Reforms and Innovation in Education - Implications for the Quality of Human Capital
The chapter describes characteristics of Russian innovators acting within and without formal education system in comparison with Russian population as a whole. The study gives an indication of values (according to Schwartz’s theory) and motivational (PSED questionnaire) structure inherent to innovators as well as socio-demographic information such as education and occupation. The main values that underlie innovators’ activity and distinguish them from average Russian person are Universalism, Benevolence, Self-Direction and Stimulation. On the contrary such values as Conformity and Power are less important for innovators. Concerning motivation to innovation four types of motives that trigger innovative project launching were identified: social, status, financial and innovative. Social and innovative motivations serve as universal drivers of nowadays innovators in education. While financial and social motivations could play a distinguishing role for different groups of innovators. The main inference is that innovators from both sides of education, guided by the needs of others; even if they represent business oriented project, they always have a social mission. In conclusion the discussion on how the emergence of visible flow of grassroots innovation will change the education system.
Does public investment in educational innovations makes sense? Is there a tangible return on investment in innovations, either public or private? We know for certain that investments in expanding the existing modes of education do pay off (Becker 2009). But does it make sense to invest in innovation? This chapter will consider available evidence on impact of educational innovation, primarily at K-12 level. It will also demonstrate the need to conceptualize the impact of innovation. Work conducted within the next generation of educational reform should look very different from what we have done so far.