A Slightly Cynical Rant on Innovations in Education

Some educators accept the invitation to learn about an innovative pedagogy being introduced to a school. These individuals tend to receive extra training, lead planning and implementation meetings, and deliver professional development to colleagues. In my experience, those who become local advocates of these innovations tend to be less experienced teachers and educators who do not recognize that each innovative practice is likely a repackaged version of one that disappointed innovators a few years earlier. (My experience includes having been one of those who accepted the invitation at different times in career.)

Many of these local advocates are deeply committed to the practice, they invest significant time and energy in honing the skill with the practice, and they become skilled and effective in his practice. This skill clouds their vision, however. The adage “when one has a hammer, everything looks like a nail” accurately describes these educators. They use that innovative method regardless of the nature of the curriculum and purpose of a lesson. The result is they necessitate introducing a new innovation to fill in the gaps they have left.