What is Learning Innovation?

Published: 10/14/2015 12:40 PM

KRS 156.108 (Kentucky’s new Districts of Innovation statute) defines “innovation” as “a new or creative alternative to existing instructional and administrative practices intended to improve student learning and student performance of all students”.  To be more specific, “learning innovation” is about moving from the teaching system of the 20th century to a new “learning system” of the 21st century where learning and the “facilitation of learning” (teaching) are the central elements.  Learning innovation is not about modifying the existing teaching system, rather it is about creating a new system that includes the following:

  • involving students and teachers in significantly different ways that lead to increased student learning and engagement
  • defining new outcomes for learning and designing new ways of measuring students’ progress and mastery
  • creating new ways of facilitating learning and designing different structures for deploying adults in schools
  • moving from a “one-size-fits-all” instructional program to personalized learning
    focusing on the 21st-century skills of collaboration, teamwork, problem-formulation, creativity and the ability to "learn how to learn"
  • creating systems where students are partners in designing and owning their learning
  • ensuring that a student can learn anywhere he/she can access the instructional material and at any time 24 hours a day/7 days a week and 365 days a year
  • creating a system of support for each student to be successful in this environment 

​With the above definition in mind, Learning Innovation has multiple points of entry and progressions (1.0, 2.0 and 3.0). Using school calendars as an example: in the traditional approach school occurs students in blocks of time, between 8-3, and on the same calendar for ALL students.  A Level 1 Innovation would be moving from the traditional approach to modified schedules using blocks or trimesters or modifying day, offering additional instruction before and after school or moving to a "year-round" calendar. A Level 2 Innovation might include a true "flexible" time concept, allowing students and teachers to be on different time schedules and different calendars but with all teachers working equal contracts and all students having the same amount of instructional time.

Learning Innovation Overview

Our six critical attributes forms the foundation top prepare students for college and career success. Each district and school’s innovation may look different, but each are connected through the six design principles.
  1. World Class Knowledge and Skills: knowledge and skills that prepare students for global success and competency
  2. Personalized Learning: set goals, assess progress to ensure student academic and developmental support
  3. Anytime, Anywhere Learning: flexible & Real World learning environment that provide constructive learning experiences
  4. Student Agency: students owning and shaping their individual learning experience
  5. Performance-based Assessment: enabling students to demonstrate mastery based on high and shared expectations
  6. Comprehensive systems of support: providing a culture of support for all students (i.e., social, emotional, physical and cognitive)
Click here to see examples of the six design principles at work in schools. 
David Cook
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Innovation and Partner Engagement
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4201
Fax (502) 564-8149