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Building the Innovation School

Infrastructures for Equity in Today’s Classrooms

T. Philip Nichols Yasmin B. Kafai

144 pages
Teachers College Press

There is no shortage of innovations on offer for schools. Hardly a week passes without someone marching out the latest device, app, service, curricular add-on, or instructional technique that, we are told, is sure to cure the perennial woes of systemic education. This book is an investigation of this enchantment with “innovation” and its implications for not only everyday teaching and learning, but also the future of public education. Based on a study of The Innovation School—a public high school organized around makerspaces, design thinking, and personalized technology—the author challenges conventional wisdom about how educational transformation unfolds and argues that the popular understanding of innovation exacerbates inequality and undermines teacher and student autonomy. Building the Innovation School demonstrates how attending to the infrastructures of innovation leads to educational change that is driven by the interests and values of educators. Repair rather than disruption is the focus—a commitment to schools that allow all students to flourish.

Book Features:

  • Shows how specific innovations actually work over time in the everyday life of the classroom.
  • Provides resources for breaking through the hype of current (and future) innovations-of-the-day.
  • Offers a framework for “innovating from below,” tailoring local innovations to the needs, values, and priorities of students, educators, and the community.
  • Includes an appendix of resources for teachers and administrators interested in applying the frameworks from the book in their schools and classrooms.
Author Bio

T. Philip Nichols is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Baylor University.