We have all seen the advertisements on TV about the need for an innovative Australia and by direct correlation a need for innovative people. It's interesting to read that new businesses talk about what it means for their business to be innovative. 14 Australian entrepreneurs share what innovation means to them and they all focus on: mindset, attitude, need to push boundaries, part of a learning culture, to operate with a sense of urgency, problem solving, technology related skills, being able to reinvent, an inventor, agility, big ideas.
These skills, aptitudes or dispositions are encapsulated in the General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. However how do we ensure that the skills such as having an innovative mindset combined with technology skills leads to problem solving and therefore an innovative economy? The STEM initiative from the Australian Government is one step in this process, but ultimately it is not just about the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects - it is about a mindset for students to see themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs and the possibilities of doing something different. We do not want students to be successful in our life focus, but to be successful in their future life focus, so educating them to be creative, critical and collaborative learners within an independent mindset is needed.
How do educators provide opportunities for students to learn about and participate in activities that encourage and build these skills and dispositions? It's a bit like the chicken or the egg - you can't get one without the other - and so, you can't get an innovative workforce without a skilled student population. In this instance while the old 3 R's are core, the new 3 R's also need to be not only taught but provide real world experience for students and the ability to:
We are experienced educators passionate about students achieving their potential, and believe that to do this they need highly developed and personalised learning and study skills