate?

As principals, how do we create the conditions that allow and empower deep learning?  

How do we change our mindset and in turn change the mindsets of our community?  How do we create a lasting change in practice?  In order to change our thinking we need to know our biases.  More importantly, we have to challenge our biases and create a culture that challenges, changes and creates something new. 

The word innovation has sometimes been confused with the use of technology.  I’m not sure if I believe in the power of technology, but I do believe in the power of great teaching and in the magic of great teachers guiding and being guided by student voice, advocacy and action. Technology in the hands of great teachers in transformative.  It is the Principal that creates the conditions for learning that allows for this magic to happen.  

What does innovation look like in your school?

How do we allow student learning to change how we teach?  …Change how the classroom looks? …Change our school and the local and global communities???

I believe that the answer to these questions is the key to unlocking innovation in school communities.  

Michael Fullan writes, “Our main goal in education is to provide immediate opportunities for students to help humanity … students have a role as change agents.” (Fullan, 2014) 

Students need to believe that their learning is important, that it can change their classrooms, their school, and their local and global communities. They also need to believe in the impact of their learning. If students believe that they can change the world through their learning, they will know that their learning is important. Responding to student voice empowers students and improves student engagement achievement and well being.

How do we create the conditions necessary in our schools  for students to become agents of change?

Gianna Helling 
Student Achievement Officer

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