Innovation with Relationships in Education


This morning we had the privilege of listening to George Couros speak about Innovation. This was very inspiring to me because I am passionate about knowledge building, innovation, and incorporating FNMI values, cultures and perspectives into my learning environments.

In my opinion, learning in education is also enhanced through play. Innovation can emerge through ‘Play’, and is essential for all students, including students with FNMI backgrounds. The ability for a student to meet their potential will increasingly be found within the student’s entire life. We  can incorporate this into our learning environments through creating time and space for innovation and play. Even if it is time to play with technology to create amazing things that would not be assigned in a traditional classroom.

I believe that it is increasingly essential for educators to help learners to be  pursuit of innovation. We can do this by tapping into the power of family and relationships!

Identifying Student Values

It was wonderful to hear George Couros talk about the importance of family, relationships, and connections to the people in our lives. He made excellent connections between student voice, relationships and learning.

Our students come to the classroom with values, experiences, cultures and knowledge that is essential to their learning. If we over-identify with the classroom itself as the primary environment for learning, this will marginalize other wonderful aspects of a students life. What we need is to identify and understand the values and voices of our students, and then innovate to help them integrate learning amongst all of the important knowledge, culture and experiences that they live amongst.

Educators can play a large role in by helping students connect and share their voice by:

  • Helping students to set priorities in their lives.
  • Supporting a balance between school-life and home life.
  • Facilitating learning opportunities that help students to process and examine important topics in society
  • Enabling students to identify and understand explicitly what is important to the student in his or her own life.

Promoting Personal Safety

It absolutely behooves our students to be able to reason, look at all viewpoints, consider options, and know how to ask for help. Educators can help students to set priorities, make plans, but also to be flexible and adaptable to sudden changes. For this to happen, students also need to feel safe to try new things, safe to take risks, and safe to be themselves.

Caring and dedicated Educators can be aware of, and proactive, to promoting equality and understanding within the classroom. This is essential to spurring on innovation!

Certainly, many new changes exist as our ever-changing workforce continues to change to meet new cultural norms and expectations, including globalization. The very experiences that students will face during key developmental years, will play large roles in helping our students to develop their own self-esteem, skills, and careers.

Helping children to integrate work and play together in a continuous and fluid manner is one way to achieve these goals. This is very similar to helping individuals to integrate their life roles and relationships together in innovative ways.


Thank you for a great presentation!


Deborah McCallum




2 responses to “Innovation with Relationships in Education”

  1. Knowledge Building and Urban Legends in Education | Big Ideas in Education Avatar

    […] the possibilities for learning in the 21st century. There are so many exciting ways now to innovate, engage students, give them a voice and help them engage in their own inquiries. The opportunities […]


  2. Play for Innovative and Resilient Learners | Big Ideas in Education Avatar

    […] Innovation through ‘Play’ is essential for all students. It promotes a growth mindset and is inclusive of all student values, identities, voices and cultures. This includes all students with FNMI backgrounds. When learners can engage in play, their potential for learning will dramatically increase. A big part of this is because play not only has the ability to connect all aspects of a student’ life, but it is a the heart and soul of innovation. […]


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