A Mindset Shift towards Complexity and Connectivity, away from Reductionism and Self
In the rapidly evolving education landscape, "new innovative learning" has become a cornerstone of EnRusk's mission and philosophy. At its core, this concept represents a profound shift in how we approach education, focusing on the interconnectedness of knowledge, the application of agile strategies, and fostering a new mindset rooted in complexity theory rather than reductionism. Applying this coincides with a new understanding of learning and the role of schools. In that, we allow ourselves to discover possibilities in all areas of schooling. Ideas previously unimaginable to us blinded us as we were by the lament of predictability. Doing so we open up possibilities for schools, teachers, and students of how to change everything we do. In this blog post, we'll delve into the essence of new innovative learning, drawing insights from Kynan Robinson's expertise in co-learning, agile strategies, creativity, and the importance of connectivity within schools.
Co-Learning: The Catalyst for Innovation
Kynan Robinson's work on co-learning emphasizes the importance of collaboration and shared learning experiences. Traditional education often relies on a one-size-fits-all, hierarchical, and linear approach where knowledge is defined as something that already exists and needs to be discovered. This is the world of absolutes, unquestionable facts, an endless search for answers, and "truth" so we can explain perfectly how this world works to ourselves. Here, knowledge is a tangible thing delivered from teacher to student. How much knowledge the students have retained is easily measurable in units; it can be standardized and compared. The amount directly correlates to where the student sits on his/her hierarchical linear pathway from beginner to expert. The pathway from school to college to workforce and up. This is the world of Reductionism. The most dominant discourse in the West and rapidly in most of the world shapes our mindsets and limits our ability to see, creating our identities (teacher/student) for us. It is a mindset that sees the world through the lens of predictability.
However, the new innovative learning paradigm recognizes that learning is a dynamic process that thrives on diversity, collaboration, and connectivity. It is never done alone; it is not an individual thing rather it is a collective experience. Here, knowledge is understood as something that is socially constructed and in a continual state of change. It is a living thing rather than a static tangible object. It can not be passed from one person to another; rather it exists in the relationships, and the spaces between are where it emerges. Learning is non-linear (so it is constantly morphing and changing). This is directly related to the level of connectivity. involved. It is non-hierarchical. At no stage is anyone a teacher or a student rather, we are always in a state of co-learners. This is the mindset of complexity thinking. A mindset and way of thinking that rejects predictability, the individual and stasis embracing and valuing change, possibility through connectivity over everything else. A change to this mindset is fundamental to being an "EnRusk "New Innovative Learning" Institute. In so doing, the ability for people, leaders, teams, and whole schools to transform rapidly and change can happen relatively quickly, becoming true global leaders and innovators now contributing with real impact to the change education desperately needs. Not understanding it and changing to this mindset leads only to slow, heavy, challenging, and very minimal change, often creating resentment and confusion and leading to further separation and isolation for schools from the rest of the world. Sound familiar?
By embracing co-learning, educators encourage students to actively participate in their learning journey. This approach promotes critical thinking and fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among learners. It aligns perfectly with the concept of new innovative learning, which prioritizes the development of adaptable, agile, and creative connected thinkers.
Agile Approaches to Strategy in Education
In the ever-changing landscape of education, a rigid and inflexible approach simply won't suffice. This is where agile strategies come into play. Just as agile methodologies have transformed various industries, they hold immense potential in reshaping education.
Agile strategies in education involve adaptability, collaboration, and a willingness to respond to feedback and changing circumstances. Schools and educators can better prepare students for unpredictable future challenges by adopting an agile mindset. This aligns seamlessly with the concept of new innovative learning, which encourages learners to confidently navigate complexity and uncertainty.
Creativity as a Cornerstone of New Innovative Learning
Creativity is a fundamental aspect of new, innovative learning. It's not limited to artistic endeavors; it's about nurturing the ability to think outside the box, solve problems creatively, and approach challenges with an open mind.
Students who are encouraged to be creative become better equipped to tackle real-world problems. Kynan Robinson's work highlights that fostering creativity in education is about allowing students to explore, experiment, and take risks. This approach instills in them the mindset required for new, innovative learning, where they are unafraid to explore the complexities of the world around them.
Connectivity: Bridging the Gap in Education
The importance of connectivity within schools cannot be overstated. But within a new innovative learning environment, the idea of creativity being linked to the individual are rejected in favor of an understanding that understands creativity as something that emerges from a collective process. In that it is not straight and definitely not something one can have more than someone else, i.e., I am more creative than you. Within the way we frame our world, there is no I or you; there is only us, and in that, the connectivity or relationships between us. In this liminal space, we have found a new understanding of knowledge, learning, and now creativity. All three are also reflected in the idea of emergence, as in emergent phenomena that arise from those hyper-connected living liminal spaces that shift and bend and connect us to connectivity. Seen this way, Creativity in schools had a very limited capacity to exist within how schools currently know themselves. The discourse that drives everything we know about school reductionism is, by design, wanting to hinder this understanding of creativity, thus limiting participants to knowing it as it is currently defined, a spark in one's imagination, or a flair for difference or novelty. Within this worldview and with little capacity or effort made by teachers to understand theoretical claims that predetermine for them their identities roles and behaviors, there is no wonder that limited, if any, change has been seen within curriculum design and delivery in Australian schools. Why would you carve away any time for creativity in an already overcrowded curriculum space? It brings little to no value to performance in an exam, but it is still the barometer of success.
Creativity, as we have defined it and shared it with you, goes beyond just having access to technology; it's about creating an ecosystem where students, teachers, and resources are seamlessly interconnected.
Connectivity enables collaborative learning, information sharing, and access to a global knowledge network. It allows students to explore various perspectives, cultures, and ideas, enhancing their understanding of their complex world. In the realm of new innovative learning, connectivity is the bridge that links learners to the vast tapestry of information and experiences that shape their education.
The Mindset Shift towards Complexity Theory
A paradigm shift from reductionism to complexity theory is at the heart of new innovative learning. Reductionism simplifies complex phenomena into manageable parts, whereas complexity theory embraces the interconnectedness and unpredictability of systems. Dr Kynan Robinson is at the forefront of this work, leading schools through this change in thinking and their understanding of why they exist. Change your thinking, and you change your being. We shift from a being of "being " to one of "continual becoming. The common phrases associated with either are to be a student, to be a teacher, to be a school, or to collectively become co-learners with behaviors that shift depending on whatever we need to co- learn faster; how might we shift from being a school to collectively something beyond what we now see, a connected environment of co-creation of new knowledge, meaningfully contribute to a creation of our world rather than passive observers of an already out of date one. , to become a leader in this space of innovation to become centers of new knowledge creation continually
To be a "new innovative learner," one must embrace the idea that knowledge is not isolated but intertwined. It requires an appreciation for the intricate web of relationships that shape our world. This mindset shift empowers learners to navigate uncertainty, solve intricate problems, and adapt to ever-evolving challenges.
As EnRusk continues to champion the cause of "new innovative learning," it's essential to understand that this approach is not just a passing trend but a transformative paradigm shift in education. By incorporating co-learning, agile strategies, creativity, and connectivity and embracing the complexity theory mindset, we can prepare students to thrive in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. This holistic approach empowers learners to become agile, adaptable, and innovative thinkers, ready to tackle tomorrow's challenges confidently.