Monday, April 14, 2008

Thinking, thinking, thinking

Thank you all for your moral and other support for this study tour! The biggest question is "what have you learnt?".

I've been thinking about how to improve the study tour, and learning, and subsequent benefits to TAFE NSW. The learning has been great, but often very intense, and focussed on one sector or another. I'm now spending some reflection time, to get some useful and relevant resources/information for everybody.

The United Kingdom in particular has recognised the importance of innovation as a driving force for economic growth, and that education is a pivotal part of this. Their focus is on university funding for innovation, but Colleges of Further Education also benefit as they often have dual programs. The efficacy of the model is unknown, but the conferences I attended and people I spoke with, are enthusiastic and have achieved outcomes in line with the policy.

The schools sector is also on the path to the integration of ICT and progressing with this.

All education sectors are essential to ensure innovation is supported, as it is a matter more of attitude and supported risk-taking, than lock step learning. In this, or vocational education and training sectors' use of Training Packages may be seen as inhibiting innovation, rather than supporting it, or the Training Packages can be used creatively (modelling the very thing to e taught).

We have the Workforce Capability Development Guarantee for TAFE NSW, another step in the right direction, to ensure teachers and other staff are skilled to innovate in our increasingly competititve (read global) world. Training, per se, and in the traditional sense, is not necessarily the answer.

Having a central "body" responsible for innovation - does this actually defeat the purpose or rather the driving rationale behind innovation? We have the Federal government, State Governments, the Innovation and Business Skills Australia, various professional bodies, research organisations - what is the best way forward with this?

Change is inextricably intertwined with the culture of the organisation.

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