“Innovation education is about tapping into the inner entrepreneur.” – MCH

Click here to listen to the podcast, “Innovative Habits of Mind”. 

At the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) Conference in Brisbane, I presented a paper, “Creating innovators by choice and not by chance”, in October 2013. At the presentation, I proposed that one of the fundamental goals of 21st century learning for our young people is innovation, not just creativity. It is about providing innovation education and fostering entrepreneurial mindsets (Shavinina, 2009, 2013). Through an exploration of (a) research-based case studies of gifted learners, and (b) a Framework of Innovation Pedagogy that I had developed, I shared with the audience what it means to innovate, and how we can develop the capacities of young people to become entrepreneurial. My research findings revealed that “innovation education” should be embedded into curriculum at all levels through problem-based, multidisciplinary, collaborative learning, encouraging “design thinking”, and promoting the development of real-world designs (“prototyping”).

By fostering “play, passion, and purpose” among young learners, we help them become innovation-ready (Wagner, 2012). To achieve this goal, we require “teacherpreneurs” who have innovative habits of mind. Research shows that teachers—who work in radically diverse multidisciplinary teams, and model innovative habits of mind—can share and mould young students into innovators of the future. We require “leaderpreneurs”, i.e., leaders who create conditions in schools and systems that inspire and encourage educators and students to imagine, experiment, and innovate.

After my presentation, I was invited by Rosanna Stevens, a Canberra-based writer, to record a podcast, “Innovative habits of mind”, that I share with you in this post. The drawing, “Le bonhomme à fleurs”, is by André François (1915-2005), a Hungarian-born French cartoonist.


Shavinina, L. (2009). Innovation education for the gifted: A new direction in gifted education. In L. V. Shavinina (Ed.), International handbook on giftedness  (pp. 1257-1267). Quebéc, Canada: Springer.

Shavinina, L. (2013). How to develop innovators? Innovation education for the gifted. Gifted Education International, 29(1), 54-68.

Wagner, T. (2012). Creating innovators. New York: Scribner.

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