Innovation in Education in 'Designated Character Schools': a Case Study of the Directors of Discovery 1 and 'Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti'
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This dissertation is a case study into participant perceptions of innovation in education. The participants in this research were four directors from two 'designated character' schools, which were set up to be foundationally different from traditional schools through opportunities to explore radical innovation. That is, both schools were conceptualised as sites for exploring radical rather than incremental change. The central questions asked in this study were - what makes for radical innovation in schools; and how is the use of ICT implicated in innovation in schools? The literature review indicated that while there has been an increase in the information regarding innovation in education there has been little research into how this was being developed in non-traditional settings, or in ways that were radical. The role of ICTs in developing innovation was also reviewed, given that the two 'designated character' schools being studied had strong support for ICTs. The main aims of this study were: to identify the features of radical innovation in schools; to explore the barriers against, and drivers for, innovation in schools; to provide insight into the use of ICTs to influence innovation in schools; to contribute to the literature regarding innovation in schools; and to identify future opportunities to innovate. This study was a qualitative one, with symbolic interactionism as its theoretical underpinning. Data were gathered through the use of concept mapping, interviews and a focus group activity. The findings of the study were that radical innovation in schools occurs when there is a cultural shift in the whole notion of schooling. This is difficult to achieve, even for schools that have been set up to be foundationally different. However, such schools can provide examples of some innovative practices that are 'greenfields'. The use of ICTs, while not required for innovation, helps schools create innovative ideas, especially those ideas based around the needs of individual learners. There is a greater chance that this will lead to innovation being sustained. These findings have implications for policy makers to allow schools that are more innovative to try new ideas and to be supported to do so.
Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Doctor of Education (EdD)
School of Cognition, Language and Special Education
Item Access Status
Innovation in education
New Zealand schools
designated character schools
education (New Zealand)