The school reform agenda has amplified over the past decade as the democratisation of learning and knowledge simultaneously creates opportunity and challenge. The role of formal places of learning is being critically re-examined. The inertia of an education system built on foundations of information scarcity has resulted in a high level of resistance to wide-scale innovative change. However in spite of this inertia examples exist of people innovating within the current system of school. What is it that enables these individuals and organisations to work around the pressures and confines of the school system and innovate? Innovation as a strategy for continued organisational relevance is vital, but is in itself problematic, particularly as we grapple to understand what we mean by innovation (Blackmore et. al, 2011). We are seeing policy makers, practitioners and progressive advocates for change beginning to act. The Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (Australian Government, 2015) positions innovation as the key to progress, growth and a strong economy, and has implications for education. But what exactly is innovation in an educational context?
This paper explores a philosophy and approach to the often cited but misunderstood concept of innovation by exploring its development at The Geelong College.