EMINENT 2019 highlights: Working towards a whole-school innovation culture

During our annual conference EMINENT 2019, European Schoolnet has brought together in Warsaw, Poland, more than 140 participants from 33 countries: its network of Ministries of Education, the European Commission, educational stakeholders and industry partners to explore what is the European state-of-play of innovation at whole-school level.

During the first day, Stefaan Hermans, Director for Policy Strategy and Evaluation at the European Commission, set the scene on the future priorities of the European Commission, mentioning the development and implementing of the European Education Area. He highlighted the transition challenges that Europe will have to face: the digital transition, the climate transition, and the inclusion transition, and our education systems will have a major role to play in supporting the Commission to address these challenges.

Ron Canuel, Education Strategist, brought out the issues that schools are facing regarding the development and implementation of innovation, highlighting that emergency triggers movements and actions, and that our education systems keep innovators too frequently under the radar. Therefore, we have a responsibility to share and disseminate all good innovations that are taking place in all our schools all over Europe.

Today, education is about learning to thrive in a transforming world, Valerie Hannon

Valerie Hannon, expert adviser on education to the OECD, and Pr. Gabor Halasz, from the Budapest University, debated on how schools could be supported to improve their capacity for innovation. The role of policy makers was underlined as important to empower school leaders and inspire them to see changes in school innovation.

During the second day, the round table, chaired by Anna Canato, Head of Education and Public Research at the European Investment Bank, issues such as shared leadership, autonomy, professional development, and monitoring processes were emphasized as innovative driving forces at national level.

European Schoolnet is a unique organisation, being an interface between policies and practice. There are two different views regarding how innovation is adopted in schools: the first one is the daily life of teachers. On the other side, we have the world of innovation. One of our responsibilities is to bridge the gap between these two worlds and find the right processes to make the adoption of technologies a reality within the school practices.