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What would a Christian approach to innovation in education look like?: Cardus

In a bid to redeem the core concept of innovation and release it from its Silicon Valley confines, a new piece from Cardus examines an unconventional way innovation can be usefully reimagined — applying principles of Christian teaching to innovation in education to better ourselves and improve outcomes. 

In this transcript of an address by Dr. Beth Green delivered at the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning, she emphasizes that innovation is far more than just impressive new technology. 

“Technology is not inherently innovative just because it is convenient or stylish. Innovation is a mindset. It is how you use the technology — the process, not the product. In other words, innovation is a posture.”

She continues:

“Posture is always related to practice. To adopt a particular posture is to act in a way that reifies a belief shaped by cultural norms. And as teaching and learning are always played out in the context of a community of practice, this important tool — posture — cannot work independently of another important tool, that of telos or direction.”

What would adopting a Christian posture towards innovation in the education system look like? Dr. Green explains that it would:

  • Be oriented toward the other, driven by a concern for the common good
  • Grapple with what human flourishing consists of, as fundamental to the posture of innovation — informing the very questions posed and probed in our classrooms about what we could do differently and why
  • Embrace nonconformity and inclusivity — allowing for the rediscovery of old ways of doing things mixed in with the new, resulting in messy patterns and tests and critical questions
  • Affirm as vocational the practices of creativity, experimentation, and risk-taking
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