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Transformational Learning: theory, practice and policy in the construction of strategic innovation and creativity


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UPV/EHU University of the Basque Country, Summer School, Donostia July 2010

UPV/EHU University of the Basque Country, Summer School, Donostia July 2010

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  • 1. Transformational Learning:theory, practice and policy in theconstruction of strategic innovation andcreativity Dr Alan Bruce ULS Dublin EHU Donostia: July 2010
  • 2. 1. Setting the Scene Stakeholder and community linkage Access and social inclusion Technological revolutions Responding to the market Transnational linkage
  • 3. Innovation in a time of change Innovation supporting learning Innovation supporting work Re-evaluation of traditional methods and structures Change and transformation needs Impact of globalization
  • 4. Contexts of change Globalization Stratification Labour market transformation Rights and inclusion Access, quality and innovation in education
  • 5. Responding to change Flexibility Diverse learners/digital immigrants Learning outcomes Pedagogical design Integrated learning Social capital and inclusion
  • 6. Globalized imperatives Patterns of constant change Permanent migration mobility Outsourcing Flexible structures and modalities End of job norms Knowledge economy Structural inequalities
  • 7. Globalized culture End of old certainties No return to ‘normal’ Polymorphic media Fuzzy logic and postmodernism
  • 8. Globalized education Professional training Best practice Standards and ethics Learner centred mythologies Innovation imperatives
  • 9. Spectres at the gates Persistence and increase in inequality Permanent hopelessness of excluded Embedded violence Internal underclass Invisibility and ethnic difference
  • 10. Urbanized futures Planet of Slums (Mike Davis) Informal economies Hypercities The normalization of brutality
  • 11. Critical perspectives Traditional schooling Learning systems both reflect and lead society Information…wisdom…understanding Critical enquiry - back to Illich Reflection and inquisitiveness Engaging with difference
  • 12. Balkan ghosts Boundaries drawn to defend ‘Europe’ against the Other (Slavoj Zizek) Decalogue and Human Rights Ethnic cleansing and the desert of the real Love your neighbor not as mirror image… but as Real (The Fragile Absolute)
  • 13. 2. Defining innovation Innovation as Holy Grail of crisis resolution Construction of innovation as a new form of alchemy Identified issues link: policy knowledge production information explosion ownership
  • 14. Innovation and knowledge How does learning sustain innovation? Necessary focus on inherited structures and delivery mechanisms Access and validation of knowledge have become central concerns Focus on mediation role, hierarchy and control What is now the role of the University?
  • 15. Knowledge in transformation Commodification of knowledge Impact on education systems (Freire, Illich, Field) Impact on work (Braverman, Haraszti, Davis) Impact on community - alienation and anomie From community to networking Knowledge and learning now centrally linked as product and process dimensions in the generation of innovation
  • 16. The outlook for knowledge Miller (2003) fundamentally optimistic about transformational potential of new knowledge architectures Carneiro (2007) identifies Paradigm shifts (industry-globalization-utopia) Delivery modes (role-access-customized) Driving forces (State-market-community)
  • 17. Theorizing knowledge Dialogic learning: interaction- dialogue of equals - foundations of trust Expansive learning: resoles contradictions- dialectical-goes beyond existing to imagine alternatives Collaborative learning: universities-companies- governments-communities Formulations occur within a structure The framework and assumptions are those of globalized late capitalism
  • 18. Innovative knowledge in context If learning, working and production are controlled innovation is at best powerless, at worst sinister At the core of innovation is an ability to assess critically and express freely Fundamental to innovation is the ability to ask questions that challenge existing relations Innovation is re-examining existing reality while posing viable alternatives
  • 19. Categories of innovationFigueiredo (2009): Incremental: builds on existing thinking, products, processes, organizations or social systems Disruptive: addressed to people who do not have solutions - compete with nothing since no other solutions exist
  • 20. Incremental innovation Addresses core of what already exists Airplanes that fly farther Batteries that last longer Computers that process faster
  • 21. Disruptive innovation Evolves very rapidly Replaces traditional solutions Rooted in simple applications Personal computer Internet Mobile technologies
  • 22. Policy focus How can we incubate creativity? Hw can we develop capacity for innovation? Why have we progressed so little in formal terms?
  • 23. 3. Creativity Link between creativity and innovation Csikszentmihalyi: domain - field - person Creative teaching Big and little creativity Varieties of creativity Creativity as decision
  • 24. Creativity for real Need to acknowledge context in which creativity occurs Need to locate creativity as set of functioning elements (Craft 2003): Cognitive skills Personality traits Social Cultural Historical
  • 25. Creativity - the sequel Not easily defined Packaging the invention Copying the unique Transferability Rights and acknowledgement
  • 26. Linking the inventiveInnovation (Fagerbert 2003): Introduces novelty into the economic sphere Tends to cluster in certain sectors Explains difference in performance
  • 27. Trends and directions Acceleration Collaboration and networks (external) Functional integration (internal) Collaboration with knowledge production centres Increasing domination by market realities
  • 28. Hard realities Role of the military Imperatives of war and violence Biotechnology Patenting biodiversity Genetics Social engineering Hard futures
  • 29. 4. Transformational Learning Sociology of innovation Educational systems as networks of actors who reinforce each other in stable configurations Stable configurations prevent change Vested interest acts against innovation - seen as threat
  • 30. Engaging with systems It is possible to have incremental change Systems react to change even if they do not initiate it The promising path is through disruptive innovation which produces irreversible change (Christensen, Disrupting Class, 2008)
  • 31. Changing systems On-line courses Pilot schools Project based learning Experimental schools in degraded social communities Non-formal learning Abolition of the teacher
  • 32. Beyond changed systems Language, mathematics, science and … Creative and cultural development Moral autonomy Critical thinking distinct epistemologies of science and engineering “Science explains what exists; engineering creates what never existed” (Von Karman)
  • 33. Embedding creativity Organic, reflective evaluative follow-up Analysis and modification Lasting partnerships between research units and schools Action research teams Organic link to work and community Professional passion - out of the strait- jacket
  • 34. Supporting innovative learning communities Community development Social solidarity Environmental management and conservation Arts and culture Sports and leisure Health and well-being Social inclusion and demographic change Advanced technologies
  • 35. Traditional models Conservative Strict Inflexible Examination-driven Resistantto application of new technologies
  • 36. Potential models Pupil centred Competence driven Community focused Technological support International cooperation Learning process (application modes) Individual value (humanistic approach)
  • 37. Strategic planning The innovation imperative Reprising discovery Challenging certainties Re-asserting values Defining rights
  • 38. Themes Innovation and creativity as starting point not destination Responsiveness to permanent change Staff competence and empowerment Engaging with excellence Doing the unexpected - better! Content validity and academic rigor Customer delight
  • 39. European trajectories Rights of Man: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Thematic mythologies - social inclusion Legacies of struggle Hidden pasts: colonialism, fascism, exterminism Neo-liberalism resurgent The Union in crisis
  • 40. American trajectories Constitutional rights: Life, Liberty,the Pursuit of Happiness All men are created equal… but… Final frontiers: immigration, assimilation, success, opportunity Hidden poisons - slavery, race, eugenics Uncomfortable truths - Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Blogging in the desert - wikileaks and truth
  • 41. Common trajectories Demographic changes: ageing and life expectancy Women and labor market participation Immigration Cultural and religious difference Conflict and stress Urbanization
  • 42. Further steps Increased application on new knowledge Open and distance learning technologies facilitating learners and staff competence Transformation of traditional teaching role to mentoring, guiding and facilitation Development of network of innovative best practice at European level
  • 43. From science to wisdomThe strangeness of reality consistently exceeds the expectations of science, and the assumptions of science, however tried and rational, are very inclined to encourage false expectations. It is a tribute to the brilliance of science that we can know such things. And it is also an illustration of the fact that science does not foreclose possibility, including discoveries that overturn very fundamental assumptions, and that it is not a final statement about reality but a highly fruitful mode of inquiry into it.Marilynne Robinson, Absence of Mind (2010)
  • 44. Fruitful inquiry Innovation based on questions, not answers Humanizing experience by understanding Purpose and meaning Assimilating past and present - profoundly communicable Unearthing the human gem - Ernest Mandel and the abyss of barbarism
  • 45. Directions Avoiding innovation mantras and clichés The poetry of open discovery and delight Rescuing liberation in thought and practice Back to the future - the construction of cathedrals and creativity in a fractured Europe
  • 46. Thank youDr Alan BruceULS DublinDonostia July 2010