In a world, where everything needs to be evidenced based, there is a risk of stifling innovation and innovators. Innovation by definition will lack an evidence base. Evidenced based practice clearly has an efficiency until it comes to needing new solutions. I believe we know we need new solutions in Education, and this short paper and accompanying resource, provides support for those travelling these lands. A way of communicating and articulating our practise with evidence of the learning process, the products made and the community engaged is very much needed. We require a Practice Based Evidence.
It is important to consider what enables impactful change and what can bridge the barriers so often faced by innovators. This is never more relevant than in the world of education where change can feel like it is working on a fossilised timescale. Where pedagogy is limited by the test, rather than enhanced by meaningful work alongside (assessment).
Space can provide a wonderful provocation for learning and innovation. If you don’t recognise the impact of space try playing baseball in a cathedral. Similarly language can expand the space between our ears broadening our perspective of a situation. Calling a room a studio creates a different intention than calling it a classroom. At the time of writing this there have been more the seventy four million views of the late Sir Ken Robinson’s wonderful TED talk around schools killing creativity. Many people would applaud the talk and nod in agreement and yet change in schools has been painfully slow.
One part of the challenge is helping parents, who are wanting something different, to have an evidence base of learning provided by educators. It is common to find the parent who wants a different kind of school but then wants to assess it using the metrics of other schools. How do parents and educators manage this internal running commentary in their heads. Similarly parents are unlikely to want their child to be experimented on. The reality is that the current system is a much more worrying experiment but to really reassure parents we need to show evidence of the learning. Bring it to life through exhibition, through gallery (see example at REAL School Budapest) and through display and curation of learning.
So here is an illustrative guide for the innovators and curriculum artists to inspire you on your journey of innovation using display, as a form of practice based evidence. Its intention is to help you capture the way you travel and profile the things you treasure. Take one idea and put it into action as we ensure that schools do not kill creativity.
by David Strudwick