Innovation pedagogy

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Innovation pedagogy is "a learning approach focused on the development of innovation competences, defining how knowledge is assimilated, produced and used in a manner that can create innovations". Innovation competences are learning outcomes that refer to knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for the innovation activities to be successful.[1][2][3][4][5] The humanistic way of understanding people as the creators of their own future forms the philosophical foundations of innovation pedagogy. The concept also can be described as follows: innovation pedagogy as “a didactic operational model based on the socio-cultural perception of learning that supports the work of universities of applied sciences as a part of regional competence and innovation networks. Applied research and development activities that support regional development and the production of innovations in working life are integrated into multidisciplinary teaching in accordance with the principles of innovation pedagogy. The education offered by the university promotes entrepreneurship and includes service activities while taking into account both the needs of the region as a whole as well as the constantly changing trends of working life.” [6]

Changes in the working life and surrounding global environment necessitate that skills and attitudes matching the new requirements are consciously and systematically developed along with the students’ knowledge bases. Social and interactive skills, cultural abilities, understanding the prerequisites for working with customers, preparedness for entrepreneurship, creativity and problem solving skills as well as tolerance for difference and uncertainty are the kind of attitudes and skills that a future professional should have.[7][8][9]

Learning environments where students of different fields are daily in contact with each other offer new interfaces for working. Such surroundings are known to be best when innovations are expected. In addition, an innovative approach to teaching and learning are also needed as well as enthusiasm for trying new methods. In the context of innovation pedagogy, innovations are seen as an integral part of the process of constantly improving know-how as well as generating new sustainable ideas and practices applicable in working life.[10][11]

A fruitful environment for innovation consists of individuals with different backgrounds working together on similar problems. These innovation communities can be tight teams meeting every day or network-like looser communities. The success of the communities is based on know-how and sharing knowledge as well as on the ability to combine different points of view and approaches. Innovations are more frequently generated where different fields of expertise meet.[12]

Creating innovations presupposes knowledge and the ability to apply it. The traditional view held by educational institutions is that students receive new information and skills as a student and only begin to apply what they have learnt after finding employment. This is the way of thinking innovation pedagogy wants to challenge: according to this new approach, knowledge should be applied for creating innovations already while studying. In other words, knowledge should be accumulated and applied simultaneously. According to the principles of innovation pedagogy, individual expertise should be transformed into communal expertise, which promotes learning and knowledge creation. Innovation pedagogy launches the concept of 'noisy knowledge'; in interaction in the social learning environment, the knowledge is discussed, shared and accumulated creating synergy, e.g. even new ideas and innovations. It is not an opposite concept for tacit knowledge but as a value adding part of it, making the tacit knowledge visible and shareable. In an innovation process, different types of knowledge are needed and used. When boundary crossing in a social learning environment is included to this process, through ‘noisy knowledge’ in interaction, the ability to innovation creation is improved.[13]

The aim of innovation pedagogy is to generate environments in which know-how inspired competitive advantage can be created by combining different kinds of know-how. When utilised, this edge provides opportunities for the whole society, as innovation skills sharpened by innovation pedagogy are the key in introducing new competitive advantages via know-how. In a multidisciplinary environment, it is possible to evoke regional innovations and increase entrepreneurship through research and development.[14]

Innovation pedagogy confesses the societal needs as the basis for the work done at HEIs. Having social learning theories as a background, innovation pedagogy links university work together with the regional needs emphasising the meaning of innovation competencies without forgetting the study specific skills students must have. Innovation pedagogy emphasises the meaning of teamwork and multidisciplinary groups, as well as internationalisation as main sources of innovations and especially as core competencies which a today’s innovator should have. Innovation pedagogy is put into practice via different activating learning methods such as hatchery methods that produce study specific and innovation competencies, and simultaneously serve regional, national and international operators ensuring direct societal benefits.[15]


  1. ^ Kettunen, Juha (2011). Innovation pedagogy for universities of applied sciences, Creative Education, 2(1), 56-62.
  2. ^ Kantola, M. & Kettunen, J. (2012). Integration of education with research and development and the export of higher education, On the Horizon, 20(1), 7-16.
  3. ^ Kettunen, J., Kairisto-Mertanen, L. & Penttilä, T. (2013). Innovation pedagogy and desired learning outcomes in higher education, On the Horizon, 21(4), 333-342.
  4. ^ Lehto Anttoni- Kairisto-Mertanen Liisa – Penttilä Taru (edit.) (2011):TOWARDS INNOVATION PEDAGOGY – A NEW APPROACH TO TEACHING AND LEARNING FOR UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED SCIENCES. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences nr 100.
  5. ^ Penttilä Taru, - Kairisto-Mertanen Liisa, -Putkonen Ari – Lehto Anttoni (2013). INNOVATION PEDAGOGY – A STRATEGIC LEARNING APPROACH FOR THE FUTURE. In Lehto Anttoni –Penttilä Taru (eds.) PEDAGOGICAL VIEWS ON INNOVATION COMPETENCES AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP, pp.11-23. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences 171. Tampere 2013.
  6. ^ Kettunen, J. 2009. Innovaatiopedagogiikka. Kever-verkkolehti. Vol.8, no 3. http://ojs.seamk. fi /index.php/kever/issue/view/68.
  7. ^ Kairisto-Mertanen, L., & Mertanen O. 2005. New Ways for Teaching Working Life Related Skills to Engineering Students. International Conference on Engineering Education. Gliwice, Poland.
  8. ^ Kairisto-Mertanen, L., Hänti, S., Kallio-Gerlander, J. & Rantanen, H. 2007. Experiences about entrepreneurship education in gross-disciplinary environment – Case Turku University of Applied Sciences. The 18th AGM SPACE conference in Nicosia Cyprus, 20.–23.3.2007.
  9. ^ Kairisto-Mertanen, L., & Mertanen, O. 2006. Designing new curricula according to the needs expressed by European and local industrial environment. The 9th International Conference on Engineering Education, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 23.–8.7.2006.
  10. ^ Kairisto-Mertanen L., Penttilä Taru & Putkonen Ari (2011): EMBEDDING INNOVATION SKILLS IN LEARNING – DEVELOPING COOPERATION BETWEEN WORKING LIFE AND UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED SCIENCES. In Towards Innovation Pedagogy – A new approach to teaching and learning for universities of applied sciences. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences nr 100,pp. 11-23.
  11. ^ Penttilä Taru, Kairisto-Mertanen Liisa & Putkonen Ari (2011) COMMUNICATIONAL ASPECTS OF INNOVATION PEDAGOGY AND STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE. In TOWARDS INNOVATION PEDAGOGY - A new approach to teaching and learning in universities of applied sciences, edited by Lehto Anttoni, Kairisto-Mertanen Liisa, Penttilä Taru. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences, nr 100, pp. 65-75.
  12. ^ [2] Penttilä, Taru; Kairisto-Mertanen, Liisa; Putkonen, Ari and Lehto, Anttoni (2013): Innovation pedagogy – a strategic learning approach for the future. pp 11-23. In Lehto, Anttoni and Penttilä, Taru (ed) (2013): Pedagocical views on innovation competences and entrepreneurship. Innovation pedagogy and other approaches. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences 171.
  13. ^ Penttilä Taru – Putkonen Ari (2013). KNOWLEDGE IN THE CONTEXT OF INNOVATION PEDAGOGY IN HIGHER EDUCATION. Proceedings of INTED2013 conference, Valencia, Spain.
  14. ^ Kairisto-Mertanen L., Penttilä Taru & Putkonen Ari (2011): EMBEDDING INNOVATION SKILLS IN LEARNING – DEVELOPING COOPERATION BETWEEN WORKING LIFE AND UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED SCIENCES. In Towards Innovation Pedagogy – A new approach to teaching and learning for universities of applied sciences. Reports from Turku University of Applied Sciences nr 100,pp. 11-23.
  15. ^ Penttilä Taru, Lyytinen Sami, Kairisto-Mertanen Liisa, Lappalainen Harri (2015). Education as a Direct Profitable Societal Investment: Innovation Pedagogy Putting Sociocultural Learning Theories into Practice in Higher Educational Institutes. In the Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research series, by 3rd UPI International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Indonesia.

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