Every “Best Practice” in Education Was Once an Innovation

    Adam Grant recently tweeted this article, focusing on the importance of theory and delving into the unknown for science. It is a fascinating read, and the end quote stuck out to me:
    Some of the most interesting scientific work gets done when scientists develop bizarre theories in the face of something new or unexplained. Madcap ideas must find a way of relating to the world – but demanding falsifiability or observability, without any sort of subtlety, will hold science back. It’s impossible to develop successful new theories under such rigid restrictions.
    In Grant’s original tweet regarding the article (read the replies; there is some interesting back and forth), he states:
    Demanding proof stalls creativity. New ideas need room to breathe, and a good imagination will always be ahead of the best evidence.
    So what does this mean for education?
    When I read this, I first thought of people always demanding that everything is done in classrooms in schools has to be “best practice”.  Ultimately, that means nothing new can come into education, because if it is unproven, then it can’t be best practice. Here’s the thing though…
    Everything we have ever deemed as “best practice” in education was once an innovation.
    Someone saw things weren’t working the way they should, and they did something better.  I have shared what I believe this process continuously looks like in education.

    But these ideas did not come out of thin air. People have based it on their own experience, understanding the students in front of them, while looking at the future in front of them.  There is a balance of learning from what we know and how things could get better.  If we only did what we know, where does “learning” come into the fray?
    Not every new idea works.
    But not every “best practice” works either for every child.
    The focus is not holding onto the past or being solely focused on the future. The focus is on learners and creating betters schools and classrooms.
    To do that, we will have to focus on continuous growth, not only what we know.


    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *


    You May Also Like

    Simplest Gestures Are Often the Most Memorable

    When I was in Grade 4, my teacher, Miss Butler, ended the year by ...

    Providing Support Versus Enabling

    In a workshop this past week, I discussed how it is essential to create ...

    Leading With Empathy

    This story from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” is one that has ...

    Sometimes it’s you…

    Change is hard. There is a lot going on not only in education, but ...

    Quick Reminder

    I love working with so many amazing people but today I was reminded of ...

    The #InnovatorsMindset MOOC Starting February 27, 2017 #IMMOOC

    How do you move from “pockets of innovation” to a “culture of innovation”? How ...

    How Quickly Things Change

    If you have never seen the “Blockbuster Offers a Glimpse of Movie Renting Past”, ...

    Mentoring Others to Shine Their Light

    The whole “there are two types of people” narrative is one that drives me ...

    The Impact of a Teacher

    It has been hard watching the news and hearing about strike action and funding cuts ...