Minnesota’s new Innovation Zone schools: Ted Kolderie talks with the Pioneer Press

April 26, 2013 • Ted Kolderie

A story in the Pioneer Press earlier this week, More green lights, less red tape for Innovation Zone schools, explains Minnesota’s developing interest in innovation, though it doesn’t quite capture how we at Education Evolving believe innovation can most effectively appear in schools.

At Education Evolving we see innovation as both “top-down” and “bottom-up.” The “innovation zone” legislation from a year ago encourages administrators to push innovation in districts . . . to create a culture where innovation can be practiced from the bottom up in schools. During its last session, the Legislature also amended the site-based, decision making statute to encourage principals and teachers to propose greater “individualized learning.”

We see “bottom-up” innovation as important because we believe those closest to the students are in the best position to understand their unique interests, aptitudes, and learning styles — and, therefore, in the best position to foster the individualization and motivation essential to student learning.

In the story, I was quoted about innovation in Minnesota classrooms. If you haven’t seen the Education Evolving video about a Minnesota teacher who took the initiative to individualize learning in his classroom, click on Ananth Pai.