We Don’t Need No Innovation

Reflections on schools, teaching and education.

hailA wonderful essay in Aeon magazine ‘Hail the Maintainers’ describes innovation as “a dominant ideology of our era”.  In a podcast based on this essay its author warns: “Our culture’s obsession with innovation and hype has led us to ignore maintenance and maintainers.”

In schools we’ve tweaked and tinkered, chopped and changed, until what counts as school improvement is often just layer upon layer of initiatives and innovations.  This onion-skin school improvement can hide a rotten, neglected core.

Innovation is alluring.  When we bring in new initiatives we don’t have to offend those who invested in the previous project.  New initiatives are shiny, gleaming and different; they offer a brighter future compared to the dull, messy, complex present.   Brexit and Trump – and Obama in his time – were able to sell an exciting new vision, a rejection of the status quo, while those of us who campaigned…

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