Eduvation: What is it and How to Make it Happen

“Eduvation” is a word I created to shorten and blend the use of the words innovation in education. (Perhaps the term already exists elsewhere, but I haven’t heard it used yet.)

Last week I witnessed a debate that stretched for 3 days at an 8-day Baldrige event. The topic? The meaning of innovation. The challenge was that the term was suffering from multiple interpretations. Given that we were at a Baldrige Performance Excellence event, the group decided to review the Baldrige definition of innovation in order to ensure a common understanding of the common term.

According to the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence (Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 2013), the term innovation refers to,

Making meaningful change to improve programs, services, processes or organizational effectiveness and to create a new value for students and stakeholders. Innovation involves the adoption of an idea, process, technology, program, service or business model that is either new or new to its proposed application. The outcome of innovation is a discontinuous or break through change in results, programs or services.

Successful organizational innovation is a multistep process that involves development and knowledge sharing, a decision to implement, implementation, evaluation and learning. Although innovation is often associated with technological innovation, it is applicable to all key organizational processes that would benefit from change, whether through breakthrough improvement or a change in approach or outputs. It could include fundamental changes in organizational structure to more effectively accomplish the organization’s work.

Recently, I read a few articles about eduvation–innovation in education–and they all seemed to focus on either new technology or new models. I wondered, “were those the only key levers to collectively move us forward in education?” My answer was no.

The Baldrige definition provided six levers with one of them being processes. Furthermore, the definition states, “Although innovation is often associated with technological innovation, it is applicable to all key organizational processes that would benefit from change.” That being said, the questions for principals and teachers are, “what are all the key processes that would benefit from change, and particularly what are the key instructional and instructional leadership processes that would benefit from a change in thinking and practice?

The challenge this week is simple: engage in eduvation. The list below provides steps you can follow with your team and is followed by italicized examples.

  1. Sit with your professional journal to brainstorm changes that are required (blending professional best practices to deconstruct the standards)
  2. Collaborate with your peers to gather the collective thought and select the change that adds the most value (invest in The Core Deconstructed)
  3. Create your roadmap (create The Core Deconstructed matrix)
  4. Use technology to enhance the eduvation process (use the electronic template to later insert resources)
  5. Collaborate across departments or schools (share and refine your matricies)
  6. Communicate and eliminate barriers to the change (contact me for the next level and/or feedback)
  7. Keep it simple (keep it simple :-))
  8. Celebrate successes (share)

When you’re done, do #8 and let me know about your success!



Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (2013). 2013 – 2014 Education criteria for performance excellence.