Innovation in the Classroom

The U.S. Department of Education listed “redesigning academic content and instructional practices to promote active and hands-on learning, aligned with post-secondary and career-readiness” as a principle for Next Generation High Schools. This means that schools are in charge of the curriculum and setting the expectations for students’ knowledge and skills. A great way to bridge high schools to colleges and careers is by providing innovation in the classroom.

What is innovation in the classroom?
Innovation in the classroom, or innovative teaching, is the process of leading to creative learning. Unlike a traditional classroom, in which the teacher lectures and the students just soak up the information, innovation in the classroom calls for more involvement from the student. In this setting, the student’s role is the same or even more important that the teacher’s role. It encourages students to be fully engaged in learning and reaching their full potential. Innovation in the classroom can be students playing educational games on iPads (technology) or researching real issues (project-based learning).

How do you use project-based learning? 
Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional method that encourages students to learn and apply knowledge and skills through solving “real world” challenges. PBL prepares students for challenges of the 21st century and helps students feel confident to take on any future situations. An example of PBL can be starting a student farm. This project will provide a hands-on way to learn science, social studies, math, and economics while teaching students fun, useful skills. The Buck Institute for Education provides training for teachers and other school leaders by helping them redesign their curriculum to include PBL. For more information, visit

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