How can innovative learning environments promote the diffusion of innovation?

Mark Osborne


Schools implementing innovative learning environments (ILEs) face many challenges, including the need to discard previously cherished practices and behaviours, adjust mindsets, and invent successful new ways of operating. Leaders can support these processes by implementing structures that: i) support ongoing, distributed, participatory innovation; and ii) promote the widespread diffusion of these innovations. This article will argue that innovative learning environments provide unique opportunities to accelerate the generation and diffusion of innovation, particularly through high levels of observability and trialability of ideas; effective communication channels; and supportive social systems. In short, successful open, collaborative learning environments require serial innovation and rapid diffusion of innovation, but they also provide the conditions to support both of these processes.


Change leadership; innovation; knowledge building

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